**Mensural notation** is the musical notation system which was used in European music from the later part of the 13th century until about 1600. "Mensural" refers to the ability of this system to notate complex rhythms with great exactness and flexibility. Mensural notation was the first system in the development of European music that systematically used individual note shapes to denote temporal durations. In this, it differed from its predecessor, a system of rhythmic modes, which had been the first way to notate rhythm. Mensural notation is most closely associated with the successive periods of the late medieval Ars nova and the Franco-Flemish school of Renaissance music. Its name was coined by 19th-century scholars with reference to the usage of medieval theory, going back to the treatise *Ars cantus mensurabilis* ("The art of measured chant") by Franco of Cologne (c. 1280).

Read more about Mensural Notation: Note Values, Context-dependent Note Values, Rests, Ligatures, Pitch Notation, History

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