Middle ages (476-1450): Music History Terms

  1. Monophonic Texture
    • "Mono" means one
    • Music consisting of a single line of melody (referred to as a voice)
    • No harmony or accompaniment
  2. polyphonic texture
    • "poly" means many
    • two or more indepedent melodic lines (or voices) heard simultaneously
    • referred to as contrapuntal texture
  3. modes
    • scale patterns distinguished by their own unique order of tones and semitones
    • used in the music of Ancient Greece
    • served as the source for melodies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
    • generally referred to by their original Greel names (Dorian, Phrygian, etc)
  4. Neumes
    • the earliest form of notation in Western art music
    • small notational symbols: originally indicating the direction of the melodic line
    • later in the shape of squares or diamonds positioned on a staff and representing specific pitches
  5. A cappella
    • Latin for "in the chapel"
    • vocal music without instrumental accompaniment
    • characteristic feature of music in Middle Ages and Renaissance
  6. plainchant
    • sometimes called "plainsong"
    • roots in Judaic tradition
    • monophonic texture
    • modal melodies
    • relatively narrow melodic range
    • unmeasured prose rhythm
  7. Gregorian chant
    • a form of plainchant
    • modal, monophonic melodies with unmeasured rhythm
    • named after Pope Gregory the Great (ca 590 - 604) who is associated with organizing the chant repertory and standardizing liturgy
    • sacred, liturgical music of Roman Catholic Church
    • Latin texts
  8. Syllabic text setting
    • one note for each syllable of text
    • text can be heard very clearly
  9. neumatic text setting
    several notes (2 - 4) for each syllable of text
  10. melismatic text setting
    • many notes for each syllable of text
    • the most elaborate and florid form of text setting
  11. responsorial singing
    • a method of performance
    • solo voice alternates with chorus
    • solo passages referred to as "verse"
    • choral passages referred to as "respond"
  12. gradual
    • the fouth section of the Mass Proper (variable texts)
    • texts of the gradual derive primarily from the Psalms (poetic texts from the Old Testament)
    • chants sung during the portion of the Mass were generally melismatic and performed in a responsorial style
  13. organum
    • a general term for polyphony based on plainchant; used from 9th to 13th centuries
    • vocal music in which new melodic line(s) are added to an existing Gregorian chant (cantus firmus)
    • early styles maintained primary intervals between voices (perfect 4th, 5th and octave)
    • later styles featured more independent melodic parts, and a greater variety of intervals
  14. cantus firmus
    • Latin for "fixed song"
    • borrowed material. often from a Gregorian chant
    • serves as structural skeleton for a new polyphonic composition
    • originally found in the lowest voice
  15. tenor
    • from Latin tenere, "to hold"
    • in a polyphonic composition from the Middle Ages, it refers to the voice that contains the cantus firmus (borrowed material)
  16. organal style
    • a style of free organum in which the newly composed upper voice uses faster note values
    • notes from the original chant are sung by the lower voice in very long notes
    • sometimes called "sustained-note organum" or florid style
  17. discant style
    • sections of organum in which the original chant has faster rhythmic values
    • rhythmic movement of original chant is closely related to the upper voice than in the organal style
    • sometimes features "note-against-note" movement between the voices
  18. clausula
    • clearly defined section within discant-style organum
    • based on a single word or syllable
    • often highly melismatic
    • new versions, or "substitue clausulae" were sometimes composed, replacing existing clausulae (ex: Perotin composed new clausulae for Leonin's two-part setting of the mass)
  19. rhythmic modes
    • rhythmic patterns of long and short notes
    • an early step in the development of rhythmic notation; provided rhythmic structure in the absence of note-values and meter
    • related to poetic meters
  20. Leonin
    • first composer of polyphony known to us by name
    • active in Paris in the late 12th century
    • he produced two-part organum, using organal and discant style
    • wrote Magnus Liber Organi, (Great book of Organum)
  21. Perotin
    • active at Notre Dame Cathedral in the 13th century
    • expanded polyphonic technique by composing three-and four-part polyphony
    • composed "substitute clausulae" to replace organum originally composed by Leonin
  22. motet
    • vocal composition with or without instrumental accompaniment
    • can be sacred or secular
    • usually anonymous and often polytextual in the 13th century
  23. polytextual motet
    • two or more texts heard simultaneously
    • as a result, the words can sometimes be hard to distinuish
    • characteristic feature of 13th-century motet
  24. ostinato
    • Italian for "ostinate"or "persistent"
    • a rhythmic or melodic pattern repeated for an extended period
  25. countertenor
    • high male voice with a strong, pure tone
    • often heard in performances of early music
    • falsetto singing (out of normal male range)
  26. monophonic chanson
    • flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries
    • composed by aristocratic poet-musicians known as trouveres and troubadours
    • recorded in song books called chansonniers
    • monophonic texture
    • modal melodies
    • usually in strophic form
    • instrumental accompaniments were often improvised
    • texts often reflected courtly love in the age of chivalry
  27. strophic
    • a song structure where the same music is performed for each verse of the poem
    • as a result, little connection can be achieved between the words and the music
  28. trouvere
    • French for "finder" or "inventor"
    • aristocratic poet-musician
    • composed and performed original poems and songs
    • sang of courtly love
    • lived and worked in northern France
  29. troubadour
    • aristocratic poet-musicians
    • composed and performed original poems and songs
    • lived and worked in southern France
  30. jongleurs
    • multi-talented Medieval entertainers (not composers)
    • from lower social classes
    • functioned as court jesters, musicians, storytellers, and carriers of gossip
  31. minnesinger
    • German for "singers of love"
    • German counterpart of the Medieval troubadours and trouveres
  32. psaltery
    • popular Medieval string instrument
    • consisted of a trapezoidal wooden soundbox with gut strings
    • strings plucked with fingers or with a plectrum
    • generally played indoors
  33. dulcimer
    • a popular Medieval stringer instrument consisting of a wooden soundbox and gut strings
    • strings are struck with small hammers/mallets
    • generally played indoors
  34. vielle
    • Medieval ancestor of the violin
    • the body of the instrument had a figure-eight shape
    • played with a bow
    • generally played indoors
  35. drone
    • sustained pitch or long held note(s)
    • provides harmonic support
    • common feature in folk music
  36. Ars Nova
    • Latin for "new art"
    • title of a famous 14th-century treatise by composer Philippe de Vitry
    • the term is also used by historians when referring to music in 14th century France
    • as a result, the previous era became known as Ars antiqua ("old art")
  37. rondeau
    • a popular fixed poetic form used in the polyphonic chansons of the Ars nova
    • consists of four verses with a refrain
    • the text of the first stanza was repeated partially in the second verse and repeated fully in the fourth verse
    • can be represented as: AB aA ab AB
  38. musica ficta
    • Latin for "false music"
    • performance practice applied in modal music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance
    • performers raised or lowered pitches by chromatic semitones to avoid undesirable intervals
    • much like modern-day accidentals
  39. isorhythm
    • a compositional device developed in the Ars nova
    • literally, "equal rhythm"
    • combines melodic patterns (colour) with rhythm patterns (talea)
    • colour and talea are typically not the same length, overlapping rather than coinciding
  40. hocket
    • from French word hoquet meaning "hiccup"
    • a melodic line is split between two voices
    • each voice alternates between notes and rests
    • frequently employed in Ars Nova
  41. bas
    • French for "low" indicating a low level of volume (soft)
    • Medieval designation for indoor intruments
    • includes dulcimer, lute, psaltery, rebec, recorder, vielle
  42. haut
    • French for "high" indicating a high level of volume (loud)
    • Medieval designation for outdoor instruments
    • includes cornetto, crumhorn, sackbut, shawm
  43. lute
    • ancestor of guitar
    • middle-Eastern origin
    • plucked, fretted, string instrument
    • frequently used to accompany singers
  44. rebec
    • Medieval indoor instrument
    • pear-shaped, bowed, string instrument
    • has 3 strings
    • played on the arm or under the chin
  45. recorder
    • Medieval indoor instrument
    • end-blown wind instrument; came in different lengths
    • had finger holes
    • remained popular into Baroque period
  46. cornetto
    • ancestor of the trumpet
    • developed from cow-horn, later made of wood
    • outdoor instrument
  47. crumhorn
    • double-reed wind instrument
    • sound produced by blowing into enclosed double reed
    • usually j-shaped
    • outdoor instrument
  48. sackbut
    • ancestor of the trombone
    • from the Old French, "pull-push"
    • outdoor instrument
  49. shawm
    • ancestor of oboe
    • middle-Eastern origin
    • double reed instrument
    • produces shrill nasal tone
  50. guitarra
    • guitar of Moorish (North African) origins
    • strummed
  51. Medieval pipe
    • ancestor of flute
    • wind instrument with 3 holes
    • blown through mouthpiece
  52. nakers
    • Medieval percussion instruments
    • middle-Eastern origin
    • played in pairs
    • resemble small kettledrums
  53. tabor
    • Medieval percussion instrument
    • large cylindrical drum
  54. tambourine
    • percussion instrument
    • wooden frame with small metal disks inserted
    • may or may not have a drum skin
    • played by striking or shaking
  55. portative organ
    • Medieval portable keyboard instrument
    • small keyboard activates high-pitched pipes
    • sound genertaed through pumping bellows
    • sometimes called organetto
  56. positive organ
    • originated in 14th century, but remained popular through the Renaissance
    • slightly larger than portative organ, but still portable, like a piece of furniture
    • had one keyboard, no pedals, and small pipes
  57. regal
    • 14th-century portable organ
    • ancestor of modern harmonium
    • had small keyboard and reeds instead of pipes
    • like the portative organ, it could be carried by means of a strap around the neck allowing the player to pump the bellows with the left hand while playing on the keyboard with the right hand
  58. estampie
    • one of the earliest Medieval dances
    • stately character
    • involves elaborate body movements
    • danced by couples
  59. heterophonic texture
    • simultaneously variation; the same melody is played in more than one way at the same time
    • involves two or more voices, one playing the original melody while another plays an ornamented or embellished version
    • added voices are often improvised
  60. Pope Gregory I
    • leader of Roman Catholic Church from 590 - 604
    • not the composer of the chants
    • helped to organize and codify the chants that had accumulated; led to the establishment of a uniform liturgical service
    • oversaw the expansion of schools to train singers in performance of sacred repertoire (schola cantorum)
  61. Liber usualis
    • contains the music and texts of many of the chants in the Roman Catholic services
    • Latin for " Book of Common Use"
    • a late 19th-century book with almost 2,000 pages containing many settings of the ordinary and the most frequently used texts and chants for specific rituals including baptism, matrimony, ordination, and funeral rites
    • prepared by the monks of the benedictine Abbey of Solesmes (France)
  62. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
    • founded religious order in Rupertsberg (Germany)
    • famous for scientific writings, visions and prophecies; distant rulers and clergy sought her counsel
    • wrote music and poetry
    • her morality play Ordo birtutum (the Play of Virtues) was written to teach rightrous Christian values to an illiterate audience
    • her monophonic melodies resembled plainsong but were newly composed
    • melodies were often based on repeated motives
  63. musica enchiriadis
    • Latin for "music handbook"
    • anonymous 9th-century treatise
    • contains the earliest examples of notated polyphony in Western art music
    • includes parallel organum, with new melodic lines added above or below the original chant
  64. Notre Dame School
    • The use of the word "school" denotes a common style represented by the collective work of such groups of individuals
    • The Notre Dame school composers in the 12th and 13th centuries formed one of the earliest examples of a compositional school.
    • Leading composers of this school: Leonin and Perotin
  65. Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361)
    • author of the treatise Ars nova (1322)
    • innovator in the notation of rhythm, including the "imperfect" division of notes into two equal units (a move away from the division of notes into three equal units considered "perfect"
    • broke free from older patterns and rhythmic modes
    • used isorhythm, the repetition of an extended pattern, in which melodic patterns and rhythmic segments of different leangths combined
  66. Messe de Nostre Dame
    • Latin for "Mass of Our Lady"
    • among the earliest complete polyphonic settings of the Mass Ordinary by a single composer
    • for four voices
    • employs isorhythm
    • musical unity is created through the use of recurring motives
    • among the longest extant works from the Middle Ages
  67. Chansonnier du Roy
    • one of the earliest examples of notated dance music
    • French for "songbook of the King"
    • anonymous 13th-century French manuscript
    • contains troubadour and trouvere songs as well as 8 monophonic dances including "Royal Estampie No. 4"
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Middle ages (476-1450): Music History Terms
Music history terms from the middle ages to Classial