Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Religious Music, Liberal Arts Education, Cornu (Horn)

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Published on 6 Feb 2013
Jan 9
Epitaph of Seikilos
What is the oldest instrument? Bone flute
When do we begin to know anything about music history?
The Old Testament
3000+ years of information
Cave paintings
How do we know what we know?
Fragments of notated music
Written accounts – playing music at weddings, funerals, worship, banquets,
public gatherings
What sorts of roles did music play in ancient societies?
Religious, political, educational, sensual
Music in the Biblical World
The Old Testament (Bible) mentions:
Celebratory music, ceremonial music
Religious music (for praise or worship)
Music “therapy” - David
Psalms and hymns were sung antiphonally, responsorally, always
Music in Ancient Greece
Turn of the 8th century – philosophical thought began, including in music eg.
Democracy, individual rights
Height of Greek culture: 5th century B.C.E. - apex of ancient Greek cultural
thought: philosophy
45 existing fragments of music from ancient Greece
Music used in drama, ceremony and poetry recitation
“melos” = song (melody/rhythm/words)
Greek Music Theory
3 types (genera) of tetrachords (4 descending notes)
1. Diatonic: whole-tone, whole-tone, half-tone eg. A-G, G-F, F-E
2. Chromatic: minor third, half tone, half-tone eg. D-B, B-B flat, B flat-A
3. Enharmonic: major-third, quarter-tone, quarter-tone
The Greater Perfect System
Made up of four, interlinked tetrachords, plus one pitch
Constitutes 2 octave range
Depending on what tetrachords are used, the “scales” for melodies can be
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