During a period when women were discouraged from having any kind of activity that brought them to public light, Hildegard was an author, poet, composer and religious philosopher. She was a noted theologian, visiting preacher, and acted as a consultant exorcist. Even more astounding was the wide range of topics she chose to write about. In addition to religious topics, she wrote about natural history, cosmology and medicine. She is, and should be, an inspiration by overcoming social, physical, cultural and gender barriers of medieval Germany She is the first composer whose biography is known and she wrote the first morality play a century before others. What did she do? Quit
The life of Hildegard von Bingen Hildegard was the tenth child, and was dedicated to the religious life by her parents at birth. It was one form of tithing, or giving a tenth to the church. By age three Hildegard began to have visions which continued throughout her life. At age eight, she was sent to an anchoress to receive a religious education. An anchoress leads a very limited life. They are shut off from the world in a small room usually adjacent to a church, so she could see church services through a small window. This window was also used for passing in food. When an anchor began this life, they had a full funeral ceremony complete with last rites and being laid out on a bier because they were “dead to the world”. It was through the anchoress Jutta that Hildegard had her religious education. The holy reputation of Jutta and Hildegard spread throughout the district which caused parents to send their daughters to the growing convent. It was also here that Hildegard was exposed to musical religious services which became the basis for her compositions.
Her life continued When Hildegard was 38 years old, she was elected head of the convent at the anchorage. For 30 years Jutta and one monk named Volmar were the only two people with whom Hildegard shared her visions. However, in 1141 Hildegard had a vision that changed her life. A vision of God gave her understanding of religious texts and commanded her to right down everything in her visions.  On the other hand, Hildegard was reluctant at first to write down the visions because she was afraid that the dominant males would be critical. She became ill and interpreted this as a sign of God’s displeasure in her because she was not writing. Hildegard wanted her visions to be sanctioned by the Catholic Church. She did not want to be grouped with the schismatics that she routinely preached against, but wanted to remain in the mainstream of the Catholic Church. She wrote to St. Bernard, who brought Hildegard to the attention of Pope Eugenius who encouraged Hildegard to finish her writings. Her first completed work was Scivias , and her fame began to spread throughout Germany and beyond. Quit
Today, it is commonly accepted that Hildegard suffered from severe migraines. Her descriptions of her visions match typical symptoms before, during and after a migraine attack. Even Hildegard made the connection between her visions and her health. She is a marvelous example of how it is possible to turn a painful illness into positive condition and to create so much as a result.
Today 900 years after Hildegard was born, nearly all of that in relative obscurity, Hildegard was rediscovered, and by 1998 entire industries were based on her new-found popularity. Her two dozen pieces of choral music are now on CD’s. Her poems and works of mystical philosophy have been published and selling briskly. The tourist trade encouraged trips to her convent. Cookbooks and books based on her herbal remedies have been published as well as 1,000 other new book titles. Angel records of New York produced an electronically synthesized version of her liturgical songs. During the 1998 celebrations, just about every Catholic College planned events to honor her, and Lincoln Center in New York performed her works to sold-out audiences. Quit
Hildegard is regarded as a saint in the Catholic church Quit
Here is a video about music around the time Hildegard was alive.
I am music education student at Grand Valley State University and my emphasis is vocal music. I plan on Teaching in a school and start an after school choral program that will take tours around the world.
I have always loved singing chant music. I feel very inspired by the texts of Hildegard von Bingen and that is why I have chosen her as a topic many times. She is a very important women in music because she was so early and started a change in music that helped create what music we have today.