Exam Two: o Ancient Greece, Middle Ages, and Renaissance Music o Ancient Greece • A lot of people are the beginning of…. Music • What did the music sound like? No one’s sure what it sounded like before it was before recording technology, and rarely wrote things down – oral tradition • Philosophical Writing: Doctrine of Ethos (Aristotle, Plato) - Music is a vehicle for conveying ethical states - Music can effect us, how we feel and what we think - Ethos is a sense of character, of what your parents, society, etc instills in you over time - Still believe that music can influence you (rap), and certain music is appropriate in certain places Acoustic theories (Pythagoras) - Octaves, how to use pitches in scale - They also felt that through studying of music in sound and found patterns, they believed that music could tap into the natural order of the universe • Western Music: harmonic qualities major/minor, 7 keys plus flat and sharp (*not going to ask*): but Greeks had more than major and minor called modes. - Scales: manly, feminine, passionate • Musical pervaded all aspects of Greek society: Olympic Games - Music competition in Olympic games in Ancient Greece - Virtuosic: it means music that is really hard - Virtuosic instrumentalists and singers competing, not necessarily for beauty but for impressiveness Greek Drama (‘Greek Chorus’) - Sang at least part of the Greek Drama that imitated their real life - Chorus is usually the moral police in the drama • Two basic type of instruments: One kind of harp/guitar like The other flute-ish o Characteristics of Greek Music • Monophonic texture (NO HARMONY) • Rhythm was dictated by the rhythm of words (NO METER) Music was patterned and formulated after speech and the flow of the words • Many scale options (other than major/minor), each suggesting a mood • Vocal AND instrumental music Instrumental still imitated speech patterns
o Epitaph of Seikilos • Written on a tomb, little song because he died • Starts and ends abruptly because only half survived o Middle Ages • Only sacred music has survived – Schola cantorum • Talking about the church – Chruch is main body that kept music going… only few secular (non-Church) music but not written down Certain priests were sent to Schola cantorum (singing school) to learn which things to sing in services • Gregorian chant Pope named Gregory around the time this music was being collected and every Church used on Sunday Monophonic texture (NO HARMONY) Only voices, no instruments - Instruments bad Stepwise melodic motion - No jumps, pitches that were close together… one note flowed into the next Neither meter nor recurring rhythms - Rhythm determined by Latin text Syllabic vs. Melismatic - Stifled creativity, only certain things could be written for church - Only creativity was to mess around with the syllables - Syllabic: one note per syllable - Meslismatic: lots of notes per syllable o Renaissance (1475-1600) • Rebirthing culture: Greeks original culture
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