Music in the Middle Ages

Document Sample
Music in the Middle Ages Powered By Docstoc
					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
• 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
        Medieval Culture
         The Later Middle Ages

•   Power shift from the Pope to the Monarch.
•   Rise of commercial interests.
•   Weakening customary ties of dependence.
       Medieval Culture
• 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


       Arch Bishops


        Medieval Culture
• The Middle Ages witnessed the rise of
• Religious practice where one gives up worldly
  pursuits in order to devote ones life to spiritual
• 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
Medieval Culture
         Medieval Culture
                  Some Other Things…

800:    Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman
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
•   Gregorian Chant:         Consists of a single line
    melody that is non-metric and is free from regular
•   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…
      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

• 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

        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
• 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

Example: Christmas
       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…
                 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
• 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

Shared By: