Created by SuperMakaveli on Dec 7, 2010
Last updated: 12/07/10 at 08:49 AM
History of Music has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
The rediscovery and reevaluation of writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans suggested a "rebirth". Nineteenth-century historians seized on the idea to create our present image of "The Renaissance".
Starting in northern Italy, the hierarchical state -- led by either the urban bourgeoisie or despotic nobles -- replaced the fluid and often chaotic feudal system of the Middle Ages. For this reason, some historians refer to the Renaissance as the Early Modern Era
French poet and musician. Composer of monophonic and polyphonic music. Leading representative of the Ars nova tradition. Works: Sacred/ceremonial music, including Messe de Nostre Dame, 23 motets, hocket "David" Secular music, including 42 ballades, 22 rondeaux, 33 virelais, 19 lais, 1 complainte, 1 chanson royale
French composer of the trouvère tradition. Works:Monophonic chansons numbering about 15; two religious songs based on earlier chansons
Abbess, mystic, musician and writer. Composed plainchant and wrote learned treatises on natural science, medicine and theology. Works:77 pieces in the Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum and a mystery play, Ordo virtutum (includes 82 musical pieces)
After the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the former Roman lands were ruled by various barbarian lords. These lands were eventually united by the Frankish kings, culminating in the crowning of Charlemagne (742-814) as Holy Roman Emperor.
As the followers of the prophet Mohammed (570?-632) expanded their territory through the Middle East and the Mediterranean, they preserved and built on the knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Through conflict (the Crusades) and coexistence (the multicultural Iberian Peninsula), Europe gained much from its contacts with this rich culture.
Monophonic Style A simple monophonic texture might be enriched by the use of drones and (in secular music) percussion. Rhythm was often not notated. We assume that it was tied to text in vocal music and to dance in instrumental music. Melodies are often long and flowing. Texted music is often melismatic. Form comes from text in vocal music. The structure of instrumental music is based on repeating sections. Polyphonic Style Voices and instruments were often mixed. Nonimitative counterpoint, with voices moving at different rhythmic speeds, is the primary texture. Rhythms are often restless and active. Melodies are long and asymmetrical. Harmony is based on open fifths and octaves. Dissonances are often sharp and unexpected. Pieces are often built on a cantus firmus, and the structure is formed from repetitions of that melody.
Music was an integral part of Christian worship. The daily liturgy provided innumerable texts, all set to music in the style we call Gregorian chant. The church served as an important patron of the arts, specifically of music Throughout the period, the majority of composers were associated with and supported by the church.
As in many non-Western cultures, music in early medieval Europe did not have a system of notation. It was not until perhaps the ninth century that a basic system of notation was developed. Notating music was a difficult and time-consuming process. It was only in the cathedrals and monasteries that such work could be done on a regular basis. Therefore, nearly all the music preserved (until the twelfth century) was written for the church. The advent of notation also produced a markedly stable body of music, one of the features of Western musical culture.
Descriptions of polyphonic singing date back to the ninth century, but the practice actually began earlier in improvised performances. Polyphony is a distinctive feature of Western music. Its development became the primary focus for composers from the thirteenth century on. Complex polyphony demanded specialized training for composers. The composition of plainchant was primarily an activity of the monastery and convent, but by the fourteenth century, composers were more often members of the university-trained elite of the church. This change explains, in part, the lack of female composers of polyphony.
The Christian religion began as an underground sect of messianic Judaism in the first century C.E. Its practitioners were first persecuted, then tolerated; finally Christianity was accepted as the official religion of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Empire, it emerged as the central unifying force in medieval Europe.