Medieval Church Music 800 – 1400 Plainchant/Plainsong The earliest written down music, sung in churches by monks & priests Monophonic texture Latin text Irregular rhythms, freely following text melismatic Often melismatic Modal
Modal Modes came before major and minor system of tonality NO sharps or flats They have NO sharps or flats All medieval compositions are based on plainchant which in turn are based on modes. The Dorian mode was very common. Try creating a chant-like melody using this mode
Developing into Choral composition unison interweaving Music began to be written with 2 then 3 lines of plainchant, first in unison, then interweaving sacred These compositions were sacred and formed the basis of church worship. Every part of the service was sung. imitate ANTIPHONY Often 2 choirs would sing opposite each other and the music would imitate between the 2 groups creating ANTIPHONY, like an echo.
MASS mass The mass is what the Christian Church originally called (and still do in the Catholic and Anglican Church) the service, where you worship God’s WORD and receive his Body & Blood in COMMUNION. Music was written for each part of this service.
MASS The text was in LATIN and divided into these sections: Kyrie Gloria Credo Sanctus & Benedictus Agnus Dei SATB There are normally many voices ( SATB ) singing in imitation
Motet Motetsmall scalevocal polyphonic A Motet is a small scale, vocal work performed in church, separate from the mass. The voices are layered on top of each other, creating a polyphonic texture, with lots of IMITATION. Sacredsecular It can be Sacred and later secular. It sometimes has accompaniment It has LATIN text Later, composers mixed religious text with everyday vocabulary, which annoyed the Church
The Reformation & Musical Development Chromaticism By the renaissance, the Mass and Motet were still the most popular compositions, but more parts were written and there was more Chromaticism (adding accidentals to the modes) Composers started to merge secular music with sacred The Reformation meant that Protestants required music written in their own language rather than Latin Musicians were performing in taverns Which lead to the development of secular Songs and dances
Renaissance Sacred Music - Anthem religious small scale A religious small scale vocal work, performed in the Protestant church Equivalent to a motet but the text is in ENGLISH A Cappella Mainly A Cappella Imitative and Polyphonic texture Imitative and Polyphonic texture
Renaissance Secular Music Queen Elizabeth 1 st is now on the thrown Composers were writing songs for music in the court or at home madrigals These are called madrigals and can have up to 4 different vocal parts, but only one voice on each part
Madrigal There are 3 types of Madrigal Madrigal (proper) Ballett Ayre A Madrigal proper is very IMITATIVE Very POLYPHONIC Uses word painting to highlight the ENGLISH words
Madrigal – Ballett This is the most common type of madrigal played in the exam. And the easiest to recognise! Strophic It is Strophic (each verse is the same) It has a refrain (other name for a chorus) which always includes ‘FA LA LA’ homophonic Mainly homophonic Dance-like rhythms Lighter style
Madrigal – Ayre Solo voice with Lute/Viol accompaniment Solo voice with Lute/Viol accompaniment Very expressive and often melancholy Subject often covers love
Consort A consort is a group of Same Instrument playing Together. Most common In Renaissance, were Different sizes of VIOLS VIOLS – early form of cello without A spike on the bottom. They Came in varying sizes
Dances Pavane – Slow and Stately Galliard – more lively with 3 beats in the bar Dances were Grouped in Pairs and later Made up a suite
Main Characteristics Sacred Choral music Most important music was Sacred Choral music – the oldest, written in the form of plainchant modes chromaticism All compositions were based on modes, but this slowly changed throughout the Renaissance as composers added more chromaticism secular music Madrigal dances Later, secular music evolved with the Madrigal and dances