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Lecture 5

Jan 14 2011- Lecture 5.docx

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McGill University
Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 211
Jerry M.Cain

Friday, January 14, 2011 Lecture Five th Machaut piece (for quiz) 14 century.  Agnus Dei o Part of the Mass Ordinary o Cantus firmus = piece of music based on some earlier chant melody  the cantus firmus itself is the melody line  Texture, etc. is not in the notes. o Texture: polyphonic (multiple melody lines (4), none are accompaniment)  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 music.  The information about the secular song (Puis qu’en oubli) is in the notes. o Polyphony 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 languages).  Example: Machaut motet with both French and Latin (chant, cantus firmus) 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)
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