-The spread of Christianity: it was first accepted as the official
Religion of the Roman empire.
- The music of the church was set to the sty le of Gregorian Chant.
- The beginning of musical notation.
-Polyphony is the distinctive feature of Western music.
- Aristocracy took part in the performance and composition of
Secular works. (Troubadours, Trouveres).
-Motet was a popular style of music.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
-Miracles and prophecies made her famous.
- “The Play of the Virtues”
- In 1150 she founded her own convent.
- Wrote religious poetry and music.
Example of music- Alleluia, O virga mediatrix
Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300-1377)
-French poet and musician.
- Admired as the greatest musician of the time.
- Wrote religious and secular (chanson) music.
- Favored the chanson and set it to courtly love poems.
Example of music- Puis qu’en oubli.
- Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan changed the views of the earth.
-Rediscovery of writings of ancient Greeks suggested a “rebirth”.
- Rapid spread of music printing increased access to music and books about music.
-The arts became an importance in learning and culture.
- Composers focused on sacred, secular and instrumental music.
- Italian madrigal and French chanson were the new forms of secular music.
- Imitative or homorhythmic textures were used.
Claudio Monteverdi- (1567-1643)
- First great composer of operas.
- Wrote eight books of madrigals that span the transition of the Renaissance to the Baroque.
- He added an emotional intensity that was new to music.
- Used dissonance to create drama.
Example of works- (opera) “The Coronation of Poppea”.
- Scientific investigations had an increased importance at this time.
- Kings, queens and emperors had a great amount of power in Europe.
- In all types of music, composers were looking for ways to create impressive effects. (word painting)
-The new and extravagant styles were used often in both
Catholic and Protestant services.
- New instrumental forms developed: concerto and sonata.
- The violin became the most important string instrument.
- Basso continuo is present in baroque music.
- Harmony is based on major/minor tonalities.
Johann Sebastian Bach- (1685-1750)
- Principle instrument: organ
- Cantor at St. Thomas’s church in Leipzig, Germany
- Believed that music must serve “the glory of God”.
- Most important work: The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Example of work- cantata no 80 A Mighty Fortress is our God.
-The American and French Revolutions took place with the
Enlightenments focus on the individual in politics.
-The concept “natural” became an important artistic thought.
- Improved economic conditions- greater wealth.
- Music began to be seen as “an innocent luxury”.
- Music was simple, balanced and had an interest in emotions.
- Homophonic textures widely used- use of contrapuntal devices were used only for specific reasons.
- Piano is now the most important solo instrument.
Ludwig van Beethoven- (1770-1827)
-Born in Bonn, Germany.
-His hearing started to deteriorate and he lost his hearing.
- Very popular for his sonata and symphony.
- One of the greatest composers of all time.
Example of works- symphony no. 5 in c minor, op. 67.
- Art became appreciated for its aesthetic worth.
- Music was being used to tell stories.
- An interest in music of ethnic groups was being used in composers’ music.
- Music was seen more as a calling rather than an occupation.
- Women found opportunities as performers but were still limited in composing.
- Melodies are longer, more dramatic and emotional.
- Harmonies are more dissonant.
Frederic Chopin- (1810-1849)
-Considered national composer of Poland.
- One of the most original artists of the 9th century.
-Composed mainly piano music.
- Died of tuberculosis in Paris at the age of 39.
Example of works- Nocturne in c minor, op. 48, no. 1.
Johannes Brahms- (1833-1897)
-Was very successful in Vienna.
- A traditionalist- he wanted to show that new sounds could be found in old (classical) music.
-His German Requiem is his most famous works of all time.
-He died of cancer and was buried in
Vienna not far from Beethoven.
- Technology takes off at a very fast rate.
- Communication: instantly contact with other people from anywhere becomes everyday living.
- The rise of Hitler in Germany: one of the most troubling points of history.
- Composers come up with a distinct sound not heard of before.
- Popular music became central focus around the world.
- Recordings made music available from all time periods.
- All sounds are possible: no rules!
- Extreme dissonances become a very popular means of composing.
Aaron Copland- (1900-1990)
-One of America’s greatest contemporary composers.
- He studied in Paris with the famous teacher Nadia
Boulanger; he was her first full-time American pupil.
-At one point he turned his composing to a jazz idiom that was popular at the time.
-He attempted to simplify the new music so that it would communicate to a large public.
Example of works- Appalachian Spring. (ballet)
Take out a piece of paper and write down these questions or homework tonight.
A. Define these terms using your textbook:
1. Gregorian chant, 2. Polyphony, 3. Troubadours,
4. Motet, 5. Madrigal (Italian), 6. Chanson,
7. Imitative texture, 8. Word painting, 9. Concerto,
10. Sonata, 11. Basso Continuo, 12. Homophonic,
13. Contrapuntal, 14. Aesthetics, 15. Dissonance.
B. Short Essays (use textbook)
1) How has history helped music become what it is today?
2) I named a few composers from the different music eras. Who are some other composers from the baroque and classical era that were not mentioned? (name 2 for each)
3) Compare the Middle Ages with the Renaissance period.
We will discuss the homework in class tomorrow.
Bonus. Write a paragraph about a 20th century composer other than the one who was mentioned.