Chapter 5: Ars Antiqua
"You've certainly proved your worth..."The Countess spoke to us, looking out into the valley, seeing the many structures and buildings strewn among the bracken and rubble.
"I never thought much of Orlandini-I don't put much stock by the "Magnus Liber" myself. But, his actions have consequences, and we all must live with the consequences now."
"Do you really think we can never return, Countess? Do you really think we are living in the twilight of our school?" Professor Josquin asked, putting down the manuscript in his hand.
"Josquin, I do not think that is something we get to decide. When our way of learning is no longer valued, surely Meteora will be destroyed." The Countess mused.
"Well, yes, but that has happened before." Josquin continued.
"Indeed, it has." The Countess replied.
"Excuse me, Countess - what do you mean?" We asked
"The Ars Antiqua - the ancient way of understanding and describing music. It limited our understanding to only three things. Useful to know, to understand, but limited in power and strength. Music draws its strength from combinations - like colors of a painting or ingredients of a cake. The Ars Antiqua divided, and in so doing limited what could be created." Countess explained.
"You speak above them - " Josquin interjected, "The Ars Antiqua only taught recognizing and recalling sound - ways to document pitch, duration, and function of each note."
"The ancient ways are still with us, if you know where to look." The Countess smiled.
"And they still teach us, if you can recognize what you find." Josquin added.