Franco-Flemish composer and theorist. Probably the son of another Johannes Ciconia, canon at the church of St.-Jean l'Évangéliste in Liège.
In biographical accounts father and son have generally been treated as one person. The composer was a choir boy in Liège in 1385. From at least 1401 until his death, he was associated with the cathedral of Padua. Between these dates he may have spent time in Avignon, encountering the influence of Philipoctus de Caserta, and may have been in the service of Francesco Carrara "il Novello," who was in Avignon in 1389 and in Padua from 1390.
His works are rooted in the musical traditions of northern Italy, but many also incorporate features typical of the French ars nova and, especially, the ars
subtilior. None dates from before ca. 1390. The secular compositions include four Italian madrigals and nine ballate (two incomplete), two French virelays, and one Latin canon. The sacred works and occasional pieces with Latin text include ten Mass movements (Glorias and Credos, some paired), eight motets, and two Latin contrafacta. These are only the works of undoubted authenticity; there exist a few other compositions in nearly every category that may be by Ciconia. Two theoretical treatises survive: Nova musicaand De proportionibus.The first is a practical work of wide scope presenting both the results of originaI speculation and the teachings of theorists from Pythagoras to Jehan de Murs and Marchetto de Padova. De proportionibusis a later reworking of Nova musica.