Life was tough… 20% of women died during childbirth 20% of children died during birth or infancy Men and women would marry as young as 12-14 years old….typically, though, women were 17-18 years old and men were in their late 20s or 30s
Different times… Entertainment Games and sports, hunting, banquets, jousts and tournaments Feast days were very important
Feast Days in just the month of February: 1st St Brigid and St Ignatius 2nd Candlemas4th St Gilbert 5th St Agatha 9th Purification of St Mary 11th St Frideswide14th St Valentine 16th St Juliana 23rd St Milburga24th St Mathias 28th St Oswald
So what does all this mean for music? The Catholic Church was the center of musical life Mainly vocal The Church frowned on instruments because of their earlier role in pagan rites. “To what purpose, I pray you, is that terrible blowing of bellows, expressing rather the cracks of thunder than the sweetness of a Voyce.” –St. Aethelred Organs were played on special occaisions…people sometimes complained that the noise was a distraction to worshipers
Gregorian Chant! The official music of the Roman Catholic Church for over 1,000 years Single line of music without accompaniment Represents the voice of the Church, rather than any single individual Flexible rhythm with little sense of beat
3 kinds of Gregorian chant Syllabic One syllable for every note Mary Had a Little Lamb Melismatic Few syllables over many notes Angels We Have Heard on High “Gloria” Neumatic In between: one syllable over a few notes Amazing Grace
Pope Gregory I AKA: St. Gregory the Great Reorganized the Catholic liturgy Although Gregorian chant gets its name from this pope, he is not the sole creator of Gregorian chant
How did they learn music? In the early middle ages, music was all passed on by oral tradition. Write down what I say… Is this the most accurate way of doing things?
Guidonian Hand Each hand joint represented a note Teachers could point to a joint in order to teach monks new chant music Guido d’Arezzo most likely did not create this method, but it was named after him Let’s try it ourselves…
Well that works, but let’s think of something better. Imagine, for a moment, that we never had written music before. How would you create it? Guido came up with the basic music notation system Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La Does that look familiar?
Monophony What does all of this chant have in common? Let’s have a brave volunteer…
Congratulations! You’ve just sung monophony! Monophony=Single line of music. Any voice singing or any instrument playing by itself is considered monophonic music However: more than one voice or instrument can perform in unison and still be considered monophonic (Gregorian Chant) Monophony was the main form of music in the early part of the middle ages