Medieval music-- simple? Or just the opposite?

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Medieval music-- simple? Or just the opposite?

Post by Snowrose on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:05 pm

Medieval Music is by far one of the most interesting Musical periods thanks to the invention of the very first Musical notation, used by the Church, to mark down hymns to insure unity among the greater organization. These hymns, known as Gregorian Chants, marked the separation between musical style within the Church (Liturgical) and without (non-liturgical). For centuries, scholars believed that all medieval music carried the same thematic devices used in Gregorian chants whether it was used in the church or not. What was later found, however, was a clear demarcation between music in the church and music in the home.

Before the development of musical notation, songs would be passed down generation to generation through oral means. They would sing, and learn to play entirely by ear. The songs and style that had been common in the medieval era is still debated, but one can assume it was the exact opposite in style and form to the Gregorian chant. The church had taken it upon itself to create a new distinction between the sacred and the mundane in every aspect of European life at the time. The liturgies were spoken in Latin, the chants carried long harmonies, of which dissonance played an important role. Syllables in words were carried over rolling 5 or more part harmonies-- all in the male vocal range, and it was rare for there to be any instrumental accompaniment.

It was only in later era's where musical notation was eventually applied to non-liturgical pieces that the historical record of musical styles was able to be built up outside of the church.

--The Ashen Dragon
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