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Gothic Period Music Irene Milidakis Cultural Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Gothic Period Music Irene Milidakis Cultural Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gothic Period Music Irene Milidakis Cultural Studies

2 Building onto Traditions Gothic Period Music derived from its preceding Romanesque practices Gregorian Chant: simple, monophonic liturgical music Also known as plainchant Sang in unison- monophonic One melody- no harmony Soloist and chorus singing in unison would respond to each other Unaccompanied by instruments - acapella Gregorian Chant-Alleluia: Angelus Domini Musical notation was introduced by Guido d’Arezzo- Depicted notes on a staff of lines

3 Organum- The Beginnings of Polyphony Chants became more complex in the early 12 th century The beginning signs of a transition to the Gothic period Harmony “Organum” – Added an upper melody on top of a cantus firmus (“fixed song”) Two different pitches sung by two singers- “organa duplum” Simple harmonies Early OrganumEarly Organum - example of Oblique Organum

4 Complex Progression Ars Antiqua ( ) Beginnings of polyphony Simple organums Triple Meter (3/4) Mostly used two voices Rapid transitions in music notation and theory Beginning use of rhythmic modes Ars Nova ( ) Cantus Firmus used less and less More complex rhythms Duple Meter (2/4) Use of many voices- “Motet” More secular than sacred Use of French and Latin vernacular Rota- round

5 School of Notre Dame Paris, France Notre Dame Cathedral considered epicenter of music organization in the Ars Antiqua period The most well known composers came from this school Complex musical notation was created First collections of music produced- Magnus Liber Organi by Leonin c.1163

6 Great Masters of Notre Dame Leonin (ca ) Great master of Ars Antiqua period Help established polyphony Use of improvisation- not known to have written own music Use of organum duplum- cantus firmus found in lower voice while descanting voice moves freely Leonin- Organum Duplum Perotin (ca. 13 th century) Great Master of Ars Antiqua Helped established polyphony Stricter melodic control and clearer rhythms Added a third voice- three part motet Still had a cantus firmus Pérotin-Alleluia nativitas

7 Ars Nova: Breaking from Tradition Innovations- greater independence of rhythm and polyphony lines Tempus imperfectum- duple meter Cantus firmus no longer used Notable Composers- Guillaume de Machaut -Subtle and strict melodic and rhythmic compositions Kyrie, from "Messe de Nostre Dame“ Philippe de Vitry -Complex and fluid melodic and rhythmic compositions -Developed way of writing rhythm on musical staffs Tuba sacre fidei

8 Discussion Question What may have contributed to the growing interest in innovating music?

9 Discussion Question What may have contributed to the growing interest in innovating music? -Increase in intellectual thought- formation of the university brought intellectuals who contributed to the growing musical developments -Composers were open to daring innovation- as evident in Leonin’s interest in improvisation -Economical growth- The church was growing stronger (along with the cities) which brought in funds, offerings to assist in developing the arts -All other facets of the arts were expanding themselves– the architecture --

10 Reaching the Heavens Connected to the architecture- Sense of verticality heard in music similar to architecture- They both reached towards heaven Subjects of these new hymns were often dedicated to Virgin Mary as were most Cathedrals Growing complexity of music mirrored the growing textual complexity of the cathedrals’ architecture

11 Breaking Away from the Church Gothic period music was primarily created for liturgy purposes but there was a secularization that was occurring throughout the 13th century. Courtly society brought about a need for secular entertainment- minstrels These minstrels would sing and dance often accompanied by instrumentals- folk and popular music Troubadors appear in Germany in the 12 th c. and call themselves minnesingers – “singers of love”- secular lyrical poetry Troubadors would often be employed by the court as minstrels Tant m'abelis

12 Discussion Question What similarities are heard in the troubadour song that are similar to the polyphonic music of the Ars Nova period?

13 Discussion Question What similarities are heard in the troubadour song that are similar to the polyphonic music of the Ars Nova period? -Rhythmic and melodic complexity -Singers exhibiting vocal ability- vocal range, constant change in pitch and tone

14 Contributions Gothic period music greatly contributed to the developments in musical study- All music today (both religious and secular) would still sound like the Gregorian Chant if polyphony was not developed. Written collections of music made it possible to access and continue the musical tradition of this period and its succeeding periods. Secularization would contribute to the massive expansion of music creation- we often forget where contemporary music derives from- not from the church but from the individual

15 Discussion Question How is our culture still aware of these music traditions today?

16 Discussion Question How is our culture still aware of these music traditions today? Many European traditions would be brought over including its religion Gothic period music was still largely a part of the religious tradition so it was one of the many art forms that were utilized by churches all over the world Classical music was derived from church music - continuation of polyphony in instrumental form

17 References Cunningham, Lawrence, and John J. Reich. Culture & Values: a Survey of the Humanities / Lawrence S. Cunningham, John J. Reich. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Print.


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