MUSIC IN EUROPE OF THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES , c. 1000 to 1350
MUSIC c, 1150
Hildegard of Bingen, the Sybil of the Rhine:
YouTube, Medieval Music, #2
Hildegard of Bingen, 12
century Benedictine abbess: poet, reformer, philosopher,
musician, and prophet (advisor to popes and emperors).
Hildegard , 10
child of a noble German family, born 1098, died 1179
Saw visions of light from age 3, but hid the fact
Age 8, went to live in the cell of an anchoress, Jutta
When Jutta died, Hildegard (age 38) became abbess of the new convent that had formed
Age 42, an overwhelming vision:
And it came to pass .
.. when I was 42 years and 7 months old, that the heavens
were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my
entire brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, not
burning but warming.
.. and suddenly I understood of the meaning of expositions
of the books.
An advisor to popes and emperors [
writer, herbalist, prophet
Untrained in music, this was only one of her ways of expressing her visions of the
Wrote Musical dramas that were performed in her convent [There is some evidence that
her music and moral play
("Play of Virtues") were performed in her own
YouTube, Medieval Music, #1
Just as the power of God flies everywhere and surrounds all things with nothing
resisting it, so also the rationality of people holds great strength for listening to
the sounds of living voices, and the soul of people can be aroused from
sluggishness to watchfulness by a musical performance.
Scrivias III, 13:13
She describes MUSIC as the
means of recapturing the original joy and beauty of
. According to her before the Fall, Adam had a pure voice and joined angels in
singing praises to god. After the fall, music was invented and musical instruments made
in order to worship god appropriately. Perhaps this explains why her music most often
sounds like what we imagine angels singing to be like.