The earliest music of the Middle Ages was sung slowly and without rhythm or harmony. Everyone sang the same thing, which is singing in unison. These simple tunes were called plainchant because of their simplicity.
Plainchant is an example of monophonic texture because it includes a single melodic line with no accompaniment.
During the Medieval period most music was not written down. Composers who did write their music down usually worked for the Catholic Church. The Church could afford to buy the materials the composers would need to write music, while people outside the Church were too poor to buy what was needed to compose music. Music of a religious nature is known as sacred music
1. What do you notice about this music that looks different from the written music we use today?
Music notation appeared around the year 900, but it only showed the pitch. It didn't tell you anything about the rhythm. A few hundred years would pass before the notes showed the rhythm. As music became more complicated, a standard needed to be created. Pope Gregory I declared that music be standardized. Hence the name, Gregorian Chant.
Born in 1098 A.D. in Bermersheim, Germany Hildegard was the 10 th child, and tradition required that her parents pledged her to the church
Her parents sent her to a convent at the age of 8 and at the age of 15 she became a nun Hildegard had her first visions as a young child Hildegard believed these visions were being given to her from a high power for insight into the scripture People in the church considered her a prophetess and visionary People began to seek her advice
Hildegard also wrote poems and at least 77 of them were set to music During a time when music for the church consisted of CHANTS sung by males, Hildegard composed music to be sung by females No other composer of this time wrote music for female voices! Wrote an encyclopedia of medicines she had developed and also wrote biographies
Example of CHANT also known as PLAINCHANT Unusual for chant because women are singing Women in Hildegard’s church sang several hours a day, so there was a great need for Hildegard to compose music This form of chant is colorful and uses a large MELODIC RANGE Kyrie Eleison means Lord Have Mercy Monophonic Texture Part of the Roman Catholic Mass