• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Developments of Music During the Middle Ages

Extracts from this document...


The Middle Ages: Cradle of Modern Music The rich orchestration of Beethoven's symphonies and the charming melodies of Mozart's piano sonatas are easily recognizable, but few people can identify with the names or the works of medieval composers such as L�onin or Guillaume de Machaut. Better-known musical geniuses are praised for their masterpieces, but their works would have never been created were it not for developments made in earlier time periods. Throughout the Middle Ages, the creation of music notation, polyphony, and form paved the path for many great composers that would follow. In the early medieval period, European monks developed music notation, ensuring that their ideas could be passed down in the form of manuscripts. Apart from this important development, music composition evolved as more and more voices were added to the original single-line melodies of the time, a stylistic trait known as polyphony. Nearing the end of the Middle Ages, secular music took on fixed musical form, a development that would create the basis for centuries of music composed thereafter. The sounds of medieval music were quite simple in melodies and harmonies, but the period's various developments make it arguably the most important era for music. ...read more.


After vocal polyphony was established, the same concepts followed in the musical instruments of the time, creating richer accompaniments and more interesting textures in music. For instance, stringed instruments such as the lute or the viol would be featured in duets or trios as opposed to solos. This became the origin of the string quartets and quintets, an ever-popular genre during the Classical and Romantic periods (Pincherle 77). All in all, composers of medieval era created polyphonic music for voices and instruments, paving the path for all types of music performed in an ensemble. Just as polyphony would influence music in the Classical and Romantic periods, the concept of musical form was widely used in the Baroque and the Classical eras. As aforementioned, sacred music was deep-seated in medieval culture because of the patronage of the powerful Christian Church. However, nearing the end of the Middle Ages, secular music emerged in the courts to find its own place in history. Secular songs were composed by aristocrats, known as troubadours in France and Minnesingers in Germany (Forney and Machlis 348). These composer-poets focused their songs on the lives of the nobles, thus chivalry and courtly love were common themes. ...read more.


Erickson, Raymond. "Musica enchiriadis, Scholia enchiriadis." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan, 2001. Forney, Kristine, and Joseph Machlis. The Enjoyment of Music. 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2003. Hamilton, Elizabeth. "L�onin." 2003. The Innovations of L�onin and Perotin. 12 Dec. 2007. <http://axe.acadiau.ca/~065536h/leonin.htm> Hasselman, Margaret P. "Songs in Fixed Forms." 2001. Medieval Studies. 11 Dec. 2007. <http://www.the-orb.net/encyclop/culture/music/ffixe.html> Hawes, Neil V. "History of Notation." 2001. Basic Music Theory. 13 Dec. 2007. <http://neilhawes.com/sstheory/theory22.htm> Henderson, William J. "Advances in Musical Form." New York Times. 30 Mar 1902: SM8. Horne, Nigel. "The Written Notation of Medieval Music." 2007. Medieval Music Links. 13 Dec. 2007. <www.carolinaclassical.com/Medieval.pdf> McComb, Todd M. "Ancient Music." 2004. Early Music FAQ. 11 Dec. 2007. <http://www.Medieval.org/emfaq/beginlst/ancient.html> "Medieval Music." 2007. Medieval Music- Wikipedia. 12 Dec. 2007. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Hemingway> "Medieval Music: Birth of Polyphony." 2000. Medieval Music. 12 Dec. 2007. <http://www.stanford.edu/~jrdx/Medieval.html> Pincherle, Marc. "On the Origins of the String Quartet." The Musical Quarterly. June-July 1929: 77-78. Pisk, Paul A., and Homer Ulrich. A History of Music and Musical Style. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., 1963. Reese, Gustav. Music in the Middle Ages. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1940. Schoyen, Martin. "Messine Neumes." 2007. Checklist of Music Manuscripts. 11 Dec. 2007. <http://www.schoyencollection.com/music.htm#7.5> "The Nature of Music in the Middle Ages." 2002. The Middle Age Is Here. 14 Dec. 2007. <http://middleageishere.com/The+Nature+of+Music+in+the+ Middle+ Ages.11939.htm> 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Italian Unification Revision Notes. Italian Politics in 1815

    Garibaldi � By April 1860, northern and central Italy, apart from Venetia, had been united under Victor Emmanuel. Cavour would have happily stopped there: further unification would only make international intervention more likely. However, Garibaldi thought differently. He dreamed of uniting the whole peninsula.

  2. Investigacin Histrica: En qu medida la expropiacin de tierras emprendida durante el gobierno de ...

    Conclusi�n. La Ley de la Reforma Agraria puso fin a la oligarqu�a terrateniente, hasta cierto punto, porque en un momento renacieron en b�squeda del poder nuevamente, pero finalmente termina desapareciendo gracias a las constantes luchas pol�ticas. La oligarqu�a terrateniente, los llamados "barones del az�car" explotaban a los campesinos quienes

  1. Architectural Masterpieces in England

    and even beyond, for conservative college patrons. It followed the Perpendicular style and, although superseded by Elizabethan architecture in domestic building of any pretensions to fashion, the Tudor style still retained its hold on English taste, portions of the additions to the various colleges of Oxford and Cambridge being still carried out in the Tudor style.

  2. 20th Century History Revision Notes

    RCAF -Royal Canadian Air Force -Contained Canadian men and women -Helped in Battle of Britain Netherlands -May 1940: Germany attacked and invaded Netherland -March 1945: Allied force attacked Germany and Canadians were given the task to liberate Netherland. -Over 6300 Canadians were killed.

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    As partition became increasingly likely, the Jews tried to move more people into Palestine. - Over the next 5 months, Jews and Arabs prepared for war. Terrorism and violence escalated. - Avi Schlaim on Ben-Gurion, the key player on the Israeli side: "although he valued international support, especially that

  2. Technological Developments Made During WW2

    It was for us a very bitter surprise. We had nothing like it. ?[7] The CH played a key role in combatting the Luftwaffe long enough for Hitler to postpone his plans to cross the Channel, and divert his attention to an invasion of Russia, meaning Germany would have to fight a war on two fronts instead of one.

  1. Law and Order in the Medieval Period Assigment - Year 8

    (Rees, 2006) 2.Outline the significance of the Catholic Church to medieval European Society? The Catholic Church played a major part in society in the middle ages. Everyone in the village followed the Catholic Church. Peasants, noblemen and kings all followed the church and believing.

  2. The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World - A.W.

    It was designed by Sostratus of Cnidus at the behest of Ptolemy I of Egypt, one of Alexander the Great?s generals, although it was Ptolemy?s son who actually saw to its completion. Legend has it that the son, Ptolemy Philadelphos, forbade Sostratus to inscribe his name on the tower when it was finished.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work