It is the body of which roads are the arms and legs--a trivial or quadrivial
place, the thoroughfare and ordinary of travelers.
Although music theory was part of the curriculum (within the quadrivial
studies that stem back to Boethius) at the time of the university's founding in 1477, it had fallen by the wayside in 1645, when the revised statutes removed music as a responsibility of the faculty.
In answering the charge that he was a trivial writer, Joyce calmly replied that while some of his words were trivial, more were quadrivial
Most scholarship focuses on such accomplished mathematicians such as Bradwardine or Oresme; but what were ordinary students, with no great mathematical aptitude, supposed to take away from the quadrivial
24) Moreover, even the restriction to contemporary theoretical musical concepts does not ensure a direct line to listening habits, either because of a strong theoretical leaning towards music as a quadrivial
art; or because a theoretical vocabulary needed in order to conceptualize musical reality is lacking; or because, as in most other theoretical and analytical systems, of the exclusive concern with compositional procedures rather than with listening strategies.
It thus opens the door to another of the sources of that mixture of Ovidian artifice, Juvenalian spleen, and quadrivial
learning so characteristic of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century literature.
Excluded from the catalogue are all musical texts appearing in medieval encyclopedias and numerous manuscripts of late Latin theorists such as Augustine, Boethius, Cassiodorus, Isidore, and Martianus Capella copied between 800 and 1500 "when they occur alone or in a quadrivial
context without other treatises of music"--or, apparently, when the codex only transmits material written originally before 800.