PRE BAROQUE MUSIC GOTHIC,MIDDLE AGES AND ANTIQUITYPREPARED BY: ROMMEL ORBILLO
The Gothic Era The later Middle Ages or Gothic Era, which lasted from 1150 to 1450, saw the rise of music with multiple voices called polyphonic music. Harmonies that were formed by the combining of melodies were based on the lowest and most fundamental intervals in the harmonic series which are octaves, fifths, and fourths. The music sounded austere.
Trouble in the church gave rise to secular or non-religious music performed by minstrels and troubadours who traveled from court to court to bring the news and entertain with their music. These visits might be compared to the modern concert tour.
Important composers of the period included John Dunstable (1370- 1453), Guillaume Duffay (1400- 1474), Jean Ockeghem (d. 1495), and Jacob Obrecht (d. 1505). The Ars Nova was the culmination of centruies of musical development and the transition into the Renaissance period.
Medieval music Mediaeval music is Western music written during the Middle Ages. This era begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and ends sometime in the early fifteenth century. Establishing the end of the mediaeval era and the beginning of the Renaissance is difficult; the usage in this article is the one usually adopted by musicologists.
Instruments used to perform medieval music still exist, but in different forms. Medieval music uses many plucked string instruments like the lute, mandore, gittern and psaltery. Thedulcimers, similar in structure to the psaltery and zither, were originally plucked, but became struck in the 14th century after the arrival of the new technology that made metal strings possible.
Mediaeval music was both sacred and secular. During the earlier mediaevalperiod, the liturgical genre, predominantly Gregorianchant, was monophonic. Polyphonic genre s began to develop during the highmediaeval era, becoming prevalent by the later 13th and early 14th century. The development of such forms is often associated with the Ars nova.
Early chant traditions Chant (or plainsong) is a monophonic sacred form which represents the earliest known music of the Christian church. The JewishSynagogue tradition of singing psalms was a strong influence on Christian chanting.
Early polyphony: organum Around the end of the ninth century, singers in monasteries such as St. Gall in Switzerland began experimenting with adding another part to the chant, generally a voice in parallel motion, singing mostly in perfect fourths or fifths above the original tune (see interval). This development is called organum and represents the beginnings of harmony and, ultimately, of counterpoint. Over the next several centuries, organum developed in several ways.
Liturgical drama Another musical tradition of Europe originating during the early Middle Ages was the liturgical drama. In its original form, it may represent a survival of Roman drama with Christian stories - mainly the Gospel, the Passion, and the lives of the saints - grafted on. Every part of Europe had some sort of tradition of musical or semi-musical drama in the Middle Ages, involving acting, speaking, singing and instrumental accompaniment in some combination. These dramas were probably performed by travelling actors and musicians. Many have been preserved sufficiently to allow modern reconstruction and performance (for example the Play of Daniel, which has been recently recorded).
Goliards The Goliards were itinerant poet-musicians of Europe from the tenth to the middle of the thirteenth century. Most were scholars orecclesiastics, and they wrote and sang in Latin. Although many of the poems have survived, very little of the music has. They were possibly influential — even decisively so — on the troubadour-trouvère tradition which was to follow. Most of their poetry is secular and, while some of the songs celebrate religious ideals, others are frankly profane, dealing with drunkenness, debauchery and lechery.
High medieval music (1150-1300) Ars antiquaThe flowering of the Notre Dame school of polyphony from around 1150 to 1250 corresponded to the equally impressive achievements inGothic architecture: indeed the centre of activity was at the cathedral of Notre Dame itself. Sometimes the music of this period is called the Parisian school, or Parisian organum, and represents the beginning of what is conventionally known as Ars antiqua. This was the period in which rhythmic notation first appeared in western music, mainly a context- based method of rhythmic notation known as therhythmic modes.
Troubadours and trouvères The music of the troubadours and trouvères was a vernacular tradition of monophonic secular song, probably accompanied by instruments, sung by professional, occasionally itinerant, musici ans who were as skilled as poets as they were singers and instrumentalists.
Late medieval music (1300-1400) The beginning of the Ars nova is one of the few clean chronological divisions in medieval music, since it corresponds to the publication of the Roman de Fauvel, a huge compilation of poetry and music, in 1310 and 1314. The Roman de Fauvel is a satire on abuses in the medieval church, and is filled with medieval motets, lais, rondeaux and other new secular forms. While most of the music is anonymous, it contains several pieces by Philippe de Vitry, one of the first composers of the isorhythmic motet, a development which distinguishes the fourteenth century. The isorhythmic motet was perfected by Guillaume de Machaut, the finest composer of the time.
Transitioning to theRenaissance Demarcating the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the Renaissance, with regard to the composition of music, is problematic. While the music of the fourteenth century is fairly obviously medieval in conception, the music of the early fifteenth century is often conceived as belonging to a transitional period, not only retaining some of the ideals of the end of the Middle Ages (such as a type of polyphonic writing in which the parts differ widely from each other in character, as each has its specific textural function), but also showing some of the characteristic traits of the Renaissance (such as the international style developing through the diffusion of Franco-Flemish musicians throughout Europe, and in terms of texture an increasing equality of parts).
SACRED MUSIC IN ANTIQUITY "The sound of early Near Eastern music would seem less strange to the modern ear than previously thought. Though we are not informed about ancient rhythms and tempos, we do know that heptatonic, diatonic scales [scales of seven degrees based on steps and half- steps, as on the white keys of a piano], familiar to us from modern music, also existed in antiquity" (op. cit.; emphasis mine).
While the above remark about ancient rhythm is not quite true (thanks not only to the Hebrew Bible and its melodic rendition, but to various ancient oral traditions), we have direct written evidence about ancient scales, artistic renditions of stringed instruments and chironomists, and even surviving instruments in various tunings.