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Music of the Middle Ages

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Troubadours were French musicians who traveled across Europe ... The most famous troubadour ever ... Musicians usually improvised the simple accompaniments. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Music of the Middle Ages


1
Music of the Middle Ages
  • From Gregorian Chant to the Renaissance

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There were two schools of music during the
Middle Ages
  • Ars Antiqua - 1100-1300
  • Ars Nova - 1300 - 1450

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Ars Antiqua began in Paris at the Cathedral de
Notre Dame
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Representative Ars Antiqua Composers
  • Leonin (1163-1190)
  • Perotin (early 13th century)
  • Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
  • Anonymous (?)

10
What is Ars Antiqua?
  • Literally means old art
  • Stemmed directly from Gregorian Chant
  • This style of music can be characterized as
    adding hollow sounding harmonies(perfect 4ths
    5ths) to existing chants.
  • This type of music is called organum.
  • Originally, one voice would be added above the
    existing chant. The chant would be sung very
    slowly - it was called the cantus firmus.

11
Early Polyphony
  • Polyphony means more than one pitch played at the
    same time - what we typically call harmony.
  • The first type of polyphony was called parallel
    organum. Here the cantus firmus and the higher
    harmony mirrored each other.
  • Eventually composers like Leonin and his student
    Perotin began adding a third and fourth part
    above the cantus firmus, and moved away from the
    eerie sounding parallel organum.

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Parallel Organum
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Meanwhile, in Germany
  • Hildegard von Bingen, who herself was a nun with
    reported mystical powers, began composing music
    different from the Notre Dame school.
  • Von Bingen wrote music that sounded wildly
    different than plainchant, which some attributed
    to her lack of musical training. Her melodies,
    even today, seem contemporary.

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What kind of music was happening outside of the
church?
  • Secular music, or popular music, has existed
    throughout history, especially during the Middle
    Ages.
  • Secular music of the Middle Ages was the first to
    be written down on paper and preserved. Today,
    performances of secular music is possible using
    these surviving pieces of music.

16
Troubadours
  • Troubadours were French musicians who traveled
    across Europe during the 12th and 13th
    centuries.
  • They sang mostly love songs.
  • They accompanied their love songs with
    instruments, unlike the church.

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Adam de la Halle (1237-1286)
  • The most famous troubadour ever
  • Wrote the first ever musical theater piece Le Jeu
    de Robin et Marion
  • Inventor of the Motet
  • Motet - a piece of music where two or more
    different verses are fit together simultaneously,
    without regard to harmony

19
Medieval Instruments
  • Instruments in early secular music were used to
    accompany songs.
  • Musicians usually improvised the simple
    accompaniments.
  • While the accompaniments were melodically simple,
    they were rhythmically lively.
  • Lets take a look at the many different
    instruments used in these accompaniments

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Harp
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Krumhorn
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Lute
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Muted Cornett
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Psaltery
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Sacbut
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Serpent
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Shawm
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Hurdy-Gurdy
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Drum or Tambor
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Recorder
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Viol
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Ars Nova
  • 14th 15th century France
  • The invention of modern notation
  • The creation of the Ordinary of the Catholic
    Mass
  • The popularity of the motet

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Representative Ars Nova Composers
  • Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377)
  • Francesco Landini (1325-1397)
  • Anonymous (?)

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Guillaume de Machaut
  • A poet a musician
  • Created the first Ordinary for the Catholic Mass
  • Created many of the musical forms of today
    (rondos and ballades)
  • Master of counterpoint

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Examples of Ars Nova Music
Music from this period was the first to add stems
to the nuemes, thereby creating our modern system
of notation.
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This piece is called Sumer is icumen in and is
the oldest surviving round.
39
Conclusions
  • Most Medieval composers wrote mainly for the
    church and remained anonymous.
  • These early composers did not take the art of
    composition seriously. It was more a necessary
    function, or duty.
  • Most secular musicians had day jobs. Full time
    musicians were poor.
  • While music itself was held in high regard, those
    who made it were not. This is very different
    today.
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