Feb 6 – Music of the 14 Century: Instrumental Music
What is 'Instrumental?'
– Difficult to say whether purely 'instrumental' music existed on its own for
most of the Middle Ages.
– Instruments usually: doubled vocal lines, played with singers, accompanied
or substituted for particular vocal lines in motets, etc.
– Also used for processions/battle calls/dances.
– The mysterious power of purely instrumental music (first seen with
Greeks /Romans) not totally welcomed in the church.
– Music in Medieval era always had a purpose – ornamentation of an event,
worship. Music allowed people to remember the words.
– Music which does not “produce” anything is questionable in its moral
– However, a lot of church iconography (carvings, pictures etc.) show
instrumentalists accompanying singers in church (vielles, rebecs, lutes,
bells, trumpets, etc.)
First Instrumental Notation
– First: late 13 century untexted hocket passages in The Bamberg Codex.
– Second: around 1320, several folios of intabulation for motetes in the
Roman de Fauvel are found in the Robertsbridge Cosex
– Intabulation: keyboard/stringed instrument reduction of a vocal work.
– Third: early 15 century Faenza Codex contains 96 folios of intabulation of
dances, Mass movements, chansons and madrigrals.
Dance Music: Puncta
– Puntca: short sections of a piece that are repeated immediately one after
the other. eg. Macarena
- They can be ornamented th