Middle Ages Music

Boethius
480 – 524
Roman senator and philosopher
Pulled together essential strands of ancient Greek musical theory and translated from greek to latin – five books total called De Instituione Musica.

Pythagoras
580-500BC
Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician who is credited with determining mathematics behind tuning systems, intervallic ratios etc.

Notker Balbulus
800
A 9th century monk who wrote an important early collection of sequences

Guido d’ Arezzo
990 – 1050
Italian music theorist
Studied at Benedictine abbey at Pomposa
Developed principles of staff notation – construction by thirds of a system of four lines (a staff) and began using letters as clefs. Previous staff was only 2 lines. Allowed memes to be placed on lines and spaces to define pitch relationships, no longer necessary to learn by rote.
Wrote Micrologus de disciplina artis musicae.
Music –
Ut queant laxis – written for John the Baotist. First syllable of each line falls on a different note of the he accord.

Magister Albertus
French composer of 12th century who worked at Notre Dame in Paris
Composed first known piece of European music for three voices

Adam de la Halle
1250 – 1306
French poet, musician/Trouvere
Aka Adam the Hunchback
Court poet and musician to the Count d’Artois
Known for polyphony and topical productions (predecessor of comic opera)
Music –
Jeu de Robin et de Marion – oldest surviving French play with music

Bernart de Ventadorn
1140 – 1195
French Provençal troubadour
Traveled Englad 1152 – 1155
Lived in court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and then Toulouse
Finest poetry of the area.
Short love lyrics with emotional expressiveness and lyrical delicacy and simplicity. Also composed his own music.
Wrote “non Es meravehla s’ue chanc” a troubadour canso

Walter Von der Vogelweide
1179 – 1230
Greatest German lyric poet of Middle Ages
Poetry emphasized virtues of a balanced life socially and personally, and reflects disapproval of individuals, actions, and beliefs that disturb that harmony. Wrote political, moral, and religious poems and supported the Crusade.

Hans Sachs
1494 – 1576
German Meistersinger
Extremely popular and had outstanding aesthetic and religious influence.
Originally son of a tailor, became a Meistersinger in the Nurnberg Singschule contest, conducted school of Meistersingers in Munich, and headed the Nurnberg group.
4,000 meisterlieders (master songs)
Early champion of Martin Luther
Wrote Die Wittembergisch Nachtigall (nightmare of Wittenberg) which advanced the Reformation.

Hildegard of Bingen
1098 – 1179
German abbess/nun, mystic, composer
Educated at Benedictine cloister of Disibodenberg.
Had prophetic visions – written in Scivias
Wrote 70+ plainchants which were uncharacteristically melodic
Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum – collection of work

Leonin
1150 – 1200
Leading liturgical composer associated with the Notre Dame School
Wrote Magnus Liber Organi in 1170 – collection of 2 voiced organum settings for the complete lirturgical year.

Perotin
French composer of sacred polyphonic music
Believed to have introduced polyphony in 4 parts to western music
Associated with Notre Dame School
Enlarged Magnus liber Organi and made innovations with rhythm

Guillaume de Machaut
1300 – 1377
French poet and musician.
Leading French composer of the Ars Nova musical style
Priest in service of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia
First composer to create a polyphonic setting of the Ordinary Mass
Employed Ars Nova technique of isorhythms.

Philippe de Vitry
1291 – 1361
French music theorist, poet and composer
Studied at the Sorbonne and became a deacon
Advisor at royal court in Paris
Author of the Ars Nova (new art) – dealt with theoretical alsects of early 14th century French music. Included new theories of mensural notation, details of the colored notes and the introduction of duration all symbol notation
Wrote “Garrit Gallus- in nova fert” an isorhythmic motet

Francesco Landini
1335 – 1397
Leading 14th century Italian Trecento composer
Virtuoso on port stove organ
Blinded by smallpox as a child
Preferred ballots form with vocal melodies and high levels of ornamentation
Landini Cadence is named after him
Wrote “non avra ma’ pieta” a ballata

Liber usualis
Book of common gregorian chants compiled by monks at the Abbey of Solesmes in France. Contains chants for ordinary and proper mass, daily prayers, common feasts, specific rituals

Musica enchiriadis
9th century musical treatise.
First attempt to set up a system for western polyphony

Magnus liber organi
Great Book of Organum
By Leonin at Notre Dame School
Collection of 2 part organum for entire year.

Cantigas de Santa Maria
Written during Alfonso X reign in Galician. 420 poems with musical notation. Largest collection of monophonic songs from Middle Ages. Virgin Mary mentioned in every song. Every 10th song a hymn.

Ordo Virtutum
Order of Virtues by Hildegard of Bingen 1151
Earliest morality play
About struggle for human soul between the virtues and the devils

Roman de Fauvel
1316
French poem by Gervais du Bus
Condemns abuses in contemporary political and religious lives. 130 musical works within the narrative

Messe de Nostre Dame
Mass of our Lady 1365
Polyphonic mass by Guillaume de Machaut.
Earliest complete setting of ordinary mass by 1 composer.
Uses 4 voices – he added a contratenor

Trecento
Time period in Italy with frequent musical influence by troubadours fleeing the Crusade.
Notable composers of this time – Francesco Landini, Giovanni da Cascia, JohannesCionia

Ars Nova
Identifies the highly experimental musical style in France from 1300-1375
New art
Also treatise written in 1329 by Philippe de Vitry.
Signifies a free use of rhythm (isorhythms etc) and increased use of smaller note notation
Composers Philippe de Vitry and Machaut

Ars subtilior
Subtle art
The highly expressive musical style late 1300/early 1400s
Characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity. Centered in Paris and south France/north Spain. Highly refined and hard to sing. Mostly secular songs.
Composers – johannes ciconia, baude Cordero, Solage

Notre Dame Polyphony
Late 12th and early 13th century
Earliest repertory of polyphonic (multi part) music to gain international prestige and circulation
4 major forms – organum, clausula, conductus, and motet

Organum
Setting for 2-4 voice parts of a chant melody in which the chant is sung in sustained notes beneath the counterpart of upper voices

Clausula
A section within organum corresponding to a melismatic section of the chant with accelerated pace in the voice with the chant

Conductus
A processional composition in chordal style and not derived from any pre existing chant
Sacred but none liturgical vocal composition, sung in distant style

Motet
Term describes polyphonic compositions for two or three voice parts, often with each part having an independent text – sometimes in different languages combining sacred and secular words

Pastourelle
A lyric French poem that is sung, dealing with the romance of a shepardess

Jongleurs
French entertainer – musician, juggler, acrobat, reciter of literary works. Most important during 13th century

Troubadours
11th to 13th century lyric poet of south France, north Spain, and north Italy.
High social influence
Favored at the courts, freedom of speech, main goal to create an aura of cultivation around ladies if the court.
Songs are monophonic and are the majority of medieval secular music

Trouveres
11th – 14th century north French poets. Counterpart to the Provençal language of the troubadour. Similar highly stylized themes and metrical forms.
Many Trouveres took part in the crusades.
Did not prize obscure metaphors. Poetry sometimes satirical and about the good life but mostly about courtly love.
Lyrics meant to be sung either or alone of with single instrument tal accompaniment.

minnesinger
German poet musicians from 12 – 13th century
Mainly sang songs of courtly love. Similar to troubadours and Trouveres. Preformed in open court.
Melodies often pentatonic with popular song and Gregorian chant as musical roots of the style.

Meistersinger
14 – 16th century German musicians and poets
Mostly from artisan and trading classes
Claimed to be heirs of 12 old masters/minnesingers.
Main activity was holding singing competitions – composition restricted to fitting new words to old tunes.
Music still derived from Gregorian chant, folk songs, and popular songs.

Plainchant
Gregorian chant and other religious chants
Aka aka plainsong
Unmeasured rhythm
Polyphonic parts

Syllabic
One note to each syllable of text

Neumatic
One syllable of text to one Neume.
Musical setting neumatic only if there are 2-7 notes per syllable

Melismatic
Several notes to one syllable

Antiphonal psalmody
Psalmody – singing or collection of psalms
Chanting of psalmodic texts by altering choirs or soloists with the addition of one or more refrains after each verse

Responsorial psalmody
Plainchant of psalms by alternating choir or soloists

Neume
A musician notation for one or a group of successive musical pitches
Used in Christian liturgical chant and early medieval polyphony and some secular music

Liturgical drama
Played within or near the church
Showed stories from the bible and about saints
Not essential part of standard service
Done in Latin, chants, monophonic simple melodies, incidental music and processional tunes

Modal system
Gregorian mode/church modes
8 sets of pitch intervals response ting the tonality of a piece, associated with Gregorian chant.
Dorian, hypo Dorian, Phrygian, hypo Phrygian, Lydian, hypo Lydian, mixolydian, hypo mixolydian.

Chansonnier
A manuscript or printed book of chansons – polyphonic or monophonic setting of songs
Contains lyrics, poems, and songs of troubadours/trouveres
Contains secular music
Mainly in France but also found in parts of Italy, Germany, and Iberia.

Solmization
System of designating musical notes by syllable name
Guido of Arezzo derived the European version – ut, re, mi, after, sol, la hexachord

Hexachord
Developed by Guido of Arezzo
6 note pattern corresponding to the first six notes of the major scale

Guidonian Hand
Mnemonic device used to assist singers learning to sight sing
Closely linked with Guide of Arezzos hexachord and first use of western solfege
Each portion of hand represents notes of hexachord and spans 3 octaves – instructors point to part of hand to indicate a series of notes

Proper Mass
Changes with the season or Saint
Introit – choir
Gradual or alleluia
Alleluia or tract
Offertory
Communion – choir
Middle three parts sung between readings by soloist or small group

Ordinary Mass
Texts sung at every service
Kyrie Eleison
Gloria in Excelsis
Creed
Sanctus and Benedictus
Angus Dei
Done in Latin by choir or whole congregation

Liturgy
Public worship done by religious groups.
Aka service

Office
Canonical hours
Matins – between midnight and dawn
Lauds – sunrise
Prime – 6AM
Terce – 9AM
Sext – noon
None – 3PM
Vespers – sunset
Compline – before sleep

Sequence
Genre of Latin hymn
Long, liturgical, based on a series of 2 line stanzas
Earliest surviving examples of written instrumental music

Trope
Type of chant
Aka a forced chant

Estampie
Courtly instrumental dance from 12-14th century
Derived from Trouveres poetry, monophonic

Lai
A lyrical narrative sung poem from the 1200/1300s that usually deals with tales of adventure and romance

Vox principalis
Principal voice in a plainchant melody

Vox organalis
Another part singing the same melody in parallel motion a P4 or P 5 below.

Rhythmic modes
Patterned rhythmic sequences of long and short values. Used by Notre Dame school
1 – long- short
2. Short – long
3. Long short short
4. Short short long
5. Long long
6. Short short

Cantus firmus
Pre existent melody, like a plainchant excerpt, underlying a polyphonic musical composition

Isorhythm
“The same rhythm”
Compositional device that applies to the tenor of a polyphonic work featuring s rhythmic pattern and a melodic pattern
Used by devitry, Machaut, and other French Ars nova composers

Formes fixus
Principal forms of music and poetry of the Ars Nova period in France: rondeau, ballade, and virelai. Adam de la Halle wrote the first polyphonic setting of Formes fixus

Virelai
ABbaA
One of the late medieval French strophic formes fixus

Rondeau
ABaAabAB
One of the late medieval French strophic formes fixus

Ballade
One of the late-medieval French strophic formes fixus that is usually in a form that could be diagrammed as AaB

Rota
A type of popular vocal round in England in the 1200/1300s

Musica ficta
900-1500
Describes any pitch,whether notated or added by performers, that lie outside the system of correct music or true music as defined by the guide of Arezzo hexachord. Used to avoid forbidden dissonances

Musica mundana
Boethius’s term for the mathematical harmonic relationships of heavenly bodies (Music of the Spheres)

Landini cadence
Leading tone drops to the 6th of scale before approaching the tonic

Ballata
Italian poetic and musical form from 13-15th century. Made famous by Landini during the Trecento.
ABbaA
First and last stanzas have same text

Caccia
A part sung in canon form portraying the hunt or village scenes. Employs sounds like the cries of beggars, vendors and barks of dogs. 14th century Italian vocal music

Madrigal
14th century Italian song
Free style influence by text
For two voices in Trecento Italian style
Arranged in elaborate counterpoint with or without instrumental accompaniment

Isorhythmic motet
14th century secular motet
Serious content and used for ceremonial occasions
Used isorhythms (repetition of complex rhythmic patterns throughout composition)

Ars Cantus mensurabilis
Treatise written in 1260 by Franco of Cologne
Introduced first notation system of long and short notes and rests (long and breve) – known as franconian notation or mensural notation

Ars antiqua
1150-1300
The old art
Term used to describe the musical style of France
Used by Perotin etc.

Monophony
One single melodic line with no accompaniment

Polyphony
Two or more simultaneous sounding lines of independent melody
Developed around 1000

Stimmtausch
Repetition of a musical section with the voice parts exchanged

Cantiga
A Portuguese narrative monophonic song that can be secular or sacred