The Continent Jan 31, 2013 2:51:13 GMT -5
Post by Deleted on Jan 31, 2013 2:51:13 GMT -5
Today marks the anniversary of the birth, both of Gerard and of Franz Schubert, 216 years ago. I commend his musical compositions to everyone reading The Third. From a geographical perspective, I assume that the Continent refers to the Continent of Europe, Sydney Grew, although to be pedantic, Europe is only a peninsula of Eurasia.
As for a history of musical composition, music associated with the church predominates Medieval Europe. Though much is anonymous, the works of Hildegard of Bingen, an eleventh century German abbess, have become particularly admired over recent years. Less of the secular music of the age has survived, but from around 1250 there are examples of songs by troubadours and other entertainers whose traditions were primarily oral, not written.
Plainsong (or plainchant) refers to the unison chanting of the Latin liturgy. Both the Western and the Eastern churches were developing plainsong from around the fourth century, and by the eighth, the two dominant types were Gregorian chant and Ambrosian chant.
Polyphonic music arose within the Western church during the late Middle Ages as choirs made up of clergy responded to the desire for more sophisticated forms of worship. The term 'polyphony' (from the Greek for 'many sounding') refers to the use of a number of simultaneous vocal lines as opposed to the single line (or 'monophony') of plainchant.
The fourteenth-century French composer Guillaume de Machaut composed one of the earliest polyphonic settings of the Mass , the 'Messe de Nostre Dame'. Central to the polyphonic music of the period is the motet , which also originated at Notre Dame in Paris. 23 examples by Machaut survive.
The most important forms of secular music were all French in origin and derived from the dance. The virelai was a vocal form with a long repeated refrain. The rondeau had its origins in the round dance. The ballade consisted of three stanzas and a concluding refrain. Have you any particular recommendations?