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Early Western Art Music
CONTEXT
• INTRODUCTION
• GREGORIAN CHANT AND THE LITURGY
• MONOPHONY
• POLYPHONY
• SECULAR MUSIC
• SACRED MUSIC
• THE RENAISSANCE MUSIC
• MOTET
1-2
3
4-5
6-7
8
8
9-13
14-15
Music
Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of
melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Early Western Art Music
Early music is music of the European classical tradition from after the fall of the Roman Empire, in
476.
The Western music known today has its roots in the musical practices found in Europe and the
Middle East over twenty centuries ago. These musical practices, in turn, have their roots in ancient
Greek and Roman practices which are detailed in musical and philosophical treatises of the time.
Music from these two ancient civilizations cannot be heard or faithfully reconstructed because the
historical records are sparse and incomplete.
1
The Greeks produced a rich trove of writings about music.
What is known of the Greek practices of music come from
philosophical works such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s
Politics, and from thinkers such as Pythagoras. Pythagoras was
the first to note the relationship of the intervals of music
mathematics. Greek writers thought that music influenced
morals and was a reflection of the order found in the universe.
Over the long period of Greek civilization, many writers
emerged with differing viewpoints.
These viewpoints include the relationship of musical rhythm to
poetic rhythm. They delineate precise definitions of melody,
intervals, scales, and modes. This last term, mode, means the
relationship of notes in a scale. Much of Western Art Music
uses the two modes called major and minor. The Greeks had
several further modes which reflected the practices of the time.
7 Greek Modes in Modern Notation
2
Gregorian Chant and the Liturgy
As the Church spread over the continent of Europe the basic shape of its worship
services formed. In the monasteries that were founded, the monks and nuns lived their
lives around a daily rendering of worship in the church. There were, and are still, eight of
these worship services called offices, and a ninth chief service called the Mass. All services
had as their basis readings from the Bible, weekly recitation of the Psalms, and regular
prayers.
Over time these texts were sung, rather than simply recited. This singing was most likely an
outgrowth of the society in which early Christians found themselves, with influences from
Jewish, Hebrew, and Middle Eastern cultures. Scholars debate how the melodies for these
texts, referred to as Gregorian chant, plainsong, or plainchant, came into being.
All three of these terms refer to the same thing. They are called plain because their chief
characteristic is a one-line melody, called monophony . Many hundreds
of these melodies developed by the middle of the sixth century. They can be classified as
sacred as opposed to secular.
3
Monophony
In music, monophony is the simplest of musical textures, consisting of a melody
(or "tune"), typically sung by a single singer or played by a single instrument
player without accompanying harmony or chords. Many folk songs and
songs are monophonic. A melody is also considered to be monophonic if a
of singers sings the same melody together at the unison or with the same
notes duplicated at the octave . If an entire melody is played by two or more
instruments or sung by a choir with a fixed interval, it is also said to be
monophony . As an example, In the Early Middle Ages, the earliest Christian
called plainchant (a well-known example is Gregorian chant), were monophonic.
4
The earliest recorded Christian monophony was plainchant or plainsong a single
unaccompanied vocal melody sung by monks. Sung by multiple voices in unison , this music is still
considered monophonic.
Plainsong was the first and foremost musical style of Italy, Ireland, Spain, and France. In the early
9th century, the organum tradition developed by adding voices in parallel to plainchant melodies.
5
In music, the simultaneous combination of two or more tones or melodic lines is called polyphony.
Thus, even a single interval made up of two simultaneous tones or a chord of three simultaneous
tones is rudimentarily polyphonic. Usually, however, polyphony is associated with counterpoint, the
combination of distinct melodic lines.
From the single-line chanting of the monks and nuns, music gradually came to be
polyphonic, meaning more than one line of music playing simultaneously. The simplest form
of adding another voice is to use a device called a drone. This is a note or notes that are
held while the melody plays. This musical arrangement is found in many European and Asian
cultures in their folk music, suggesting a long history.
POLYPHONY
6
Another device used in oral traditions in the Church was organum. Organum is the
singing of chant with another voice singing the same chant only at differing intervals.
The second voice follows the chant in exact parallel motion. In the ninth century the fifth was
considered a perfect interval, pleasing and harmonious. Therefore, the movement
of the two voices, while it may sound dry and uninteresting to the modern ear, was pleasing
and reassuring to medieval listeners
Albanian polyphonic folk group Traditional Polyphony
7
Secular music means non-religious music. Music outside of churches in the Middle Ages was
not written down. Music in societies where the majority of the population was non-literate was
passed down orally, and this music has been almost entirely lost .
Secular Music
Sacred Music
sacred music is any type of music that is performed or composed for religious use or through
religious influence. It is basically Religious music . Sacred music didn’t have instruments
because they wanted the voices to stand out more.
Psaltery Vielle
8
The Renaissance Music
Renaissance music is vocal and instrumental music written and performed in Europe during the
Renaissance era. In the Renaissance, music became a vehicle for personal expression.
Composers found ways to make vocal music more expressive of the texts they were setting.
Secular music absorbed techniques from sacred music, and vice versa. Popular secular forms
such as the chanson and madrigal spread throughout Europe. Courts employed virtuoso
performers, both singers and instrumentalists. Music also became more self-sufficient with its
availability in printed form, existing for its own sake.
The main characteristics of Renaissance music are:
• Music based on modes.
• Richer texture, with four or more independent melodic parts being performed simultaneously.
These interweaving melodic lines, a style called polyphony, is one of the defining features of
Renaissance music.
• Blending, rather than contrasting, melodic lines in the musical texture.
• Harmony that placed a greater concern on the smooth flow of the music and its progression
of chords.
9
Instrumentation
The Renaissance (ca. 1400-1600) was a time of developing human musical potential. The
human voice was considered the prime musical instrument, and all other instruments strove
to emulate its expressive capability.
Characteristics
10
Humans have four general ranges of singing: the higher soprano and lower alto for women, and the
higher tenor and lower bass for men. Instruments developed in ways that corresponded to these
designations. These are called families of instruments, such as the viol family.
Keyboard instruments also developed highs and lows by simply extending the keyboard; the
harpsichord and organ became the principal Renaissance keyboard instruments.
Viol Family
Harpsichord organ 11
Timbre or Tone Quality
For most of the renaissance, human voice was the chosen timbre. The sound of Renaissance
instruments is “thin” to our ears. “Haut” and “bois” were terms used for instruments suited for
outdoors(haut/high) and for indoors (bois/low). In this case, high and low refer to the strength of the
tone. The lute was the most popular stringed instrument.
Texture
Renaissance music is mostly polyphonic, and imitation among the voices is common ,with each
voice presenting the same melodic idea. Textures varied from solo instruments such as the lute,
harpsichord, and organ. Texture in the Renaissance had a solemn.
Lute
12
Harmony
Harmony in Renaissance Period music was absolute, there was barley a piece of music without it, mostly
the harmonies would be played as a separate melody over the original melody or “Main Body of the
Piece”
Tempo
Tempos (tempi) in the years preceding the Baroque Era were generally slower. Sixteenth notes were not
unheard of, especially for solo lute and keyboard pieces, but were unusual for chorus and ensemble
writing.
Form
Forms were the province of both sacred and secular music in the Renaissance. Sacred music included
forms such as the motet and the sections of the Mass and forms that grew out of other parts of the divine
service.
13
Motet
The addition of voices to a chant and the idea of setting new words to those
voices resulted in the motet. The words used were fit for various occasions:
regular services of the church, special days such as Christmas and Easter, and
special local circumstances, such as the founding anniversary of a church or
the crowning of a monarch. The liturgical chants on which
they were layered also came to be optional, with the composer either writing a
new chant or adapting an existing one rhythmically.
Mention must be made here of a special type of polyphonic work called the
round. “Sumer Is Icumen In” is a round that was written sometime after 1250 by
an anonymous composer.
14
It is for four voices singing one after the other in continuous fashion, with two more
voices in the background repeating “sing cuckoo” repeatedly.
The text praises the coming of summer. The tone is bright and happy. The two
background voices are called the pes, Latin for “foot”.
“Sumer Is Icumen In”, a 13th century round, is shown in modern notation. The bottom two lines, Pes I and II, are
sung as background.
15
Thank You.

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Early Western Art Music

  • 2. CONTEXT • INTRODUCTION • GREGORIAN CHANT AND THE LITURGY • MONOPHONY • POLYPHONY • SECULAR MUSIC • SACRED MUSIC • THE RENAISSANCE MUSIC • MOTET 1-2 3 4-5 6-7 8 8 9-13 14-15
  • 3. Music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. Early Western Art Music Early music is music of the European classical tradition from after the fall of the Roman Empire, in 476. The Western music known today has its roots in the musical practices found in Europe and the Middle East over twenty centuries ago. These musical practices, in turn, have their roots in ancient Greek and Roman practices which are detailed in musical and philosophical treatises of the time. Music from these two ancient civilizations cannot be heard or faithfully reconstructed because the historical records are sparse and incomplete. 1
  • 4. The Greeks produced a rich trove of writings about music. What is known of the Greek practices of music come from philosophical works such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, and from thinkers such as Pythagoras. Pythagoras was the first to note the relationship of the intervals of music mathematics. Greek writers thought that music influenced morals and was a reflection of the order found in the universe. Over the long period of Greek civilization, many writers emerged with differing viewpoints. These viewpoints include the relationship of musical rhythm to poetic rhythm. They delineate precise definitions of melody, intervals, scales, and modes. This last term, mode, means the relationship of notes in a scale. Much of Western Art Music uses the two modes called major and minor. The Greeks had several further modes which reflected the practices of the time. 7 Greek Modes in Modern Notation 2
  • 5. Gregorian Chant and the Liturgy As the Church spread over the continent of Europe the basic shape of its worship services formed. In the monasteries that were founded, the monks and nuns lived their lives around a daily rendering of worship in the church. There were, and are still, eight of these worship services called offices, and a ninth chief service called the Mass. All services had as their basis readings from the Bible, weekly recitation of the Psalms, and regular prayers. Over time these texts were sung, rather than simply recited. This singing was most likely an outgrowth of the society in which early Christians found themselves, with influences from Jewish, Hebrew, and Middle Eastern cultures. Scholars debate how the melodies for these texts, referred to as Gregorian chant, plainsong, or plainchant, came into being. All three of these terms refer to the same thing. They are called plain because their chief characteristic is a one-line melody, called monophony . Many hundreds of these melodies developed by the middle of the sixth century. They can be classified as sacred as opposed to secular. 3
  • 6. Monophony In music, monophony is the simplest of musical textures, consisting of a melody (or "tune"), typically sung by a single singer or played by a single instrument player without accompanying harmony or chords. Many folk songs and songs are monophonic. A melody is also considered to be monophonic if a of singers sings the same melody together at the unison or with the same notes duplicated at the octave . If an entire melody is played by two or more instruments or sung by a choir with a fixed interval, it is also said to be monophony . As an example, In the Early Middle Ages, the earliest Christian called plainchant (a well-known example is Gregorian chant), were monophonic. 4
  • 7. The earliest recorded Christian monophony was plainchant or plainsong a single unaccompanied vocal melody sung by monks. Sung by multiple voices in unison , this music is still considered monophonic. Plainsong was the first and foremost musical style of Italy, Ireland, Spain, and France. In the early 9th century, the organum tradition developed by adding voices in parallel to plainchant melodies. 5
  • 8. In music, the simultaneous combination of two or more tones or melodic lines is called polyphony. Thus, even a single interval made up of two simultaneous tones or a chord of three simultaneous tones is rudimentarily polyphonic. Usually, however, polyphony is associated with counterpoint, the combination of distinct melodic lines. From the single-line chanting of the monks and nuns, music gradually came to be polyphonic, meaning more than one line of music playing simultaneously. The simplest form of adding another voice is to use a device called a drone. This is a note or notes that are held while the melody plays. This musical arrangement is found in many European and Asian cultures in their folk music, suggesting a long history. POLYPHONY 6
  • 9. Another device used in oral traditions in the Church was organum. Organum is the singing of chant with another voice singing the same chant only at differing intervals. The second voice follows the chant in exact parallel motion. In the ninth century the fifth was considered a perfect interval, pleasing and harmonious. Therefore, the movement of the two voices, while it may sound dry and uninteresting to the modern ear, was pleasing and reassuring to medieval listeners Albanian polyphonic folk group Traditional Polyphony 7
  • 10. Secular music means non-religious music. Music outside of churches in the Middle Ages was not written down. Music in societies where the majority of the population was non-literate was passed down orally, and this music has been almost entirely lost . Secular Music Sacred Music sacred music is any type of music that is performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence. It is basically Religious music . Sacred music didn’t have instruments because they wanted the voices to stand out more. Psaltery Vielle 8
  • 11. The Renaissance Music Renaissance music is vocal and instrumental music written and performed in Europe during the Renaissance era. In the Renaissance, music became a vehicle for personal expression. Composers found ways to make vocal music more expressive of the texts they were setting. Secular music absorbed techniques from sacred music, and vice versa. Popular secular forms such as the chanson and madrigal spread throughout Europe. Courts employed virtuoso performers, both singers and instrumentalists. Music also became more self-sufficient with its availability in printed form, existing for its own sake. The main characteristics of Renaissance music are: • Music based on modes. • Richer texture, with four or more independent melodic parts being performed simultaneously. These interweaving melodic lines, a style called polyphony, is one of the defining features of Renaissance music. • Blending, rather than contrasting, melodic lines in the musical texture. • Harmony that placed a greater concern on the smooth flow of the music and its progression of chords. 9
  • 12. Instrumentation The Renaissance (ca. 1400-1600) was a time of developing human musical potential. The human voice was considered the prime musical instrument, and all other instruments strove to emulate its expressive capability. Characteristics 10
  • 13. Humans have four general ranges of singing: the higher soprano and lower alto for women, and the higher tenor and lower bass for men. Instruments developed in ways that corresponded to these designations. These are called families of instruments, such as the viol family. Keyboard instruments also developed highs and lows by simply extending the keyboard; the harpsichord and organ became the principal Renaissance keyboard instruments. Viol Family Harpsichord organ 11
  • 14. Timbre or Tone Quality For most of the renaissance, human voice was the chosen timbre. The sound of Renaissance instruments is “thin” to our ears. “Haut” and “bois” were terms used for instruments suited for outdoors(haut/high) and for indoors (bois/low). In this case, high and low refer to the strength of the tone. The lute was the most popular stringed instrument. Texture Renaissance music is mostly polyphonic, and imitation among the voices is common ,with each voice presenting the same melodic idea. Textures varied from solo instruments such as the lute, harpsichord, and organ. Texture in the Renaissance had a solemn. Lute 12
  • 15. Harmony Harmony in Renaissance Period music was absolute, there was barley a piece of music without it, mostly the harmonies would be played as a separate melody over the original melody or “Main Body of the Piece” Tempo Tempos (tempi) in the years preceding the Baroque Era were generally slower. Sixteenth notes were not unheard of, especially for solo lute and keyboard pieces, but were unusual for chorus and ensemble writing. Form Forms were the province of both sacred and secular music in the Renaissance. Sacred music included forms such as the motet and the sections of the Mass and forms that grew out of other parts of the divine service. 13
  • 16. Motet The addition of voices to a chant and the idea of setting new words to those voices resulted in the motet. The words used were fit for various occasions: regular services of the church, special days such as Christmas and Easter, and special local circumstances, such as the founding anniversary of a church or the crowning of a monarch. The liturgical chants on which they were layered also came to be optional, with the composer either writing a new chant or adapting an existing one rhythmically. Mention must be made here of a special type of polyphonic work called the round. “Sumer Is Icumen In” is a round that was written sometime after 1250 by an anonymous composer. 14
  • 17. It is for four voices singing one after the other in continuous fashion, with two more voices in the background repeating “sing cuckoo” repeatedly. The text praises the coming of summer. The tone is bright and happy. The two background voices are called the pes, Latin for “foot”. “Sumer Is Icumen In”, a 13th century round, is shown in modern notation. The bottom two lines, Pes I and II, are sung as background. 15