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Stylistic Periods


The Catholic Church was the center of the Medieval world. ... Lute (13th century guitar) Bowed Rebec. Vielle (descendent of violin) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stylistic Periods

Stylistic Periods
  • Introduction

Background Information
  • Middle Ages (450-1450)
  • Renaissance (1450-1600)
  • Baroque (1600-1750)
  • Classical (1750-1820)
  • Romantic (1820-1900)
  • Twentieth Century (to 1950)

  • Characteristic way of treating the various
    musical elements
  • We can speak of the musical style of
  • A composer
  • Group of composers
  • Country
  • Period in history
  • Similar features of style can be found in
    different arts of the same period.

General Features of Each Period
  • Function in society-Name them
  • Entertainment-concert hall, middle class home
  • Used to accompany singing, dancing, religious
    rites drama.
  • What it is created for
  • Shaped by political, economic social, and
    intellectual developments

Medieval Period
  • 450-1450

Historical Background
  • Disintegration of the Roman Empire
  • 476-Last Roman Emperor lost his throne these
    centuries of disorder became known as the Dark
  • After 1000 Europe became more stable-Feudal
  • Sharp division between the three main social
    classes Clergy, Nobility and Peasantry
  • Important musicians were priests, hence the
    liturgical singing.

  • The Medieval King-Monarchs ruled by the idea of
    divine right (king ruled both Crown Church).
  • The Catholic Church was the center of the
    Medieval world.
  • Pope (as vicar of God on earth) should have
    ultimate authority over the state. Represented
    God on earth.
  • Sometimes the king or ruler was the highest
    religious leader and sometimes considered divine.
  • Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) the Emperor had
    supreme power over the church.
  • Before the advent of Christianity, there was no
    separation between church and state.
  • Conflict between church and state is a Western

Other Events
  • 13th century-Inquisition. Established to hunt out
    those who disagreed with the teachings of the
    catholic churchthey were excommunicated, which
    sometimes meant not just cut off from the
    churchbut put to death.
  • Catastrophic Event-Black Death (1347-1350). Lost
    1/3 of the population, mostly peasants. Brought
    to Asia by Italian sailors.

People of the Time
  • Vlad Tepes (1431-1476) Who is this man?
  • Born in Romania
  • Became Prince of one of three provinces and lived
    in a palace.
  • His father was inducted into the Order of the
    Dragon (religious society to protect the
    interests of Catholicism, and to crusade against
    the Turks)
  • Taken hostage for political reasons in 1442.

Vlad Tepes Dracula
  • Released from prison and learned that his father
    and brother had been killed by the boyars of
  • At 17 he killed his fathers assassin and secured
    his second reign over Wallachia and during the 6
    years he committed many cruelties, thus
    establishing his reputation.
  • Act of revenge he arrested all the boyar
    families and impaled the older ones on stakes,
    forced the rest to trek for 50 miles, if they
    survived they were ordered to build him a
    fortress on the ruins of an older outpostnow
    known as Castle Dracula.
  • He became known for his brutal punishments,
    favorite was impalement on stakeshence the
    surname Tepes (The Impaler).

Two Types of Music
  • Sacred
  • Religious in nature
  • Meant to be performed in the church
  • Based on Latin text
  • Secular
  • Music outside the church
  • Topics included love, dance songs, spinning
    songs, etc
  • Surviving songs written down by clerics

Sacred Music
  • Gregorian Chant
  • Official music of the Roman Catholic
  • Church for over 1,000 years.
  • Represents the voice of the church
  • Named after Pope Gregory I who reorganized the
    Catholic liturgy (reign 590-604)
  • First passed down by oral tradition
  • Characteristics
  • Single melodic line
  • Monophonic in texture (sung without
  • Alternates between soloist and choir
  • Sacred Latin texts
  • Melody moves stepwise
  • Based on modes or church scales
  • Free from regular accent
  • Flexible rhythms without meter and little sense
    of beat.

Setting Style of the Texts
  • 1. Syllabic one note to each syllable
  • 2. Neumatic groups of two to four notes per
    syllable (each group represented by a single
    neume in the original notation)
  • 3. Melismatic single syllable extending over
    longer groups of notes
  • 1 - Alleluia Vidimus Stellam (P. 70)

Hildegard of Bingen
  • 1098-1179. Abbess of Rupertsberg, Germany
  • Composer, visionary, mysticactive in religious
    and diplomatic affairs.
  • Wrote poetry and music treatises on theology,
    science, and medicine
  • First woman composer whose works (monophonic
    sacred songs) have survived.
  • 2 - O successores (Page 72)
  • See handout for more information

  • 900-Wandering Minstrels (Jongleurs) performed
    music and acrobatics in castles, taverns, and
    town squares
  • They had no civil rights, lowest on social level
    with slaves and prostitutes
  • 1100-Troubadors-sang about love and dance songs.
  • Composed by French nobles and knights (musical
  • Language Provencal

Secular Music
  • Estampie (Thirteenth Century)
  • Medieval dance, earliest surviving form of
    instrumental music
  • In triple meter, with a strong, fast beat.
  • Manuscript reflects a single melodic line with no
    instruments specified.
  • 3 Anon Estampie
  • (p. 74)
  • See handout for an overview of medieval

Romanesque Era (1000-1150)
  • Emergence of polyphony
  • Single most important development in western
  • System for notating rhythm started in the 12th
    and 13th centuries.
  • Mass Five sung prayers of the Ordinary (or
    public mass)
  • Canon extended melody stated in one part and
    then strictly imitated in one or more parts.

Gothic Era (1150-1450)
  • Individual composers on the scene
  • Rise of cathedrals
  • Learned musicians were monks and priests
  • Earliest kind of polyphonic music was called
  • Organum consists of Gregorian chant and one or
    more additional melodic lines.

School of Notre Dame (1163)
  • Leonin his successor, Perotin (choirmasters)
    are among the first notable composers known by
  • They and their followers referred to as the
    School of Notre Dame.
  • 1170-1200 developed rhythm innovations.
  • Used measured rhythm with definite time values
    and clearly defined meter.
  • First time in music history notation indicated
    precise rhythms as well as pitches.

Guillame Machaut
  • 1300-1377
  • Foremost French composer/priest and greatest
    musician of his time.
  • Traveled to many courts and presented decorated
    copies of his manuscripts to noble patronsthese
    copies made him one of the first composers whose
    works survived.
  • 4 Puis quen oubli
  • 5 - Notre Dame Mass-best known composition (P.
    78 79)

Additional Terms
  • Drone - long sustained tone or tones accompanying
    a melody. (Hildegard-O Successores
  • Cantus Firmus (fixed melody) Composer added
    one, two or three countermelodies of his own
    creativity. Latin text.

Ars Nova
  • Secular music started becoming more important
    than sacred music
  • 14th century was an age of disintegration
  • (Hundreds Years War, Plague, weakening of the
    Feudal system)
  • Composers wrote polyphonic music not based on
    chants. (drinking songs, and songs in which they
    imitated the sounds of barking dogs, birdcalls,
  • With the new system of music notation composers
    could specify any rhythmic pattern.
  • Beats could be subdivided
  • These changes in musical style were so profound
    that the theorists referred to French and Italian
    music as the new art (or Ars Nova, Latin)

  • STRINGS Plucked - Psaltery (auto harp)
  • Lute (13th century guitar)
  • Bowed Rebec
  • Vielle (descendent of violin)
  • Woodwind Shawm (large medieval oboe) double
  • Percussion Nakers (small kettle drums)
  • Tabor
  • Cymbals and bells
  • Hurdy Gurdy- (cranked rectangular box) stringed
    instrument with handle and keys.

Keyboard Instruments
  • Mainly organs many men needed to pump the giant
  • By 1300 there were up to 2,500 pipes or more
  • Small organs were called positive, organetto or
    portative (they could be moved around.)
  • Organ most popular instrument
  • See handout for pictures

Additional Composers
  • Landini, Francesco (1325-1397) Italian
    organist, blind.
  • Dufay (1400-1474) Church music and songs, motets.
    (Mainly considered a Renaissance composer.)