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Early Music

Intro to Ancient, Medieval & Renaissance music
by

Robert Katz

on 12 January 2017

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Transcript of Early Music

Ancient Greece Pythagoras - Mathematical basis for perfect consonances P8, P5, P4 Plato and Aristotle discuss the importance of music in education and the power of music to influence human behavior: ethos Greek musicians create a system of music theory defining intervals, scale patterns, etc., that form the basis of Western music theory. Roman civilization adopted and absorbed many aspects of Ancient Greek culture, including music. The adoption of Christianity by the Roman Emperor
Constantine in 313 CE led to the development of a new musical practice intended for use by the church. Older, pagan musical styles were discouraged. The western Roman empire falls in 476 CE and while the political structure of Rome collapses, the Roman Church continues to grow in size and influence throughout western Europe. The period following the fall of Rome is called the Middle Ages, or Medieval Era. During this period most of the population of western Europe is converted to Christianity and the church dominates most aspects of everyday life. Between the period of the fall of Rome and the creation of the Holy Roman Empire under the Frankish King, Charlemagne, the musical practice in the churches of Europe was diverse and varied. The basic style of church music of the period is today called plainchant, or simply chant. The regional variant forms of the sacred chants are referred to as "chant dialects." Charlemagne's reign over a territory that was formerly part of the Roman Empire represents the most significant unifying force in European culture following the fall of Rome. He instituted reforms intended to eliminate variant practices of religion and consequently the music associated with religious practice. Standardization of Christian ritual, known as liturgy, included the standardizing of musical practice as well. This uniform set of prayers and melodies become the basis of what we call Gregorian chant, named for the influential pope Gregory I (540-604), although he actually had no connection to the music whatsoever. The standardization of musical practice was facilitated by advancements in musical notation over the next 800-900 years. The earliest types of notations were shaped figures written above text called neumes. http://www.cedarville.edu/cf/advancement/cbts/heritagegallery/exhibits/sing-to-the-lord-a-new-song/?device=Mobile Other important developments relate to the creation of the musical staff, clefs, and learning to sing new chants at sight. Father Guido of Arezzo (c. 991-1033) played a prominent role in developing each of these elements including the F, G, and C clefs and the syllabification of the musical hexachord:
Ut (Do) - Re - Mi - Fa - Sol - La Introduction to
Early Music History
from Ancient Greece
through the early Middle Ages
Full transcript