Landini cadence

Example of Landini Cadence

Francesco Landini was the leading composer of the Italian Trecento. He had talents in a number of instruments, the organ being his most proficient. Non-musically, he was a well-regarded intellectual in several subjects including: politics, religion, ethics, and astronomy. Landini was named a poet laureate by the king of Cyprus. 


Landini's ballata Or su, gentili spiriti has clear features of the trecento. His principal vocal line is in the cantus, and flows more than the melodies of the ars antiqua. He draws some inspiration from the French ars nova, seen in the synocopations. Perfect intervals are still present, but used less than thirds and sixths. Landini cadences are quite frequent as seen in the final cadence. These are formed by adding a lower neighbor tone to the top voice before the final octave interval. 

It is likely that Landini wrote the poetry to this song himself. This follows the Ballata form: AbbaA.

Text (Italian):

Or sù(n), gentili spiriti ad amar pronti,

volete voi veder'el paradiso?

Mirate d'esta petra el vago viso.

Nelle suo'luce sancta ard'e sfavilla

Amor victorioso, che divaropa

per dolceça di gloria chi la mira;

Ma l'alma mia, fedelissima ancilla,

piatà non trova in questa chiara lampa

e null'altro che lei ama o dira.

O sacra idea al tuo servo un po' spira

mercè sol chiamo, gia conquiso:

dè fallo pria che morte m'abbia anciso.

Or sùn, gentili spiriti....


This ballata has many open sounding intervals and makes use of a stringed instrument as the bass line. It has a very smooth texture, with very few of the hard dissonances found in earlier music. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a youtube video for this song. 


Craig Wright and Bryan Simms. "Music in Western Civilization." (Schirmer, Boston, 2010). Pp. 113-115

Milsom, John. "Landini, Francesco." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed April 26, 2014,

David Fallows. "Landini cadence." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed April 26, 2014,

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