Lesson 5 CHRISTIAN PERIOD Objectives: After doing though this lesson you should be able to; 1. give the different development of music during Christian period. 2. identify the characteristic of each development. 3. develop deep appreciation on their music. NEXT CONTENTS PREVIOUS 4 6 Lesson 7 8 9
From the birth of Christ to 1300, literature, art and music were greatly influence by the church. During the early days of Christianity, Christians used to gather secretly in the catacomb (Underground cave) to perform their religious rites and to escape the persecution of the Roman Pagan. Their services were simple. No instrumental music allowed because instruments are closely associated with pagans. Music consisted of chant singing only.
Gradually the Christian community so expanded that in the early part of the 5th century, Christianity was proclaimed as the state religion by the Emperor Constantine. With this proclamation great cathedral were built throughout the empire and much attention was given to ritual church.
Around the 9th century, it was discovered that one melody sang with an original monophonic chant produced very interesting sound combinations. This combination of melodies is called polyphony.
The first experiment of polyphony consisted in singing second part four or five tones below the given melodic line. At first the added voices were parallel to the given melody. The result was the organum. Later melodic independence directions at the same time resulting in the Motet, Conductus, etc. The development of polyphonic choral music reached its points of perfection in the 6th century of perfection in the 16th century with the composer Palestrina.
NEXT CONTENTS PREVIOUS
Secular Music Although Secular (non-religion) music was in existence even before the 11th century it was not until then it gained much widespread popularity. In the 21st century a new type of singer known as THROUBADOURS and TROVERES appeared. The troubadours known as from southern France whereas the traverses were from northern France. They traveled though the land of singing of fair, young maids and deeds of heroic knights. These singers accompanied themselves on the flute, violin or a form of harp. They were good at improvising songs to fit occasions. In Germany, these traveling poet singers were organized called MINNE SINGERS. When more people become interested in singing societies were organized. Musical contest were held and the winner was given the title of mastersinger. Wagner’s opera “Die Mastersinger”, tells the story of such contest. NEXT CONTENTS PREVIOUS