Middle Ages
The Liturgy
the patterns of worship service
divine office

service, all sung


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-matins, lauds, vespers, complive

-prime, sext, terce, none

Mass components



within ordinary


gloria- glory

credo- believe in one god

sanctus- holy

agnus dei- lamb of God

“Gregorian” chant

plain chant or plainsong


named after pope Gregory who gave the gift of song.

performance styles of chant

direct- all together now

responsorial- lead vocalist and choral response

antiphonal- two seperate alternation choral groups

Plainsong.  liited range of pitches repetitively

medieval polyphony most often based on a canuts firmus


imitative polyphony

cantus firmus

preexistent melody used as the basis of a new polyphonic composition.


fixed song


the most important service


derives from commemoration of the Last Supper


divided into spoken and sung parts and the Proper and Ordinary.


Sung Proper- Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion


Sung Ordinary- Kyrie, gloria, credo, sanctus, Agnus Dei, Ite missa est


Proper changes, Ordinary doesn’t


Tenor has the cantus firmus that is the foundation for the composition.


polyphonic setting of a sacred Latin text.




Music and poetry cultivated by all classes of society


the troubadour


fixed form




Italian poetic and musical form


usually pastoral in theme


aba bcb dd, abb cdd ee are typical rhyme schemes

defines western music
Leonin and Perotin

Perotin student of Leonin


They wrote Polyphonic stuff at Notre Dame

The Early Polyphonic Mass

-mass ordinary

-Latin v Vernacular

-Early masses based on Gregorian Chant

-Later Masses incorporated secular tunes

Guillaume Dufay
Wrote Secular;Polyphonic masses
Secular Music in the Middle Ages

Guillaume de Machaut

used the Chanson

started during the Ars Nova period, or New Art period




ballade aabc

virelai AbbaA

Rondeau ABaAabAB