Skip to main content

Petrus de Cruce


Composer and theorist, active in Paris at the close of the 13th century (also called Pierre de la Croix). In 1298 King philip iv requested a musical Office for St. Louis from a Petrus de Cruce of Amiens, who was probably the composer-theorist. Two motets, Au renouveler and Aucun one trouvé, are identified as his work by the 14th-century theorist Jacques de Liège. Of the writings ascribed to Petrus, only some excerpts preserved by the theorists Robert de Handlo and John Hanboys and a Tractatus de tonis remain. Even though the conservative De Liège lauded him as a model of the 13th-century ars antiqua, Petrus was in fact a bold innovator. Going beyond the rhythmic novelties of franco of cologne, he increased the number of semibreves subdividing the breve from two or three, to from four to nine, and separated such groups of semibreves from one another by means of a dot of division, the punctus divisionis. By introducing note values (minims) smaller than the officially recognized semibreve, Petrus accorded his music an unparalleled rhythmic freedom. His innovations were transformed by 14th-century composers and theorists into the quatre prolations of the ars nova.

Bibliography: petrus de cruce, Tractatus de tonis, h. coussemaker, Scriptorum de musica medii aevi nova series, 4 v. (Paris 186476) 282292. g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). w. apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music (4th, rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass. 1949) 318324, 338, 369. petrus de cruce, "Ambianensi Tractatus de tonis." in Corpus scriptorum de musica, vol. 29, d. harbison, ed. (Rome 1976) vixxv. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 688. e. h. sanders, "Petrus de Cruce" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 14, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 598599.

[e. r. lerner]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Petrus de Cruce." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 23 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Petrus de Cruce." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (February 23, 2019).

"Petrus de Cruce." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.