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Day No. 5: Early Music; Middle Ages

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by

Whitney George

on 31 May 2012

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Transcript of Day No. 5: Early Music; Middle Ages

The Middle Ages covers the time from the fall of the Roman Empire (5th c. C.E) to the Age of Columbus- 1,000 years Music & the Church- Plainchant the Church cultivated, supported, and directed music as it did the other arts, such as architecture, painting, etc...
Composers were holy orders and musicans received their training from the church
Music was written down by monks
The advances in music served the purposes of the church- to bring humans into contact with the spirits or god
Music outside the Church- Popular Music minstrels (joungleurs)- popular musicians
no record of the music they performed Music and Church Services: Liturgy Liturgy- A set of services arranged according to the calendar, noting how to celebrate or worship on any given day
Many religions have liturgies that involve singing or chanting- Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, etc...
Aside from the Mass, which might happen during more than once in a day, there were no fewer than 8 other services a day, all of which involved music Plainchant Plainchant- also known as Gregorian chant. It's the collection of melodies for the liturgy
'Plain' refers to the texture of the music because it's unaccompanied, single lines for voices Characteristics of Plainchant Some plainchant consist of a simple, monotone recitation
Others are intricate songs with many notes
They are typically NONMETRICAL
HARMONICALLY the music is arranged using modes, rather than major/minor scale Primary Modes Secondary Modes Gregorian Recitation & Gregorian Melody Reciting tone- the main tone of the chanting melody
Antiphon- pieces one sings everyday- short
Words that have more than one note to them are called MELISMAS Plainchant
antiphon
"In paradisum" Hildegard of Bigen
Plainchant sequence
"Columba aspexit" May the Angels lead you to paridise
and the Martyrs, when you arrive,
escort you to the holy city of Jerusalem

May the Angel choir sustain you,
and with Lazarus, who was once poor,
may you be granted eternal rest. Hildegard was the first great woman composer
composed plainchant melodies as an abbess
wrote a famous book on religion, natural science, and medicine
SEQUENCE: a more elaborate melody than an antiphon, but it's a series of small tunes sung twice, (A-A'-B-B'-C-C', etc...)
DRONE- a single two note chord that sounds throughout a song

Troubador & Trouvere Songs troubadors (south france)/trouveres (north)/minnesingers- noble poet composers in the 12th and 13th c.- age of chivarly
jougleurs- popular musicians who often improvised over a drone
used poetic types to help determine the form of the music
dawn song- knightly love
pastourelle- unsuccessful seduction dialogue
STROPHIC- different lyrics always set to the same melody Bernart de Ventadorn
Troubador Song
"La dousa votz" The Estampie estampie- an instrumental dance
usually in a triple (compound) meter
one line pieces that are repeated and improvised upon How did Early Music Sound? authentic performance practice
very few instruments in good condition exist from this period
these instruments don't come with instruction manuals---so we don't know exactly how they were played
we can't recreate a lot of the instruments exactly
notation was inconsistent and vague
The Evolution of Polyphony orgaum- plainchant melody with an added melody in harmony first the 2nd melody was added in parallel motion (parallel organum)
the 2nd melody slowly began to have more independence
singers started to decorate the melody
more fixed rhythm because of the additional voices Perotin
Organum
"Alleluia. Diffusa est gratia" Later Medieval Polyphony composers took fragments of Gregorian Chant and repeated it in the bottom voice, layered it with two other melodies each with different lyrics----MOTET Anonymous
Round
"Sumer Is Icumen In" Summer is a-comming in,
Loudly sing cuckoo!
Groweth seed, bloometh the meadow,
And springs the word anew;
Sing cuckoo! Ars Nova "Ars Nova"- a music treatise
isorhythmic- in very complicated polyphonic music, a mathematically derived formula to determine rhythm Guillame de Machaut
Chanson
"Dame, de qui toute ma joice vient" Chanson- song
non-imitative polyphony
melismatic style of melody
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