Wednesday, January 12,
For quiz: Know the Composer and song name, as well as Genre, texture, 2 things
about the text (language, function sacred/secular).
Books at the time were very precious- they spent hours to decorate the texts.
Example shown is an “O” from a book, with designs depicting illumination, and inside
the book, monks singing from one (shared) book.
They shared books because they were so valuable.
In churches, singing was often done in “Antiphony”, where the choir was divided into
two sides of the room and they sang at each other.
Secular Vocal Music (of the 12 thCentury)
Secular vocal music is music for entertainment, and began around the 12h century.
It was originally anything that was written down, often by monks and
We often have secular songs (secular topics) in Latin.
o But mostly they are in vernacular languages (languages that were
o This is strange as all sacred music was in Latin or Greek.
These were literate people, and tended to be wealthy. They are supported
by the church (very wealthy). This music is usually associated with royal
courts, or aristocracy.
o This music would be performed at court.
The music is always monophonic.
o Had a single melody line
It was about things done at court (knitting, etc), but mostly love, and
Beatriz A chantar- example used.
It’s an example of unrequited love.
It’s in pre-French
There is no music from before this period that survives today. Images show that
lutes were used, but there is no music that actually can be used.
In the 12 century, we see the very first instrumental music. The people who played
music would have memorized and improvised music played at weddings, etc.
By the 14 thcentury, there’s an explosion of written instrumental music.
In the 12 century, they are usually dances.
A dance, has a metric beat
o The metric beat was usually in multiples of two or three.
They would play this melody over and over again, and improvise on them.
It is monophonic (in the 12 thcentury, the dances/music was all
If you just have a drone accompaniment, it is still considered monophonic. Drone is
an accompaniment, but in that sense silence is a drone as well.
It’s repetitive, it does not react to the music at all. It was not included in the original manuscripts, which just showed the
Art music: music for connoisseurs, for aristocrats with training (music of the
The Notre Dame School
It is not a school in the sense that people went to the same building.
Notre Dame was built in the 12 thcentury (the first universities were founded in the
12 century as well).
The Notre Dame composers worked at the Notre Dame cathedral, and also
people who went to the university in Paris.
The oldest Notre Dame composers (Leonin, Perotin) are only known ab