MUSIC100 Chapter 4 - MUSIC100 Chapter 4 THE MIDDLE AGES:...

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MUSIC100 Chapter 4 THE MIDDLE AGES: 400 – 1400 General Characteristics of Medieval Music - A hug e qu antity of m usic has survived from the Middle Ages - The e arliest written exa mples com e from the 8 th to 9 th century, but much of the music dates from even earlier - By the year 1000, an e normous a mount of m usic had be en co mposed and was b eing p erformed throughout Europe - Because one of the unifying characteristics of the Middle Ages is that influence of Christianity, it is not surprising that the Church also do minated m e dieval m usic - Most of the surviving m usic from the m e dieval period was d esigned for use in the Christian (Rom an Catholic) liturgy; this m usic is known as liturgical music - Must was co mpos ed for events of a se mireligious character, such as processions and coronations - Most of the liturgical a nd cere monial m usic is vocal m usic; the m elodies are very s mo a nd flowing - Besides religious vocal m usic, there were m a ny other kinds of m usic a s well: folk son work songs, d ances, and instru m e ntal pieces - By the late m e dieval p eriod, 2 innovations were e m erging o The rise of written secular song (nonreligious) o The rise of polyphony – music with more than 1 melody line or part sounding at a time o Both of these innovations had vital consequences for the entire later history of Western music - The idea that composers could devote their attention to topics outside of religion – su a s love, political loyalty, or d ancing – broad en ed the scope of m usic imm ens ely - Polyphony g ave rise to harmony, which is one of the m ain features that distinguishes m ost Western m usic from that of other cultures
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The Music of the Middle Ages I: Plainchant - The vocal m usic for church services from the e arly Middle Ages is known as plainchant - Many p eople call it “Gregorian chant” after the famous Pope Gregory I - Plainchant is m onophonic: only 1 line of m usic is perform ed at a time - Several people m ay sing that one line unison, but still only 1 note is sounded at a tim - It ranges from very simple m elodies, centered primarily on a single pitch, to highly elaborate ones, with long, flowing lines - The nu m b er of singers can chang e, with shifts b etwe en a solo singer, a s m all group o singers, a nd a whole choir - The text can be s et in different ways - The text s etting m ay b e syllabic , with 1 note for every syllable o the text, or may be melismatic , with a large number of notes sung to a single syllable; or it may be something in between - The middle style, with a s m all nu mb er of notes p er syllable of the text, s known as
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MUSIC100 Chapter 4 - MUSIC100 Chapter 4 THE MIDDLE AGES:...

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