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Music of the Middle Ages 450AD - 1450AD Roman Empire (Ancient Greece) & the Renaissance Also called the Dark Ages Bridges the gap between:

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Presentation on theme: "Music of the Middle Ages 450AD - 1450AD Roman Empire (Ancient Greece) & the Renaissance Also called the Dark Ages Bridges the gap between:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Music of the Middle Ages 450AD - 1450AD Roman Empire (Ancient Greece) & the Renaissance Also called the Dark Ages Bridges the gap between:

2 Music of the Middle Ages Pope Gregory I Founded the Schola Cantorum A school that taught the priests to sing chants Gregorian Chant (a type of *Plainsong) Possessed clarity and melodic beauty 6 th Century-codified music of Christian worship services project the text clearly so that it could be understood by the people Free, unmeasured Monophonic melody Text in Latin A little bird whispered all the chants in Pope Gregory’s ear. Thus, all the music and how it is to be performed came from God. Listening: Alleluia Vidimus Stellam

3 Dies iræ! Dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla: Teste David cum Sibylla! Quantus tremor est futurus, Quando iudex est venturus, Cuncta stricte discussurus! Tuba mirum spargens sonum Per sepulchra regionum, Coget omnes ante thronum. Mors stupebit, et natura, Cum resurget creatura, Iudicanti responsura. Liber scriptus proferetur, In quo totum continetur, Unde mundus iudicetur. Iudex ergo cum sedebit, Quidquid latet, apparebit: Nil inultum remanebit. Dies Irae The day of wrath, that day Will dissolve the world in ashes As foretold by David and the sibyl! How much tremor there will be, when the judge will come, investigating everything strictly! The trumpet, scattering a wondrous sound through the sepulchres of the regions, will summon all before the throne. Death and nature will marvel, when the creature arises, to respond to the Judge. The written book will be brought forth, in which all is contained, from which the world shall be judged. When therefore the judge will sit, whatever hides will appear: nothing will remain unpunished.

4 Music of the Middle Ages Plainsong and Monophonic style Monophonic – single line of melody Might be enriched by the use of drones Melodies are often long and flowing Percussion used in secular music Rhythm was often not notated. We assume that it was tied to text in vocal music and to dance in instrumental music Slow and Relaxed Anonymous composer Plainsong Use modal scales (as the ancient Greek did) Listening: Kyrie Eleison

5 Music of the Middle Ages Charlemagne Charles the Great (Charles le Magne), Charles I Crowned Holy Roman Emperor 800AD Priest & Clergy were the: Alignment with Roman Catholic Church Everything in the name of God only educated people of the time only people who could read and write Spread of Christianity – Spread of Sacred Music lived in monasteries, and in silence Helped spread Christianity throughout Europe Even if he had to kill everyone to do it printed Bibles and celebrated Mass: Most Importantly a Reenactment of the Last Supper of Jesus Music was used to help celebrate Mass

6 Music of the Middle Ages Guido d’Arezzo (990-1050) Worked at Schola Cantorum Taught Gregorian Chants to priests Had six stanzas Frustrated with how long it takes to learn all the music Each stanza began on a pitch one step higher than the previous Used first syllable of each stanza to help priests remember what each note sound like “Ut queant laxis” (a hymn to John the Baptist) Was a hymn that everyone knew Developed a system for teaching Singing & Reading Music

7 Music of the Middle Ages Guido d’Arezzo (990-1050) cont. “Ut queant laxis” (a hymn to John the Baptist) cont. Invention of early *Solfege System Sound of Music – Do, a deer a female deer… Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol (So), La, Ti (Si), Do Guido’s System was called Solmization: Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, SI *(Sancte Io-annes) Listening: Ut queant laxis Listening: Flashmob Do, Re, Mi

8 Music of the Middle Ages Guido d’Arezzo (990-1050) cont. Guidonian Hand Each Solfege syllable is assigned to a part of the hand Point-and-Sing Music Notation First systemized 4-line staff Marked “F” Line – Bass Cleff


10 Music of the Middle Ages New Developments Organum First attempt at harmony and Polyphony Originally improvised, later written Consists of Gregorian chant and one or more additional melodic lines The same melody transposed by a consonant interval, usually a perfect fifth or fourth, creating “Parallel” melodies – Parallel Organum Cantus Firmus “Fixed Song” – the pre-existing melody (a Gregorian Chant) that forms the basis of a polyphonic song Typically put in the bottom voice May be slowed down while other voices were composed over it Different from Organum – not note against note, but one vs. few or many


12 Music of the Middle Ages New Developments cont. Liturgical Dramas Play not based on a Bible story but a premise of Good vs. Evil New Music, words, costumes and sets are used in the pageant Stories told at the beginning of high Holy church days All Liturgical Dramas are based on Bible Stories Christmas, Easter, etc. Morality Plays All the characters are fictitious New music is used (Not based on a chant) Listening: Ordo Virtutum – “Play of the Virtues” A soul gets tempted by both the angels and the devil Music is used to represent both characters

13 Music of the Middle Ages New Developments cont. Troubadours – France (1100) Music starts to adapt the rhythm from poetry and is no longer free flowing First poet/composers Notes start to have length Sing about love, wars & Heroes Listening: Micrologus Traveled across Europe in the 12 th & 13 th century Unlike Sacred Music, instruments were used for accompaniment. Estampie Instrument dance of the Middle Ages. Suggested Listening: Mediaeval Baebes Listening: Sancte Sator Listening: Robin Hood and Maid Marian

14 Music of the Middle Ages Ars Antiqua 1170-1310 Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) First university of the Middle Ages Completed 200 years later A mystical nun who, among many other things, composed music for: Construction begins in 1164 Liturgical Dramas & Morality Plays (e.g. Play of the Virtues) University of Paris (1150) Organized program of study: liberal arts and languages Not Just the Bible Notre Dame Cathedral

15 Music of the Middle Ages Ars Antiqua cont. Leonin (1135-1201) Worked and taught at the Notre Dame School Listening: Perotin – Alleluia Nativitas Perotin (1180-1238) Taught Music Composition Experimented with chants and composed Polyphonic Organums Adam de la Halle (1237-1288) Invented Motet First Musical Theatre piece: Le Jeu de Robin et Marion (Listening) Most famous troubadour ever

16 Music of the Middle Ages Ars Nova 1300 Ars Nova Notandi (1322) - a treatise on music by Philippe de Vitry of France Stems were added to the neumes, creating our modern system of notation Literary works became more about sensuality than virtue Composers could specify rhythm pattern There were so many changes and innovations in musical style that this era was named the time of “New Art” Polyphony NOT based on chant Syncopation appears Secular music more important than sacred New system of Music Notation evolved


18 Music of the Middle Ages Guillaume de Machaut (1304-1377) Single most important figure in French Ars Nova The last great poet who was also a composer Created many of the musical forms of today: Rondos, Ballades, etc. After the completion of Notre Dame Cathedral, Guillaume de Machaut was commissioned to compose a Mass for its opening: Worked as Court Musician and cleric for royal families A Poet & Musician Wrote both Sacred and Secular music Messe de Notre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) First complete “Ordinary (Order) or Mass”

19 Music of the Middle Ages Messe de Notre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) Some parts performed/doubled on instruments First Polyphonic Mass Ordinary (Order) Written for four voices Sacred music became increasing complex as church began to use more polyphonic and instrumental music i.Kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”) ii.Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest”) iii.Credo (“I believe in one God”) iv.Sanctus (“Holy, Holy, Holy”) v.Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God”) Listening: Excerpts from Messe de Notre Dame Arguably the most complex and most significant musical work of the Middle Ages

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