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    Music Aesthetics Middle Ages &Renaissance

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    2 ways to know music from past
    strong oral traditions
    earliest notated music found in
    Nippur, Iraq 2,000 B.C.
    Middle Ages/Dark Ages
    900-1450. Decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Catholic Church. Start of notated music in monasteries
    symbols used to notate Gregorian chants
    Medieval Music Characteristics
    -monophonic (polyphony did start tho)
    -mainly vocal
    -center of musical development = France
    Gregorian chant
    monophonic. central tradition of Western plainchant– liturgical chants. Pope Gregory I ordered the simplification of music for church calendar
    early polyphony. Musicians experiments by adding voices to the original chant in harmony
    outside of church
    liturgical drama
    like Roman drama with Christian stories.. involved acting, singing, speaking, instruments. many performed by traveling actors
    itinerant poet-musicians of Europe who were mostly scholars that wrote and sang in Latin… secular
    Troubadors and Trouveres
    French poet-musicians who set their own poems to music, mainly about love. Rows of pitches without rhythm
    complex non-imitative polyphony, were not part of mass. different languages
    organum composer (1135- 1200)
    organum composer (1185-11205
    Bernart de Ventadorn
    famous troubadour (1140-1200)
    Guillaume de Machaut
    motet composer (1300-1377)
    Johannes Ockeghem
    from the franco-Flemish school. sacred music composer polyphonic
    Jacob Obrecht
    from the franco-Flemish school. sacred music composer polyphonic
    Josquin des Prez
    from the franco-Flemish school, composed secular and religious. moved away from complex polyphony to homophony
    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
    Italian composer that made refined polyphony in response to the Council of Trent (he made the music easier)
    cultural/intellectual movement (14th-17th century) “rebirth”. Began in Florence, a city-state in Italy focused on commerce and controlled by Medici family (who sponsored the arts) arts, science, philosophy were all studied.
    Polymath/Renaissance Man
    think Da Vinci… a person with vast knowledge and expertise in different areas
    Characteristics of Renaissance Music
    -more instruments than the MA
    -printing press made music available/cheap
    -polyphonic mainly
    -first music ensembles: consorts
    -related to the church for the most part
    -Masses and motets
    Council of Trent
    18 year long post-Reformation meeting of the church. discouraged complicated music
    Secular music
    (frottola, rondeau, virelai, ballade, chanson, madrigal) mainly for dance
    refer to a type of musical ensemble (evolved into chamber ensembles) most often with instruments of the same family but there were mixed consorts
    ancestors of violin family
    focused shifted to study of humans

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