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Music Study Guide

Music Study Guide - Chapter 11-Culture The Fall of the...

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Chapter 11-Culture The Fall of the Roman empire (476 C.E.) marked the beginning of the Middle Ages In the Dark Ages (500-1000) all power flowed from the king and church, but the clash between church and state was inevitable. Charlemagne (742-814) believed in a strong central government. He was the legendary emperor of the franks. One of his regrets was that he never learned how to write, so to mark his rule, he left behind a magnificent library and system of social justice. Monasteries were known for preserving and transmitting learnings of the ancient world. Most of the music of the world was predominantly religious. One notable person was Hildegard of Bingen, who was known for writings on natural history and medicine as well as poetry and music for special church services. The late Middle Ages (1000-1500) were known for its great cathedrals and the founding of universities. Trade flourished with the rise of the merchant class, where countries traded what they had for what they lacked, and allowed merchants a form of freedom that soon lead to self run governments and trade guilds The written arts had an influence at the time. The most notable of those are Chanson de Roland (1100 France), Dante’s Devine Comedy (1307 Italy), and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tails (1386 England). The visual arts was dominated by Lorenzetti (ex. Siena’s Town Hall) Other important events of the late middle ages included the crusades , in which Catholic knights tried to capture Holy lands of Muslims, and Women’s rise in society, due to chivalry, universal cult of Mary, mother of Christ, and the poetic concept of romantic love. Chapter 12-Sacred Music of the Middle Ages The codifying of the melodies liturgy, which refers to the set order of church services and to the structure of each service, was organized by Pope Gregory the Great (590-604). The melodies are known today as Gregorian chants (also known as plainchant or plain song). Gregorian chant is a single line monophonic melody. There are 3 categories of Gregorian chant: Syllabic (1 note per syllable of text), neumatic (small groups of 1-6 notes sung to a syllable), and melismatic (long groups of notes per syllable). Neumes, or ascending and descending symbols written above words, were used as a form of sheet music at the time. Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony alike used a variety of modes, or scale patterns, that possessed a strong pull to the tonic note. Church service is split into the Offices (series of services) and Masses (reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ). The prayers in the mass are split into two categories: the Proper
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(daily varying texts) and the Ordinary (text that remains the same). There are Gregorian Chants in both categories of the mass. The Kyrie (first item in the ordinary of the mass) is in a three part (ternary) form. It consists of three different musical phrases (A, B, C). The number three evokes the Trinity. It is sung in a responsorial manner, alternating between a solo singer and a chorus. It is in neumatic form for the first phrase, and melismatic over the following two phrases.
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