Notker Balbulus
Monk and musician at the St. Gall monastery. He wrote on musical notation, the organ and performing the plainsong.
A medieval monk and composer.
Guido d’Arezzo
A music theorist of the Medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic notation; his text, the Micrologus, was the second-most-widely distributed treatise on music in the Middle Ages. He also created the “Guidonian Hand” for singers to learn solfeggio.
Adam de la Halle
French composer, one of the later trouveres. The esteem in which de la Halle was held in his time is evidenced by the fact that his were the first musical works to be collected and edited.
Bernart de Ventadorn
A troubador composer and poet.
Guiraut de Bornelh
He was called by his contemporaries ‘Master of the Troubadours’.
Walter von der Vogelweide
Walther is considered to be the most famous German poet of the Middle Ages in the finest tradition of the Minnesinger.
Hans Sachs
German poet, leading meistersinger of the Nuremberg school.
Professional storyteller or public entertainer in medieval France, often indistinguishable from the trouvere. The role of the jongleur included that of musician, juggler, and acrobat, as well as reciter of such literary works as the fabliaux, chansons de geste, lays, and other metrical romances that were sometimes of his own composition.
Goliardic poets
Goliards were wandering scholars devoted to adventure and the good life. While some serious students traveled from one university to the next in search of the specific knowledge each school had to offer, the Goliards traveled in search of wine, women and song.
Composers and performers of Occitan (southern France) lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages(1100–1350).
Sometimes spelled trouveur, is the Northern French (langue d’oil) form of the word troubadour (as spelled in the langue d’oc). It refers to poet-composers who were roughly contemporary with and influenced by the troubadours but who composed their works in the northern dialects of France.
In Germany between the 12th and the 14th centuries, a traveling poet-musician who wrote and performed songs of courtly love.
“Master Singers”, a Meistersinger was a member of a German guild for poets and musicians in the 14th to 16th centuries who had completed an apprenticeship and composed original work.
Gregorian Chant
A liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church that is sung without accompaniment.
Antiphonal psalmody
A psalm, hymn, etc., chanted or sung in alternating choir sections.
Responsorial psalmody
A psalm, hymn, etc., chanted or sung first by a soloist, and then by the remaining choir.
Direct psalmody
A psalm, hymn, etc., chanted or sung with the entire choir together.
Syllabic setting
One note sung per syllable.
Melismatic setting
Several notes sung with one syllable being held.
Neumatic setting
Combination of Syllabic and Melismatic setting.
The basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation. The earliest neumes were inflective marks which indicated the general shape but not necessarily the exact notes or rhythms to be sung. Neumes do not generally indicate rhythm, but additional symbols were sometimes juxtaposed with neumes to indicate changes in articulation, duration, or tempo.
The term for the long melisma placed on the final syllable of the Alleluia as it is sung in the Gregorian chant.
Liber usualis
A book of commonly-used Gregorian chants compiled by the monks of the Abbey of Solesmes in France.
Liturgical drama
In its various Christian contexts, originates from the mass itself, and usually presents a relatively complex ritual that includes theatrical elements. In the Christian tradition, religious drama stemmed out of liturgy at the end of the Middle Ages (mostly the 15th century) in the form of mystery plays.
Modal system
A term used for the scalar and melodic categories into which Gregorian chant was classified from about the 8th or 9th century; Glarean (Dodecachordon, 1547) added four to the existing eight.
The Guidonian hexachord (named after its inventor, Guido of Arezzo) was the most basic pedagogical tool for learning new music in the European Middle Ages, and was often referenced in contemporary musical theory.
A system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale.
The full range of pitches in a musical system.
Transposition from one modal type to another.
A chanson (“song”, from Latin cantio) is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular.
A short narrative poem in which a knight relates his encounter with a humble shepherdess whom he attempts (with or without success) to seduce in the course of their amusing dialogue. Such poems were fashionable in France, Italy, and Germany in the 13th century.
The most important form of vernacular sacred song in Italy in the late medieval era and Renaissance. The early lauda was probably influenced by the music of the troubadours, since it shows similarities in rhythm, melodic style, and especially notation.
A chant sung or recited during the Mass, before the proclamation of the Gospel.
Refers to additions of new music to pre-existing chants in use in the Western Christian. Three types of addition are found in music manuscripts: (1) new melismas without text (mostly unlabelled or called “trope” in manuscripts) (2) addition of a new text to a pre-existing melisma (more often called prosula, prosa, verba or versus’) (3) new verse or verses, consisting of both text and music (mostly called trope, but also laudes or versus in manuscripts).
The response which one side of the choir makes to the other in a chant; alternate chanting or signing.
Psalm tone
Melodic recitation formula used in the singing of the psalms and canticles of the Bible, followed by the “Gloria Patri” (“Glory Be to the Father”) during the chanting of the liturgical hours, or divine office.
The medieval dance and musical form that was a popular dance style in the 13th and 14th century. The estampie consists of four to seven sections, called puncta, each of which is repeated, in the form aa, bb, cc, etc..
A type of sacred, but non-liturgical vocal composition for one or more voices.
Chanson de geste
Old French for “songs of heroic deeds [or lineages]”, are the epic poems that appear at the dawn of French literature.
Cantigas de Santa Maria
The Cantigas de Santa Maria medieval-era manuscripts were written during the reign of Alfonso X “El Sabio” (1221-1284) and are one of the largest collections of monophonic (solo) songs from the middle ages.