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Music & Society In Medieval Tuscany.

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Presentation on theme: "Music & Society In Medieval Tuscany."— Presentation transcript:

1 Music & Society In Medieval Tuscany

2 Music in the Church Cathedrals helped indoctrinate the public & reinforced the structure of power. Cruciform shape Open, ethereal spaces w/ high windows Altar faced East, towards Jerusalem Visual art was stylized and didactic Processions & spectacle highlighted meaning Music helped get the message out

3 People “heard” Mass Rood screen made a clear view impossible
Public only took communion a few times a year (Easter, Christmas, etc.) Public did not participate in the Mass through responses Public clearly separated from clergy Public did not understand Latin

4 Parts of the Cathedral Ambulatory: walkway around the apse
Apse: Semicircle east of the sanctuary Sanctuary: Contained the high altar Presbytery: Assisting priests sat here Choir: Where the choir/clergy assembled Transept: Horizontal part of the cross Nave: Where the public stood


6 Music happens in the Choir (duh)
The Choir (architecture) is the place where the choir (singers) sat. Divided into 2 sides, decani & cantoris, which faced each other Rood screen separated the clergy & public Rood screen often wooden or stone, and highly decorated



9 So what did they sing? Gregorian Chant was the official music of the Catholic Church. Supposedly dictated by God to the Holy Spirit, who (in the form of a dove) sang it to Pope Gregory, who sang it to a scribe, who wrote it down. Much like a game of telephone Good story, bad history

10 Musical Style Smooth conjunct melodies Stepwise motion & small leaps
Nonmetric (no strong rhythm or beat) Melodies governed by 8 “modes” or scales Mode: Pattern of whole & half steps No sudden or climactic cadences All this is aesthetically intentional!

11 For example… Chant from the Mass Ordinary Sanctus, Sanctus Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth Pleni sunt caeli et tua gloria Hosanna in excelsis Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domine

12 Writing it down Bodleian Library, MS add. 30850, f. 105v 11th century
Written in neumatic notation

13 Notation evolves By the 14th century, square notation had replaced the older styles Note the use of a musical staff, a forerunner of our modern one

14 But what is the Mass Ordinary?
The texts of the Mass are divided into two main parts: Ordinary texts stay the same every day Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei Proper texts change every day Alleluia, Gradual, Offertory, Communion, etc. As time wears on, composers begin to focus on the Ordinary texts for polyphonic music.

15 Polyphony Polyphony probably existed in Italian medieval churches, but none survives. In the late 14th century, there is a surge of polyphonic sacred music in Italy Johannes Ciconia ( ) Son of a priest From France, but worked in Rome Style heavily influence by French music

16 Ciconia, Gloria (polyphonic)
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te. Glorificamus te. Gratia agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis….

17 Music in the City Secular music in medieval Tuscany took several forms: Madrigal Caccia Ballata Lauda Dance music

18 Madrigal Usually written for 2 voices
Subjects often idyllic or pastoral Love was a popular theme Sometimes satirical Several 3-line stanzas and a closing couplet Closing couplet called ritornello All stanzas had the same music Eg. Jacopo da Bologna, Vestisse la cornachia

19 Caccia Flourished c Written for 2-3 equal voices, usually canonic, w the lowest voice set freely Means “hunt” or “chase” Irregular poetic forms, often w/ ritornello Descriptive vocal effects mimic the hunt Bird songs, horn calls, echos, etc. Eg. Francesco Landini, De! Dinmi tu

20 Ballata Flourished later than the madrigal & caccia
Originally a song to accompany dancing Usually for 2-3 voices Similar to the French ballade in structure Francesco Landini ( ) Leading composer of ballate Blinded as a child by smallpox Eg. Landini, Non so qual I’ mia volglia

21 Lauda Monophonic, vernacular songs
Sung by lay confraternities and penitents in processions 13th c. Italy saw a penitential craze, laudesi companies increased, like Orsanmichele in Florence Quasi-sacred: religious texts, but not in Latin and not liturgical Eg. Laudate la surrectione

22 Other monophonic song Trovatori: like the French Troubadours
Literally “finders of song” Often aristocratic, singer-songwriters Example of Troubadour song Beatriz, Countess of Dia- A chantar me’r Courtly love a popular theme

23 Dance Music Istampita Saltarello Ballata (instrumental performance)

24 In conclusion Sacred music Secular Music Gregorian Chant
Some sacred polyphony Laude are quasi-sacred Secular Music Madrigal Caccia Ballata Dance music

25 To what purpose? Each type of music served a different function in society Chant was reserved for the liturgy itself, and was vital in meditation and indoctrination Laude provided devotional music Madrigals, Caccie, Ballate all sung by the nobility as entertainment.

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