Gregorian Chant
The codification of liturgy and music under Roman leaders and Frankish Kings, led to the repertory known as Gregorian chant.Was spread by Pope Stephen II in the 750s, when he traveled with the Schola Cantorum, or school of singers, and as a result of this visit other kings wanted to import the Roman liturgy into their own kingdoms. This alliance strengthened both parties politically and religiously.
Pope Gregory the Great
(590-604) is accredited with systemizing chant
Charles the great (768-814) spread Gregorian chant throughout the Holy Roman Empire, which covered a massive part of Europe around the year 800.
Holy Roman Empire
The Roman empire under Charlemagne the covered modern day France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and more.
Martianus Capella
wrote De septem disciplinis (“On the seven disciplines”) that contained sections on early music theory, but he may have made up everything he wrote
Wrote the De institutione musica, which was written toward the beginning of the sixth century and helped medieval authors during the ninth century understand Greek music.
Schola Cantorum
Singer’s school
one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Roman Catholic Church
Office/Liturgy of the Hours
a series of eight services that since the early Middle Ages have been celebrated daily at specific times
evening service of the office; the most well attended service and featured the best music
Mass Ordinary
text stays the same throughout the year
symbolizes the Trinity of father, son, and Holy Spirit with Kyrie eleison, Christe elieson,Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy).
on Sundays and feast days the Gloria, or greater doxology, is followed; a formula of praise to God that encapsulates the doctrine of the Trinity and again asks for mercy. the Gloria also has a long text, but most settings are neumatic, feature recurring motives, and have no set form
a statement of faith summarizing church doctrine and telling the story of Jesus’s incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. Was always set in syllabic style because it has the longest text and was the last to be reassigned to the choir.
Sanctus/ Benedictus
Holy, holy, holy; the text begins with the angelic chorus of praise from Isaiah 6:3
Agnus Dei
(Lamb of God) the choir sings this, and it was adapted from a litany.
Mass Proper
texts that varied from day to day
Latin for an entrance, followed by the Kyrie
Latin is stairstep, where it was sung; usually sung by a soloist, or soloists with responses from the choir. with the Alleluia, these chants and are the musical high points of the mass and are performed when no ritual is taking place. Viderunt omnes, the gradual for Christmas Day, has a 52 note melisma, and in performance, the cantor begins the respond and the choir complete it
Hebrew hallelujah, or praise God; based on Psalm texts. these include a respond on the word alleluia, a psalm verse, and a repetition of the respond. The final syllable is extended by an effusive melisma called a jubilus.
On some occasions the choir sings a sequence after the Alleluia. they are set syllabically to a text that is mostly in couplets, and derives its name, sequentia, or something that follows, from a similarly named earlier practice that replaced the jubilus at the and of the Alleluia. Most sequences consist of an initial single sentence, a series of paired sentences or phrases, and a final unpaired sentence.
a florid chant on a Psalm that is sung in preparation for Communion
the hymn based on a Psalm that is sung after Communion
an Office observance with lessons, or biblical readings, are accompanied with musical responses. Responsorial hymns had a soloist who alternated with the choir or congregation.
a chant sung before and after the psalm; greek for sound-returning. Antiphonal chants had two groups or halves of the choir that alternated
chant without alternation
Psalm Verse/Psalmody
the singing of psalms as a part of the mass and the office
Lesser Doxology
the last verse of the psalm, a formula of praise to the Trinity
text from poems, not from Scripture
the addition of text to an existing Introit that expanded an existing chant in one of three ways:
1) by adding new words and music before and during the chant, 2) melody only and extending or adding new melismas, 3)text only sets to existing melismas.
Psalm Tones
formula as for singing psalms in the Office; had to match the mode of the antiphon.
the main note in the mode, and usually the last note in the melody. each mode is prepared with another that shares the same final, and there are four finals, each with a unique combination of tones and semi-tones
Reciting tone
**the first pitch in a movement of mass ordinary or mass proper
the odd-numbered modes that typically cover a range from a step below the final to an octave above it. Often paired with plagal modes
has the same final as an authentic mode, but is deeper in range, moving from a fourth (sometimes a fifth) below the final or sixth above it.
one of three text setting styles; in which almost every syllable has a single note
another style of text setting, in which syllables carry 1 to 7 notes, or one neume per syllable
long melodic passages with multiple notes on a single syllable is a melisma; the chants that feature them are melismatic
(“sol”, “mi”) – ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la; set of syllables now known as solfege that correspond to the pattern of tones and semitones in the succession of C-D-E-F-G-A
developed from solmization, these were the interval pattern of 6 notes from Ut to la, and could be found in three positions; 1) the natural began on C, 2) the hard “durum” Hexachord began on G with a B-natural, and 3) the soft “mollum” hexachord began on F with a B-flat. Changing or using more than one Hexachord in a piece was called mutation
Guido of Arezzo
( 995 – 1050), mnemonic device used for locating pitches of the system of hexachords, developed solfege and written musical notation; the Guidonian Hand was used to teach solmization syllables
from Latin meaning gesture, these notes and note groups indicate the melodic gesture for each syllable, including the number of notes, whether the melody ascended, descended, or repeated pitch. they did not show pitches, and melodies still had to be learned by ear.
Diastematic Neumes
placing neumes at varying heights to indicate relative size and direction of intervals, making the pitch contour clearer
Solesmes Chant Notation
the Solesmes monks prepared modern editions of chant which Pope Pius X proclaimed as the official Vatican editions in 1903. These chants were intended for use in church, rather than for historical study. in practice, this form of notation gives all notes the same basic value while grouping notes into twos and threes, and flexibly combining them into larger units. It was not metered.
Hymns consisting of several stanzas that are all sung to the same melody
Music in which voices sing together in independent parts. Valued as a decorative accompaniment to chant, it heightened the grandeur of church liturgy in the years between 1050 and 1300.
The combination of multiple independent lines. (One of four major concepts inaugurated since the creation of written polyphony, which was only possible given the developments in theory and notation in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.)
The regulation of simultaneous sounds. (One of four major concepts inaugurated since the creation of written polyphony, which was only possible given the developments in theory and notation in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.)
Musica enchiriadis
Musical treatise explaining the use of various kinds of polyphony/organum.
Two or more voices singing different notes in agreeable combinations according to given rules. This term was used for several styles of polyphony from the 9th through 13th centuries. In early organum, either or both voices may be doubled at the octave to create an even richer sound. NOT just a manner of performing chant, but became a form of composition.
Parallel Organum
Organum in parallel 5ths.
Principal Voice
The original chant melody in a given organum.
Organal Voice
The melody sung exactly a perfect fifth below the principal voice in parallel organum.
Mixed Parallel and Oblique Organum
Organum combining parallel motion at the interval of a fourth, using oblique motion at other intervals to prevent tritones such as Bb-e and f-b. Phrases were required to end on consonant intervals (typically unison) at the ends of phrases and sometimes required contrary motion to accomplish this. This break away from simple drones and parallel motion raised the possibility of polyphony as a combination of independent voices.
Free Organum
Late 11th style of organum in which the organal voice has greater independence and prominence. Also known as note-against-note organum. Rules for improvising and composing in this style are preserved in the Ad organum faciendum. The added voice usually lies above the chant melody rather than below it, and the voices may cross. The organal voice moves against the chant in a free mixture of contrary, oblique, parallel and similar motion. And…it was composed!!!
Ad organum faciendum
“On making organum” – Contains rules for composing different types of organa. Written around 1100 AD.
Discant style
“Singing apart” – 12th century style of polyphony in which the upper voice or voices have about one to three notes for each note in the upper voice. The word discant is synonymous with the word treble when describing a vocal part.
“Double” – In polyphony of the late 12th through 14th centuries, second voice from the bottom in a four-voice texture, above the tenor.
“Triple” – In polyphony of the late 12th through 14th centuries, third voice from the bottom in a three- or four-voice texture, added to a tenor and duplum. In Notre Dame Polyphony, an organum in three voices.
“Quadruple” – In polyphony of the late 12th through 14th centuries, fourth voice from the bottom in a four-voice texture, added to a tenor, duplum and triplum. In Notre Dame Polyphony, an organum in four voices.
Organum Duplum
In Notre Dame Polyphony, an organum in two voices.
Organum Triplum
In Notre Dame Polyphony, an organum in three voices.
Organum Quadruplum
In Notre Dame Polyphony, an organum in four voices.
“Long” – In medieval and Renaissance systems of rhythmic notation, a note equal to two or three breves.
“Short” – In medieval and Renaissance systems of rhythmic notation, a note that is normally equal to half or a third of a long.
“Time” – In medieval systems of notation, the basic time unit. Plural form is tempora.
A serious medieval song, monophonic or polyphonic, setting a rhymed, rhythmic latin poem.
– (Sacred, non-liturgical, newly composed, not chant)
“Word” – Polyphonic vocal composition; the specific meaning changes over time. The earliest motets add a new text to an existing discant clausulae. 13th century motets feature one or more voices, each with its own sacred or secular text in Latin or French, above a tenor drawn from chant or other melody. Most 14th and some 15th century motets feature isorhythm and may include contratenor. From the 15th century on, any polyphonic setting of a Latin text (other than a Mass) could be called a motet; from the 16th century on, the term was also applied to sacred compositions in other languages.
Double Motet
13th century motet in three voices, with different texts in the duplum and triplum.
Triple Motet
13th century motet in four voices, with a different text in each voice above the tenor.
Cantus Firmus
“Fixed Melody”, term coined ca. 1270 by Hieronymus de Moravia- An existing melody often taken from Gregorian Chant, on which a new polyphonic work is based; used especially for melodies presented in long notes.
In medieval and Renaissance systems of rhythmic notation, a note that is normally equal to half or a third of a breve.
“Equal rhythm” – Repetition in a voice part (usually the tenor) of an extended pattern of durations throughout a section or an entire composition.
Modal Notation
Based on triple meter. Uses different combinations of longa and brevis. Includes 6 different rhythmic modes. Rhythmic mode indicated by a specific combination of ligatures.
“Phrase in a sentence” – Self-contained section of an organum that closed with a cadence.
(Magister) Leoninus
One of the two major (alleged) proponents of the Magnus Liber Organi, used widely in the Notre Dame School in the 12th and 13th centuries. Attributed with a portion of the composition Viderunt Omnes. Given credit for the section containing Organum Duplex (two parts). Features of this section of the composition include 1. consonances at the ends of phrases and 2. melodic freedom before the ends of phrases.
(Magister) Perotinus
One of the two major (alleged) proponents of the Magnus Liber Organi, used widely in the Notre Dame School in the 12th and 13th centuries. Attributed with a portion of the composition Viderunt Omnes. Given credit for the section containing Organum Quadruplum (four parts). Features of this section of the composition include 1. metered writing 2. consonances used to mark formal units.
Notre Dame de Paris
Birthplace of Notre Dame Polyphony, which was the first systematic instance of composed polyphony in music history!
Adam de la Halle
– Was a trouvere;
– composed “Robins m’aime”, a secular song written in the vernacular from famous play “Jeu de Robin et Marion”
– Uses “Rondeau” as a form.
Liturgical Drama
Dialogue on a sacred subject, set to music and usually performed with action, and linked to the liturgy; Easter and Christmas plays most common and performed all over Europe
Hildegard von Bingen
– Prioress and abbess of her own convent (nun), writer and composer
-More surviving chants from her than other composer in entire Middle Ages
– Most songs about Virgin Mary, Trinity or local saints; most composed for Office services
Ordo Virtutum (The Virtues) = most extended musical work
Notker Balbulus
– (“the stammerer”, ca. 840-912) Most famous early writer of sequence texts, Frankish monk at monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland
Walther von der Vogelweide
– (ca. 1170-1230) Best known German Minnesinger
– Composed a piece in genre of Minnelied called crusade song (speaks of leaving worldly comfort to travel in crusades) titled “Palastinalied” (Palestine song)
Poems of praise from Hebrew Book of Songs, sung during Masses in the Inroit and Liturgy of the Word
“My soul magnifies the Lord”, taken from Gospel of Luke; Mary’s proclamation after the angel Gabriel told her she was to bear the Son of God
Guidonian Hand
– Pupils taught to sing as teacher pointed to open left hand
– Each joint stood for one of twenty notes of hexachord system, other notes like F# or Eb considered to be oustide the hand
Hexachordum naturale
– (natural hexachord) in C
– consists of six notes C, D, E, F, G, A
Hexachordum durum
-“Hard” hexachord because of B-natural
– Consists of six notes on G: G, A, B, C, E
Hexachordum mollum
-“Soft” hexachord because of B-flat
– Consists of six notes starting on F: F, G, A, Bb, C, D
– Composed during 11th thru 13th C, normally sacred and sometimes attached to liturgy
– Poetry was rhymed, following regular pattern of accents
– Influenced repertories from same region of southwestern France: 1) troubadours, 2) Aquitanian polyphony
– Sacred, liturgical, newly composed, not chant
– Secular because it was composed outside of churches and brought into liturgy
Goliard Songs
– Composed during late 10th thru 13th C by wandering students and clerics, religious and secular themes
– Secular or sacred, nonliturgical, newly composed, not chant
– language of respective country
– Vernacular song written in medieval French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and others
Chanson de geste
– “Song of deeds” from epic genre (long heroic narrative)
– From Northern French vernacular recounting the deeds of national heroes and sung to simple melodic formulas
– Most famous is Song of Roland (ca. 1100 about a battle of Charlemagne’s army against Mulsims in northern Spain)
Poet-singers from Celtic lands who sang epics at banquets or other occasions, playing harp, fiddle or similar instrument to accompany themselves
– from English “jugglers”
– Lower class musicians who travelled alone or in groups
– Earned a living by performing tricks, telling stories, and singing or playing instruments
– Specialized musicians employed at court or city for at least part of the year
– Unlike jongleurs, they came from varied backgrounds (former clerics, sons of merchants, craftsmen or knights)
– Poet-composers from Southern France who wrote monophonic songs in Occitan in 12th or 13th C
– Would sing about fin’amours (courtly refined love), usually about another man’s wife being admired from a distance with discretion, respect and humility
Poet-composer of northern France who wrote monophonic songs in Old French in 12th or 13th C
– Would also sing about fin’amours or “fine amours” in Old French (see TROUBADOUR)
Poet-composers of medieval Germany who wrote monophonic songs, particularly about love, in high German
– French “songbook” manuscript collection of secular songs with French words, used both for collections of monophonic troubadour and trouvere songs an for collections of polyphonic songs
– 2600 troubadour poems survived, 1/10 have melodies
– 2100 trouvere poems survived, 2/3 have music
– Text/music vary, suggest that poems were composed aurally
Secular song with French words, used especially for polyphonic songs of the 14th thru 16 C
– German love songs that were more spiritual than fin amours theme of troubadour/trouvere songs
– More about faithfulness, duty, service, loyalty to Church
Stollen, Stollen, Abgesang (AAB)
– Form for German minnelieder (bar form):
A section (Stollen) – used same poetic meter/rhyme scheme/melody, usually poses a question
B sections (Abgesang) – usually longer and may end with latter part of Stollen melody, answers the question, may seem more important
A recurring line (or lines) of text, usually set to a recurring melody
– Italian “sing”, sacred Italian monophonic songs
– Composed in cities not courts, sung in processions/confraternities (groups of citizens gathered for prayer and mutual support)
– Was mostly monophonic from late 14th C and on
– Medieval monophonic song in Spanish or Portuguese
– Most famous was Cantigas de Santa Maria: collection of 400 cantigas made in late 13th C under the direction of King Alfonso el sabio (The Wise) of Castile and Leon (Northwest Spain)
– French forme fixe with a single stanza and musical form ABaAabAB, capital letters indicating lines of refrain and lowercase letters indicating new text set to music from the refrain
Genre of 14th century monophonic songs and one of three formes fixes (fixed forms) of fourteenth century french song, in which songs have particular patterns of repetition that include a refrain, often dance-like
the most serious of the formes fixes
light-hearted dance of the formes fixes that centered on themes of love
a phrase/section that repeats both words and music. All three of the formes fixes contain refrains, and because of this they can be considered dance movements.
Jacopo da Bologna***
a court composer in Milan, and not much is known about his life. Wrote ‘Non al suo amante’, which was set to a poem written by Petrarch

***LISTENING: Non al suo amante (NAWM 29)

Francesco Petrarca
Trecento Italian lyric poet, very famous. probably knew jacopo de bologna because only one of his poems was set to music during the poet’s lifetime.
Francesco Landini***
leading composer ballata and the leading composer of the Trecento; wrote music containing sweet harmonies with plentiful thirds and sixths, though they never end a piece.

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***LISTENING: Non avra ma’ pieta (NAWM 31)

what Italians referred to as the fourteenth century and italian music of this period has a distinctive character.
Squarcialupi Codex
named for it’s owner in the 1400s, is a collection of 354 pieces by twelve composers of the trecento and early quattrocento (1400s)and contained madrigals, caccia and ballatas
Madrigal (14th-Century)
a song without instrumental accompaniment for two or three voices. All voices sung the same text, usually a love poem, and they consist of two or more three line stanzas, each set to the same music. This is followed by a closing pair of lines called the ritornello
italian for refrain, the closing pair of lines which were set to different music in a different meter.
a polyphonic dance that became popular after the caccia and madrigals. it’s form is as follows; a ripresa (refrain), is sung before and after a stanza consisting of two couplets and two closing lines of text, all of which is sung to the same music as the ripresa.
a popular style of melody is set in strict canon to lively, descriptive words.
Under-Third Cadence
Also the Landini cadence because he was the first to use it consistently, it’s when the tenor descends by step and the upper voice decorates it’s ascent by descending first to the lower neighbor and then skipping up a third.
Ars Subtilior
More subtle music (in relation to the aging Ars Nova) was coined because the new, refined and elevated style of these songs, including their appearance , form of notation and color variations.
Musica Ficta
the use of certain chromatic alterations, or notes outside of accepted hamony. It was often used at cadences, as composers believed that the close it was to containing perfect interals, the better it would be.
Modus Perfectus/Modus Imperfectus (Mode)
terms used in Ars Nova notation by Philippe de Vitry,

Modus = long
Perfectus = triple division (1 long = 3 breves)
Imperfectus = duple division (1 long = 2 breves)

Tempus Perfectus/Imperfectus (Time)
terms used in Ars Nova notation by Philippe de Vitry,

Tempus = breve
Perfectus = triple division (1 breve = 3 semibreves)
Imperfectus = duple division (1 breve = 2 semibreves)

Major Prolation/Minor Prolation (Prolation)
terms used in Ars Nova notation by Philippe de Vitry,

Prolation = semibreve
Major = triple division (1 semibreve = 3 minims)
Minor = duple division (1 semibreve = 2 minims)

Mensural notation
in Ars Nova notation, signs that indicate which combination of time and prolation to use; the predecessors of time signatures

1. Perfect time, major prolation: O• (o with dot in middle)
2. Perfect time, minor prolation: O
3. Imperfect time, major prolation: C• (c with dot in middle)
4. Imperfect time, minor prolation: C

Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361)***
– French composer, poet, magister, later became Bishop of Meaux
– wrote treatise “Ars Nova”, new French musical style around the 1310’s

***LISTENING: In arboris (NAWM 24)

Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377)***
– leading composer and poet of the French Ars Nova period
– produced 140 musical works and almost 300 poems
– composed motets and Messe de Nostre Dame (probably first polyphonic Mass written by a single composer)

***LISTENING: 1. Foy porter; 2; Rose, liz, printemps (NAWM 26/27)

Philippus de Caserta***
– theorist and composer at Avignon court during Ars Subtilior period in France
– wrote a treatise on notation, introduced new notational signs and practices with rhythmic complexities/harmonic blurring
– His music (as other Ars Subtilior compositions) sounds like you’re walking through a hallway with lots of different music being played at the same time

***LISTENING: En remirant (NAWM 28)

Cantus Firmus
– (AKA tenor/held voice) Latin “fixed melody”, an existing melody, often taken from a Gregorian chant on which a new polyphonic work (esp. organum) is based; used especially for melodies presented in long notes
(see cantus firmus)
– 1) In polyphony of 12th an 13th C, the voice part that has the chant or other borrowed melody, often in long held notes.
– 2) In polyphony of the 14th and 15th C, the fundamental voice that together with the cantus determines the music structure.
– Latin “against the tenor”, in 14th and 15th C polyphony, voice composed after or in conjunction with the tenor and in about the same range, helping to form the harmonic foundation
– Greek=”iso”=equal + rhythm = equal rhythm
– repetition in a voice part (usually the tenor) of an extended pattern of durations throughout a section or an entire composition
– the repeating rhythmic unit in a motet tenor line
– talea and color could be same length, but most often, color extended over two, three or even more talae
– a recurring segment of melody in a motet tenor line
– talea and color could be same length, but most often, color extended over two, three or even more talae
– in 13th and 14th polyphony, the device of alternating rapidly between two voices, each resting while the other sings, as if a single melody, is split between them
– a composition that uses this technique is sometimes called a hocket
Perfect consonance
– unison, 4ths, 5ths, [6ths in Ars Nova], 8ves
Imperfect consonance
3rds, 6ths (Ars Nova)
2nds, 7ths, (3rds and 6ths before Ars Nova)
Formes Fixes
– Schemes of poetic and musical repetition, each featuring a refrain, used in late medieval and 15th C French chansons; in particular, the Ballade, Rondeau and Virelai