Ars Nova, located in Redmond, Washington, has been a leader in the music education software industry since the original release of Practica Musica in 1987.

The term Ars Nova means "The New Art." It is a Latin title taken from the 14th-century treatise on music by Philippe de Vitry. Vitry distinguished his new technique from the Ars Antiqua, or old art.

Practica Musica takes its name from the title of a 16th-century work by Heinrich Finck. Meaning "practical exercises in music," Finck's work was one of the first comprehensive works for music instruction. Practica would be things you do, as opposed to theory.