year of fall of the Western Roman Empire
Greek speaking Byzantium did well in East
West spoke Latin
year of Great Schism- east had Eastern Orthodox while west had Roman Catholic Church with the Pope
year of Charlemagne’s coronation as the Holy Roman Emperor
year of First Crusade, created by Pope Urban II
a single unaccompanied melody
medieval-baroque double reed instrument with 7 holes, similar to oboe
medieval fiddle, predecessor of Renaissance viol and modern violin, had 5 strings tuned to 4ths and 5ths so the melody could be supported by 1 or more drones on open strings
plucked pre-harpsichord/piano/organ, strings attach to a frame over a wooden trapezoidal sounding board
ivory horn, rich used it to hunt, made from elephant tusks
Gregorian Chant
monophonic (unaccompanied, single line) singing by men, no specified rhythm, sacred Latin text meant to enhance the religious experience. Thought of by Pope (St.) Gregory
earliest notation placed above texts in 800s, meant as reminders for readers, but music still had to be learned by ear. First ones from St. Gall. Squares and lines
heighted neumes
neumes written in relation to a horizontal line to show their pitch relationships in the 900s
solmization (sol-mi-zation)
solfege of do-la invented by Guido D’Arezzo (c.991-1050)(hint: 5-3)
church modes
1-dorian, 2-hypodorian, 3-phrygian, 4-hypophrygian, 5-lydian, 6-hypolydian, 7-mixolydian, 8-hypomixolydian. Hypo- for all begins a fourth lower, plagal from the final to the first note of the scale.
rhythmic modes

from Notre Dame, 1st attempt to show rhythm, indicated before the music (not on the notes):

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1- ?d  2- d?  3- ?. d?

4- d??.  5- ?.?.  6- ddd
quarter note- long, 8th note- breve


 They show what the composer wants, so the singer has less control/room to improvise

Magnus Liber Organi
“great book of polyphony” compiled by Leonin, has music for Mass & offices, 2-voice organum with tenor and duplum (double) line above.
the range of notes in a mode (ex: dorian is D to D, hypodorian A to A, etc.)
identifying modes
authentic- notes stay above final, may go one note below
plagal- notes go down to a 4th (sometimes 5th) below final

final- D dor, E phryg, F lyd, G mixo

the main note of a mode and usually the last note in the melody
reciting tone / recitation tone
the most frequent or prominent note in a chant. 5th for authentic modes, 6th for plagal modes, except it’s a C if that 5th or 6th falls on a B, and for hypophrygian it’s an A (the 7th). Go figure.
Liber usualis
“book of common use” monks compiled in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, contains the Gradual (has Mass chants) and Antiphoner (book for the Offices)
on Sunday.

the congregation reenacts Last Supper, led by priests and their servants. Different each day, has special parts for holidays like Christmas

includes communion

daily prayers performed by monks and nuns in monasteries/nunneries, 8 services at specific times. divided into greater and lesser.
the Office (daily prayer) performed at sunset
unaltered chants of every single Sunday Mass. Includes Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. Composers wrote for these to put their stamp on life.
chants for Mass that change each Sunday. Includes Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion.
a text setting for chants in which each syllable gets only one note, for very long texts like the Credo and Gloria

Other 2: neumatic and melismatic

a text setting for chants in which each syllable has 2-4 notes ex: p20 in Anth

other 2: syllabic and melismatic

a text setting for chants in which up to 20 notes are used per syllable, for short and well known texts like the Kyrie and Alleluia ex: p16 in Anth

other 2: syllabic and neumatic

a performance style of chant in which a soloist alternates with the choir or congregation

other 2: antiphonal and direct

a performance style in which the choir sings.

other 2: antiphonal and responsorial

a performance style in which 2 choirs alternate

other 2: direct and responsorial

1 of 4 forms of chant in which there is new music for every line of text

other 3: verse-refrain, strophic
(and repetitive which is not on the test but means that sections repeat)

a form of chant in which several stanzas have the same melody, in hymns, like Silent Night

other 3: through-composed and verse-refrain
(and repetitive which is not on the test but means that sections repeat)

a form of music in which verses alternate with a refrain, like Oh What a Beautiful Morning

other 3: through-composed, strophic
(and repetitive which is not on the test but means that sections repeat)

an expansion to an existing chant in 3 ways: added words to existing melismas, extending or adding melismatic music, or both new words and music.

2 genres: sequences and liturgical dramas

a trope of chanted text, usually written syllabically in couplets (double-cursus form), most often sung after the Alleluia at Mass

other trope: liturgical drama

liturgical drama
a trope that was a Latin play performed in Church, of Biblical stories set to music. Most common ones are for Christmas & Easter. Short scenes were set to chants on special Sundays, eventually moved to Wednesdays.

other trope: sequence

double-cursus form
a form of sequenced trope, made of paired lines that are framed by two single sentences:

a, bb, cc, dd,… y

ex: p30 in Anth by Wipo of Burgundy

lower-class itinerant musicians who traveled alone or in groups, earning a precarious living by performing tricks, telling stories, and singing or playing instruments. They sang what the troubadours composed.
courtly love
From troubadours and trouveres, an idealized love through which the lover himself is refined. A rich woman, usually married, is adored platonically from a distance, with discretion, respect, and humility. The lady is depicted as so lofty and unattainable that she would be out of character to condescend to reward this faithful lover.
formes fixes
“fixed forms,” 3 kinds of French song in the 1300s: ballade, rondeau, & virelai. p127 in text
bar form
the German version of ballade, in aab form. a-stollen, b- the longer abgesang
p48 in Anth
“love singers” Germans modeled after troubadours, flourished 12th-14th, peaked in 13th century. Same courtly love genre, plus a new genre about Crusades. Ex: Walther von der Vogelweide who wrote the pro-war Palastinalied, and Oswald von Wolkenstein who wrote the story of hearing/seeing a party while imprisoned in Es nahet gen der Vasennacht.
“master singers” 14th-19th centuries, preserved the tradition of unaccompanied solo song from the minnesinger. Urban merchants and artisans who pursued music as an avocation and formed guilds for composing songs and singing them in public concerts and competitions. Began in 14th, peaked in 16th, lasted until the last guild dissolved in 19th century. Most famous guild in Neuremberg, most famous person Hans Sachs. Wagner liked them.
one of the formes fixes in aab form. Textbook shows aabC-aabC-aabC. German equivalent is bar form.
usually 3 stanzas p127 in text

other 2: rondeau & virelai

a fixes formes with the pattern ABaAabAB
only 1 stanza p127 in text

other 2: ballade & virelai

a fixes formes with the pattern Abba-Abba-Abba (Mihanovic uses AbbaA)
usually 3 stanzas p127 in text

other 2: ballade & rondeau

Spanish version of virelai: AbbaAbba…
the most common form of medieval instrumental dance, found in Le Manuscrit du roi (late 13th cent)
in AA BB CC form
first A- ouvert, meaning open/incomplete cadence
second A- clos, closed full cadence
principal voice (Latin: Vox Principalis)
in organum, the equivalent of the tenor–the main existing chant to which other lines (called organals) are added.
Musica enchiriadis
c.850-890, a handbook of music full of examples (but not full compositions), the first written polyphony (organum), had mixed parallel and oblique organum.

Differentiated between perfect intervals (P1, P4, P5, P8ve) and dissonances (2, 3, 6, 7)

organal voice (Latin: Vox Organalis)
in organum, this was added to the principal voice. In earliest (parallel) organum, normally sung below.
the earliest polyphony with one or more voices added to an existing chant
parallel organum
earliest polyphony, in which the organal voice is sung a fifth below the principal voice. Either or both voices could be doubled at the octave–principal voice 8ve lower and organal voice 8ve higher on p58 Anth.
mixed parallel (a.k.a. oblique) organum
polyphony in which the organal voice begins in unison and then progresses to sing lower than the principal voice by a P4, avoiding tritones. Looks like –<>–
p59 Anth
free organum
a.k.a. note-against-note organum
late 11th cent, polyphony that allows dissonances and all sorts of motion (parallel, oblique, contrary). Now the principal voice is on the bottom, organal on top (but allowed to dip below).
St. Martial organum
a.k.a. Aquitanian polyphony
early 12th cent, polyphony from 3 manuscripts in SW France, now in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in NW Spain.
Principal voice now called the tenor, which moves slowly and was the structural foundation of polyphony for upcoming centuries.
Organal voice has many fast notes.
Has discant and florid styles.
Notre Dame organum
polyphony from late 12th-early 13th century Paris, first time when rhythm was written down- with 6 rhythmic modes (with the basic unit of time in groups of 3) indicated at the start of the piece. 2 composers from here: Leonin and Perotin, Perotin wrote the 1st polyphony with 2+ voices.

This was the first time when polyphony was composed, not improvised.

discant style
from St. Martial polyphony, a style in which the upper (organal) voice sings 1-3 notes per note on the tenor (chant) line. Like neumatic style.
p64 #55 in Anth
florid style
from St. Martial polyphony, a style in which there are many upper (organal) notes per chant (tenor) notes. Think melismatic.
from Notre Dame polyphony, a self-contained section (that you could remove or replace) in discant style. Composers used different ones for the same tenor line, adding and removing to make Sundays fun.
removable one on p76 in Anth
two or more independent voices performed simultaneously
2 or more voices, one is simple while other(s) embellish
“Let’s go kill Arabs for Jesus!”
7 total, 1st in 1096, 7th in 1270
came from Pope Urban II to unite Europe with a common goal. His Call to Arms absolved all sins to anyone who joined.
They all failed.
But now we have the U of Bologna and algebra.
Gregorian chant C clef

used to be yellow the 2nd line down (out of 4 lines), but colored ink was too pricey, so became:


F clef in Gregorian chant

used to be a red line on the bottom (of 4 lines) but colored ink was too pricey, so it became:



a Gregorian chant symbol that is not a two-note harmony, rather you read from bottom to top:



(a backwards C)


Gregorian chant notation that has 3 separate pitches without the seeming portamento,

read as top left, bottom right, top right:



(looks like capital N)


Gregorian chant notation at the end of the staff, indicates what the first note on the next line is:




(lowercase d, sometimes a diamond shape with a vertical line attached above)

Cantigas de Santa Maria
400 of them. Secular songs of adulating stories of Mary. (Mary-#1 woman to inspire art, #2-Venus)
Commissioned by King Alfonso X el Sabio (ruled 1252-1284), 4 manuscripts, meant for court entertainment, accompanied (since instruments weren’t allowed in Church)(the recording has a lute, sounds like a guitar), in villancico.
Development of Organum
mixed parallel/oblique
St. Martial/Aquitanian
Notre Dame-Leonin & Perotin
first composer associated with Notre Dame, also priest & poet, was in charge at ND, compiled Magnus Liber Organi which has music for Mass & offices. Wrote for 2 lines: tenor & duplum (double). Only used rhythmic modes 1 & 5, has rhythm free music, too. Used monophony for choir, polyphony for soloists. His ND discant has like 50 notes per drone.
from Notre Dame, the indications for rhythmic modes at the start of the piece, looks like a bunch of neumes
Council of Trent
in 16th cent Italy, banned and burned sequences (additional textual/tuneful tropes, esp to Alleluia) in the liturgy except for these 5:
Dies Irae, Lauda Sion, Victinae Paschali Laudes, Stabat Mater, Veni Sancti Spiritus.
Hildegard of Bingen
1098-1179, the 10th child of her noble family, she was given to the Church. Prioress by age 16, opened 2 convents, became an abbess (mother nun). Hallucinated, wrote science books, chants, & hymns. Wrote sacred medieval monophony. Most famous composition ~1151: Ordo Virtutum- A secular musical morality play that’s syllabic/neumatic, but the devil’s character isn’t able to sing. Because the devil can’t sing.
sacred strophic song of praise
probably a student of Leonin, took over Notre Dame afterwards. Same style of Leonin except this guy used all 6 rhythmic modes, and he added a 3rd voice (triplum) & 4th voice (quadruplum). Also, he wrote his rhythmic modes consistently, even in the florid style, so that future theorists didn’t have to guess which rhythms he wanted. Wrote Viderunt omnes p79 in Anth. Steve Reich’s favorite.
Troubadour, m. Troubaritz, f.

mid 11th – early 13th centuries, poet composers from S. France. 1st time that poetry wasn’t written in Latin; instead in langue d’oc. Usually rich nobles. Mostly strophic (5-8 line long stanzas with the same melody). About courtly love. In aab (ballade) form.

ex: Bernhart de Ventadorn wrote for Eleanor of Aquitaine (who “stars” in Lion in Winter and gave birth to Richard Lionheart and King John of Robin Hood). p39 in Anth

Other ex: La Contessa de Dia wrote A Chantar p43 in Anth. Probably never sang what she composed, because that’s what jongleurs were for.


like troubadours, except they’re composers from N. France, spoke langue d’oil (which became modern French), wrote in all 3 formes fixes (ballade, rondeau, & virelai, unlike the troubadours who just did ballade)

Most famous one: Adam de la Halle (c.1240-1288), mono/polyohonic composer, wrote a musical play: Jeu de Robin et de Marion in 1284, which is heterophonic.