2 Medieval PeriodMusic of the Medieval Period was categorized intosacred and secular music.Sacred music was music that was used by the Roman Catholic ChurchSecular music was music that had no relation to the Church.
3 Sacred MusicSacred music evolved from a form called the Gregorian chant.Gregorian chants were named after Pope Gregory I and they are the official pieces of the Catholic Church.Originally handed down through oral tradition, later neumes, little ascending and descending symbols, were written above the words to suggest the contour of the melody.
4 Characteristics of Gregorian chants Melody –very free-flowingThe chant moves up and down by steps and small leaps within a narrow range (conjunct).Some chants are responsorial – soloist/chorus3 main classes:Syllabic – 1 note set to each syllable of text.Neumatic – a few notes set to 1 syllable.Melismatic – many notes set to 1 syllable
5 Characteristics of Gregorian chants Harmony –monophonic in texture, so have no harmony.Melodies are modal, set in one of the church modes or scales.No strong pull to tonicRhythm - no precise rhythm - Notes may be held for a duration of “short” or “long,” but no complex rhythms are used.
6 Characteristics of Gregorian chants Form - Some Gregorian chants tend to be in ternary (ABA) form. A cantor begins the piece with an introductory solo, called an incipit. The choir then sings the piece and at the end the cantor concludes with his solo, which was often in a reduced dynamic level and featured a narrower range of pitches.Texture - Gregorian chants are one of the few pieces of music that are entirely monophonic. There is only one melodic line in a Gregorian chant.
7 Characteristics of Gregorian chants Medium - Gregorian chants are traditionally sung by all-male choirs. Some Gregorian chants, however, were written for women choirs.Context - Gregorian chants were used by the Church to aid prayers. Monks (and occasionally nuns in convents) would sing them.The Mass has 2 categories of prayers:The Proper – texts that vary according to the dayThe Ordinary – texts that remain the same for every Mass.
8 Significant Composers Hildegard of Bingen - The first woman composer with a significant output of works.Most other composers are unknown since works were given to the Church.
9 Polyphony The combination of two or more simultaneous melodic lines. Helped bring about meters and precise notation and pitchFrom , composers would write a line in parallel motion to the chant at a fixed interval of a fifth or a fourth above the original line.From 900 – 1200, the upper line moved independently of the original chant.After 1100, upper lines even began gaining rhythmic independence.
10 OrganumA Gregorian chant to which additional lines were added is called organum.The original Gregorian chant on which the upper lines are based is called the cantus firmus.Two composers, Leonin and Perotin, were instrumental to the development of organum. Leonin was the director of music at the Notre Dame Cathedral and Perotin, his pupil, succeeded him. These two composers and their students are thus appropriately referred to as the School of Notre Dame.
11 Organum Significant Composers Leonin- He is the first known composer to use measured rhythm in his compositions.Perotin- He is the first known composer to write three simultaneous, distinct lines.
12 Sacred music was primarily vocal. This was mostly due to the connection of instruments to pagan rituals.Nevertheless, instruments did become more important over the span of the Medieval Period.The most important instrument of sacred music in the Medieval Period is the organ.Early organs are not like modern organs; though they were loud, they were much more difficult to operate and required a great deal of physical strength.
13 Early Medieval MotetToward the end of the 13th century, musicians began writing new texts for the upper voices of organum – resulting in the MotetThe motet is a polytextual (more than one text) vocal composition, either sacred and/or secular, which sometimes had instrumental accompaniment.