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  • 1.Music in the Middle Ages by Elliott Jones of Santa Ana College for Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License

2. Medieval Music Difficulties Least surviving material Longest period of music history 476-1475 Middle Ages 1475-1600 Renaissance 1600-1750 Baroque 1750-1820 Classical 1825-1900 Romantic 1900-2000 Modern 3. Sacred Music 4. Music in the Monastery Sacred music preserved in much greater quantities than secular The Church was the only real source of education/literacy Monastic life a rigorous combination of work and prayer (sung Gregorian Chant) Music notation develops in monasteries 5. Neumes Early chant notation Small symbols written above text Did not originally indicate a specific pitch Evolved into system of square notes 6. Early Neumatic Notation 7. Square Neumes on 4-Line Staff Visit http://www.netaxs.com/~rmk/Chant/ for help reading neumatic notation 8. Gregorian Chant Named for Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Also known as Plainsong or Plainchant Single line melody (monophonic) Free of accent or meter Conjunct movement Avoids leaps Gentle contour 9. Modes Modes were the scale patterns of Western European music through the Renaissance Music composed using modes is called modal (as opposed to tonal) Modes sound less familiar to our ears than major/minor tonal scales 10. The Medieval Modes: This is for your information & will not be on a test Dorian Hypodorian Phrygian Hypophrygian Lydian Hypolydian Mixolydian Hypomixolydian For more extensive information on modes click here 11. Text Settings Syllabic One note per text syllable Neumatic Two four notes per text syllable Melismatic Long groups of notes per text syllable 12. Example of Melismas 13. Listening Example Title: Gradual Viderunt Omnes Composer: Anonymous (5th century) Genre: Gregorian Chant 14. Notes on Gradual Viderunt Omnes Monophonic texture Alternation of soloist and choir (male) Mixture of text settings Mostly neumatic with some long melismas Very smooth melodic contour (conjunct) Note the free rhythm and lack of meter A gradual from the proper of the Mass 15. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) 10th child of noble parents, raised in convent Founded her own convent in 1150 Experienced and recorded visions Scivias is the 1st book of her writings Wrote religious poetry and music 16. Listening Example Title: O Rubor Sanguinis Composer: Hildegard of Bingen Genre: Gregorian Chant 17. Notes on O Rubor Sanguinis Monophonic texture Sung by women Predominantly neumatic text setting Very smooth melodic contour (conjunct) Note the lack of a regular beat Text is not from the Mass Hildegard wrote the text 18. Music in the Cathedral Monasteries focused on traditional chant Urban cathedrals were centers of musical innovation Composers began to make greater use of polyphony 19. Polyphony Defined Polyphony literally means many voices Two or more melodic lines sung at once 20. Polyphony Extremely important development in Western Music Meter, notation, and composers role are all affected by this development Early polyphony generally consisted of parallel lines This early polyphony was called organum 21. Organum Begins as improvised, parallel 4ths & 5ths Second line of basically follows the chant no new, independent musical lines Gradually musicians begin to compose brand new melodies to accompany the chant Composers at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris perfect this new style of organum 22. Notre Dame Style Organum Notes of original chant tune stretched or held out Tenor comes from Latin word meaning hold The line that contained the elongated chant was called the tenor Newly composed material sung above chant Use of rhythmic modes (eg. long-short-long) Leoninus and Perotinus 23. Leoninus and Perotinus Composers at Cathedral of Notre Dame Leoninus (fl. 1169-1201) First polyphonic composer known by name Two-voice organum Magnus liber organi Perotinus (fl. 1198-1236) Successor to Leoninus Wrote up to four-voice organum 24. Listening Example Title: Viderunt Omnes Composer: Perotinus Genre: Organum 25. Notes on Viderunt Omnes Three active upper voices over sustained lower voice The upper voices feature LONG melismas Listen for the held notes of the original chant Notice the rhythmic mode in the upper voice Repeated long-short pattern resembles triple meter Open, hollow-sounding cadences Cadences are the endings of musical phrases 26. The Medieval Motet Evolved out of 13th century organum French word for word: mot New texts added to upper organum voices Polytextual: texts could be different Different words Different languages Sacred or secular 27. Medieval Motet Structure Chant tune provides structural foundation Chant tune held, but not as long as in organum Tenor Latin for to hold is tenere Triple meter representing Trinity Tenor can be sung or played 28. The Mass Central worship service of Catholic Church Mass texts divided into two categories The Proper Texts that vary from day to day Viderunt omnes is a Gradual from the Proper The Ordinary Texts that are always the same See page 75 for chart of Proper vs. Ordinary 29. Guillaume de Machaut Dates: ca. 1300-1377 Worked in both sacred and secular worlds Secretary to John I, King of Bohemia Served in court of Charles, Duke of Normandy Served as canon of cathedral at Rheims Poet and composer Admired by Geoffrey Chaucer 30. Guillaume de Machaut Ca. 400 poems and 150 compositions Composed both secular and sacred music Best known for composing the first complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass Messe de Nostre Dame 31. Listening Example Title: Kyrie from Messe de Nostre Dame Composer: Guillaume de Machaut Genre: Mass 32. Notes on Kyrie Built on preexisting chant, notes held out He then adds three new voices against the tenor Contratenor superius and altus are above the tenor Contratenor bassus is below the tenor Contratenor parts feature greater rhythmic variety Polyphonic texture Characteristic medieval dissonance Male voices 33. Rise of Music at Court Early middle ages: Church is primary patron of music Late middle ages: Nobles increasingly sponsor music to enhance their prestige Due to their education, clergy often composed courtly poetry and music 34. Court Poet-Musicians Troubadours Southern France Troubadours (male, common or noble) Trobairitz (female, noble) Both words mean inventors (composers) Trouvres Northern France Minnesingers Germany 35. Courtly Poetry Range of subject matter Simple ballads/love songs War stories Moral tales Chivalric values Honor Valor Idealized, or courtly, love 36. Courtly Love Idealized love Variety of relationships described Inspired to acts of chivalric valor Unattainable object of affection Unrequited, unconsummated relationship Illicit romance All in the general context of chivalric code 37. Women at Court Women not allowed to sing at church Women regularly composed and performed at court Played the soft instruments Harp Lute Rebec Flute 38. Troubador Songs Early songs usually monphonic Sometimes with instrumental doubling No clear rhythm or meter Later medieval songs often polyphonic This polyphony was quite simple as we hear in A Chantar M'er 39. Beatriz, Countess of Dia Trobairitz in S. France in mid-12th century to early 13th century A Chantar M'er is the only trobairitz song to survive with music intact Three other poems extant, music lost 40. Listening Example Title: A Chantar Mer Composer: Beatriz, Countess of Dia Genre: Troubador song 41. Notes on I Must Sing Song of unrequited love Full first line: I must sing of that which Id rather not Five strophes of seven lines each Seven-line melodic form: ABABCDB Vielle alternates with singer Simple lute accompaniment 42. Medieval Chanson Chanson is French for song Chansons are always secular They feature polyphonic texture 2-4 voices Combinations of voices and instruments Variety of subjects including courtly love Chansons used fixed poetic forms 43. Fixed Forms Poetic meters governed musical structure Three most common forms: Rondeau Ballade Virelai Rondeau features a repeated line of text This corresponds with a repeated melody 44. Guillaume Dufay (c1397-1474) Probably born near Brussels Involved in church music from early age Was ordained a priest by 1428 Held many ecclesiastical positions Also maintained close ties to numerous courts and nobles Composed sacred and secular music 45. Listening Example Title: Ce Moys de May Composer: Guillaume Dufay Genre: Chanson 46. Notes on Ce Moys de May Rondeau form Listen for the repeated refrain in the music Voices doubled by instruments Melismas at ends of phrases Notice the irregular accents and dissonance common to medieval polyphony 47. Instrumental Music Most medieval instrumental music was for courtly entertainment (secular) Little written instrumental music survives Much of it was improvised Most instrumental music is dance music 48. Medieval Instruments Instruments were much less standardized than they are today All were handmade and varied by location The following slides list common kinds of instruments and their modern descendants 49. Medieval Instruments Shawm double reed (oboe) Slide trumpet Sackbut (trombone) Tabor (large drum) Nakers (small drum) Organs Very large organs existed in large churches Smaller portable organs could be outdoors 50. Soft Instruments Recorder (wooden flute) Lute (similar to guitar but more strings) Harp/Psaltry Rebec & Vielle (precusor to violin)