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Notre Dame school

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Title: Notre Dame school  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Pérotin, Medieval music, Léonin, Saint Martial school, Rhythmic mode
Collection: Composition Schools, French Music History, Medieval Music, Medieval Paris, Notre Dame De Paris
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Notre Dame school

Breves dies hominis, Notre Dame school.

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The Notre Dame school or the Notre Dame school of polyphony refers to the group of composers working at or near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from about 1160 to 1250, along with the music they produced.

The only composers whose names have come down to us from this time are polyphony—at least the first composer whose music has survived, since complete survivals of notated music from this time are scarce.

Léonin, Pérotin and the other anonymous composers whose music has survived are representatives of the era of European music history known as the ars antiqua. The motet was first developed during this period out of the clausula, which is one of the most frequently encountered types of composition in the Magnus Liber Organi.

While music with notation has survived, in substantial quantity, the interpretation of this music, especially with regard to rhythm, remains controversial. Three music theorists describe the contemporary practice: Johannes de Garlandia, Franco of Cologne, and Anonymous IV. However, they were all writing more than two generations after the music was written, and may have been imposing their current practice, which was quickly evolving, on music which was conceived differently. In much music of the Notre Dame School the lowest voices sing long note values while the upper voice or voices sing highly ornamented lines, which often use repeating patterns of long and short notes known as the "rhythmic modes." This marked the beginning of notation capable of showing relative durations of notes within and between parts (Hoppin 1978, p. 221).

Contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt cite the music of the Notre Dame School as an influence on their work.

Notre Dame motets

The earliest motets are the Notre Dame motets, written by composers such as Leonin and Perotin during the 13th century. These motets were polyphonic, with a different

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