Music in the Middle Ages

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					Music in the
Middle Ages
 400-1450 AD
      Medieval Culture
• The Middle Ages began after the fall of
  the Western Roman Empire. (476 AD)
• It witnessed the first sustained
  urbanization of Northern and Western
  Europe.
• Present European Political boundaries
  are the result of military and dynastic
  achievements during this period.
Medieval Culture




 A Map of Europe in the early Middle Ages
      Medieval Culture

• We divide the Medieval Period into 3
  sub periods:

Early Middle Ages (Dark Ages), 476-1000
      High Middle Ages, 1000-1200
      Later Middle Ages, 1200-1450
       Medieval Culture
             The Dark Ages
•   All Power flowed from the KING with the
    approval of the Roman Catholic Church.
•   During this time Europe saw low levels of
    economic activity .
•   Incursions by Non-Christians.
    (Arabs and Muslims)
•   Rise of Monasteries and Convents
       Medieval Culture
           High Middle Ages

•   Institutions of Lord-ship
•   Castle building
•   Mounted War Fare
•   Revived urban and commercial life.
•   Crusades: Popes attempt to cleanse the
    World of Paganism and convert others to
    Christianity.
        Medieval Culture
         The Later Middle Ages

•   Power shift from the Pope to the Monarch.
•   Rise of commercial interests.
•   Weakening customary ties of dependence.
•   THE BLACK DEATH
       Medieval Culture
      THE BLACK DEATH
• A viral hemorrhagic disease that spread
  among the people of Europe like wild fire.
• Thought to be started by Rats and filthy
  living conditions.
• Responsible for killing 1/3 of the World
  population in mid-14th Century.
Medieval Culture
      Medieval Culture
               The Church
• The major unifying Cultural Influence
• Played a significant role in governance.
• Large churches called Cathedrals were built
Medieval Culture
The Church Chain of Command
            GOD

           Pope

       Arch Bishops

         Bishops

          Priests
        Medieval Culture
• The Middle Ages witnessed the rise of
  Monasticism
• Religious practice where one gives up worldly
  pursuits in order to devote ones life to spiritual
  work.
• A MONESTARY was a community that housed
  these people who were called MONKS
• Monasteries are led by Abbots.
• Monasteries were the main outposts for
  Education and Literacy including Music
  Composition
Medieval Culture
         Medieval Culture
                  Some Other Things…

800:    Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman
        Emperor
1214:   Kublai Khan is emperor of China
1270:   Last crusade to the Holy Land
1307:   Divine Comedy was written by Dante Aligheri
1347:   Black Death begins in Europe
1386:   Chaucer writes Canterbury Tales
1386:   Donatello – Italian Sculptor
1431:   Joan of Arc was executed
1453:   Fall of Constantinople
5 Minute Break…
        Sacred Music in the
           Middle Ages
        Early Music of the Church…
•   Shaped in part by Greek, Hebrew, and Syrian
    influences.
•   Gregorian Chant:         Consists of a single line
    melody that is non-metric and is free from regular
    accent.
•   Gregorian Chant is also referred to as Plainchant
    or Plainsong.
•   Gregorian chant is set to Latin Sacred Texts.
•   It avoids wide leaps and dynamic contrast
    allowing for a kind of musical speech.
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• The Melodies of Gregorian Chant fall
  into 3 main categories…
              Syllabic
             Neumatic
             Melismatic
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• A Syllabic Gregorian Chant melody is
  when one note is sung to each syllable
  of the text.

• Example: Mary Had a Little Lamb
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• A Neumatic Gregorian Chant melody
  refers to a small group of notes set to
  one syllable.

• Example: Mary Had A Little Lamb,
  Variation 2
     Sacred Music in the
        Middle Ages
• A Melismatic Gregorian Chant melody
  is where many notes are set to one
  syllable.

• Example: Mary Had A Little Lamb,
  Variation 3
       Sacred Music in the
          Middle Ages
        Notating Gregorian Chant…
• At first, Gregorian Chants were passed down orally
  from generation to generation.
• As the number of chants increased, singers needed
  help remembering the outlines of the melodies.
• Thus, Neumes were developed.
• Neumes = ascending and descending signs that
  were written above the words to suggest the
  contours of the melody.
• Nuemes are the basis for music notation as we know
  it today.
Sacred Music in the
   Middle Ages
     Sacred Music in the
        Middle Ages
                The Mass
• The services of the Roman Catholic
  Church can be divided into two
  categories…


        The Daily Offices
           The Mass
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• The Offices are a series of services
  celebrated a various hours of the day in
  monasteries and convents.

Examples: Morning Prayer
          Evening Prayer
          Scripture Lectionary
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• The Mass is a reenactment of the
  sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
• This is the most solemn ritual of the
  Church.
• The collection of prayers that make up
  the mass falls into two categories…
             The Proper
            The Ordinary
      Sacred Music in the
         Middle Ages
• The Proper are texts that vary from day tot
  day throughout the church year.
• This is dependant upon which feast is being
  celebrated.

Example: Christmas
         Easter
         Lent
         Advent
       Sacred Music in the
          Middle Ages
• The Ordinary are texts that are fixed, or
  remain the same in every Mass.
• There are 5 items of the Ordinary…
                   Kyrie
                   Gloria
                   Credo
                  Sanctus
                 Agnus Dei
       Sacred Music in the
          Middle Ages
• The Names of the Ordinary portions of the
  Mass are in Greek
• The Text of the Ordinary portions are in Latin.
• Latin is the language of learning throughout
  the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
• The Catholic Church continued the use of
  Latin for the Mass until the middle of the 20th
  Century.
• Chant has been central to the celebration of
  the mass which was and remains the primary
  service of the Catholic Church.
Sacred Music in the
   Middle Ages


  To Be
Continued…

				
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posted:11/23/2011
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