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Lecture

MU1711 Jan 11


Department
Music
Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Professor
Kate Helsen

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Jan 11
The Medieval Era
“Medieval” - means 'between' (Classical antiquity and Renaissance)
1000-year period called the “Middle Ages”
The 'Dark Ages':
After Rome fell, war and poverty took over in many parts of Europe, leading
to a decline in education eg. Ability to read Greek, do mathematics
Cultural decline in the West
Information preserved in the Monasteries
Monasticism
Beginning in the 5th century, individual Christians would retreat to the desert
on their own to become hermits
Lead by St. Anthony of Egypt
Groups of hermits dedicated to a Christian life formed monasteries
Scriptoria (room) in monasteries preserved much of Western culture for
centuries while war waged around them. Monks wrote and copied cultural
information for preservation.
Preserve literature, culture and music
Skellig Michael (8th-12th c.)
Beehive huts preserved literature, philosophy, math while the various wars
happened in Europe.
Missionaries sent to bring it back to Europe
Charlemagne (742-814 AD)
King of the Franks, then crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas day 800 AD
as Emperor.
Ruled most of the Germanic/Italian lands as the “Holy Roman Emperor
Feudalism
In use in France by the Normans from about 900 AD
Instituted in England by William the Conqueror from 1066 AD onward
Court Culture
Time for leisure activities and art in a secular society
Concepts of chivalry (from “chevalier”) and “courtly love” were born
Troubadours and Minnesinger culture contributed to this way of life.
The 11th and 12th centuries
First musical books with full notation appear
First of a series of Crusades begin in 1096
Cultural mixing and travel brought new awareness of other cultures
In the 12th century, Europe experienced a small “renaissance” through trade
and exposure to the Islamic world.
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