Dissertation Index

Author: Vlagopoulos Panos

Title: Le noble rhetorique: Mental Models in the Song Production of Guillaume de Machaut

Institution: Ionion State University

Begun: September 1995

Completed: June 1998


The introduction contains a critique of current reductionist interpretation models and argues for the use of - a variant of - radical constructivism in the attempt to gain historic-musicological knowledge. Some of the key-notions put in use are mental models, metaphors, observer and reflexivity. On this basis the goal of the research is set as: to first distinguish fourteenth-century mental models in a number of different areas, from education to literature and everyday life, then find relevant - not merely similar - models of musical thinking in the song production of Guillaume de Machaut. Machaut's opus is considered as the result of a highly ecletic, complicated, past- as well as future-orientated artistic attitude, which I try to illuminate using the notion of reflexivity and self-reflexivity: this is brought about by an analytical examination of concrete compositional techniques and an investigation of an -implicit- Machaudian theory of genres, which is shown to be a prerequisite for self-reflexivity and, at the same time, to be regulated by it.

Keywords: Guillaume de Machaut, Ars nova, formes fixes, radical constructivism, metaphor, mental model


A. Fourteenth-Century Mental Models

Aristotelian Metaphysics, Sign Theory of Occam and Oresmian Physics
Time and Measurement

Ars Nova Ideology
Classification Models and Genres
Time and Measurement

B. Machaut's Musical Mind

Compositional Techniques: Floskeln and Tenor Types
Genre and the Fourteenth-Century Ordenance Concept
Reflexivity and Self-Reflexivity As Keys to Machaut’s Concept of


Panos Vlagopoulos
Ag. Sofias street 24
17123 Nea Smyrni
Vas. Sofias & Kokkali
11521 Athens/Greece
tel +301 7282772 / 9343959
fax +301 7259196

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