Friday, January 14, 2011
Machaut piece (for quiz) 14 century.
o Part of the Mass Ordinary
o Cantus firmus = piece of music based on some earlier chant
the cantus firmus itself is the melody line
Texture, etc. is not in the notes.
o Texture: polyphonic (multiple melody lines (4), none are
All 4 parts are independent. Sometimes they move
together, but not always.
It is non-imitative polyphony (counterpoint).
Counterpoint = polyphony
o The harmonic language, the notes they hit sometimes (the
dissonance) is very different from Josquin (16 thcentury).
o Genre: if it is the singing of the Mass text, it’s a Mass.
There are many genres of Gregorian Chant
This Agnus Dei is one part (one movement)
In addition to writing the oldest Mass Ordinary that we have, he also wrote secular
The information about the secular song (Puis qu’en oubli) is in the notes.
o When the text repeats, the melody repeats as well
The form of the music is dictated by the form or the poetry
o Courtiers would be hearing this song (the royal court)
Sometimes you get polyphonic music that is also polytextural (not only do you have
independent melody lines, they also have different words, maybe in three different
Example: Machaut motet with both French and Latin (chant, cantus
o It’s clearly metrical
Mo’ Better Motets
1450- the invention of the printing press, the end of the Medieval Era.
Books could now be made by people who couldn’t even read.
But literacy became more common.
In the Renaissance, to be a Courtier (or extended family), you must be
literate (anyone in high society must be).
o Not only should you be literate (at least in your vernacular
language), but also a musician.
Because of all this, music explodes!
People start to understand what’s going on in church (they have their own
Bibles, etc), and therefore priests/etc. lose power
The Baroque period (intro of the Opera)