Talk about Guido d’Arezzo. What role did he play in the development of pitch notation? Briefly describe his innovations in the field of music education. What do we learn from Guido about medieval music theory? Why was Guido important?
Guido d’Arezz wrote the first book on musicology. With this book, he created guide for notating music that covered intervals, note locations, solfege and the first staff. This book made it possible for there to be written records of music and worked as a guide for other people to read and perform the music at a later date. From Guido d’Arezz, we developed the Guidioan hand, which was used to teach pitches based upon hand positions.
Why was the development of pitch notation so important? What did notation make possible that had previously been impossible? Were there any drawbacks to notation? What types of notational symbols were experimented with in the two centuries preceding the emergence of the four-line staff? Compared with modern notation, what were the limitations of this early notation?
The development of pitch notation was key music. With the ability to accurately notate pitches, it became possible to provide a written key, so that anyone could come along and read the music as it was intended. This allowed the easier teaching of music, as well as a written history that could be handed down over time. The only drawbacks of this notation was that in order to learn the music, one would have to first learn to read the pitches on the staff and know what the corresponding sounds were. Compared to modern notation, medieval notation was inferior as it did not provide time signatures or a sense of rhythm. In the two centuries previous, music notation had been experimented with where pitches were notated above words in a relative manner. This notation was known as neumes.
Describe the most important style features of plainchant (Gregorian chant). How did they use melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, tone color, form, and other musical elements? What overall mood is created by this combination of style features? What makes this style so appropriate for use in church (as opposed to pubs, dances, or at work)?
There were many important features in Gregorian chant. There was no steady pulse. The music was monophonic, meaning there was one melody line. The chant also had a very small pitch range (an octave or less), and the melody line moved in stepwise motion. The overall effect created from the combination of all these style was a somber mood, with a powerful message. This made the music appropriate for church, as it created a powerful and mighty emotion, one not suited for anywhere but the church.
Briefly describe the overall shape of the Mass. What is the difference between Proper and Ordinary items in the Mass liturgy? Explain the role played by Proper and Ordinary in relation to the church’s liturgical year. Why is it important to have some of each in Mass? Name at least two examples each (four total) from the Proper and from the Ordinary.
THE SHAPE OF MASS. The Ordinary part of mass is the part that stays the same from mass to mass. The Proper part of mass is the part of mass that changes depending on the season and the calendar year. This allowed for stability in the service of the church, yet still allowing for changes based upon what is going on during the year. The Ordinary includes the Gloria, and the Kyrie, and the Proper includes the Alleluia and the Communion.
What is a trope? Name two different types of tropes and descrribe how medieval musicians created these two types. Name at least two pieces from NAWM derived from the practice of troping, describe how each one was created, and discuss their function within the Mass.
A trope is the expansion of existing chant. This is done by adding melismas or additional melody lines to an existing chant. TWO PIECES.
Who was Hildegard of Bingen? What did she do? What kinds of books did she write? What kinds of musical works did she write? Briefly discuss one or two of her most important compositions. How does her style compare with traditional Gregorian chant? Why is she important in the history of music?
Hildegard of Bingen was the prioress of her abbey from the 13th Century. She dictated music to be notated by Volmar, as she heard her music as gift from God. The songs she wrote were psalms. She wrote Ordo Vitutum, a play about the fight of good versus evil. Her style was much different from that of traditional Gregorian chant: she wrote music with a much larger range, and the melody lines included far more jumps, as well as jumps of larger intervals. She was important to the history of music because she was revolutionary in writing with such large intervals, as well as being a female composer.
Compare the troubadours and trouveres? How were they similar? How were they different? When did each type first emerge? What social class did they belong to? What purpose did their music serve? Name two important troubadours and two important trouveres.
Troubadours and trouveres were essentially the same thing. The only difference was troubadours were from Southern France, where the trouveres were from Northern France. They were noble poets who wrote their music in the vernacular, from the 12th century. Their music was designed to entertain, and many were often employed by royal courts. Two important troubadours were Bernart de Ventadorn, and Contessa de Dia. A trouvere was Adam de la Halle. And a Minnesinger was Walter van der Vogelweide.
What were the most important style features of troubadour and trouvere songs? How did they typically use melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, tone color, and other musical elements? What forms were commonly used? What was the overall mood of these songs? What are the most striking differences between these songs and Gregorian chant?
The most important style features of troubadours and trouveres were the fact that they had musical instruments, and their music had a pulse. They used formed and standardize rhythm, a thicker texture with additional instrumentation. The forms used were ballade, rondeau, virelai, and estampie. The mood of these songs was often hopeful, longing, loving, and happy. This is a dramatic change from the conservative, reverent, emotion and style of Gregorian chant.
Describe the varied roles of women in sacred and secular music of the tenth through the thirteenth centuries. Consider their musical roles as composers, audience-members, patrons, and topics of songs.
Women were not allowed to have a part in sacred music, in terms of composing, performing, and being the topic of songs. Nuns could write and sing music, as the monestary was the only place a medieval woman could become educated. Women were the topic of secular music, and were allowed to perform and write music of their own as well.