Music 1711F/G Study Guide - Cantigas De Santa Maria, Gregorian Chant, Bernart De Ventadorn
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MU1711 Medieval Terms
Plainchant: monophonic music of the Medieval Christian church.
Liturgy: body of texts prescribed for Christian worship services.
Eucharistic Mass: celebration of the Holy Communion. A distinctly Christian
practice with Jewish roots.
Chant Types – Roman: liturgical plainchant repertory of the Roman Catholic Church
– shares same liturgy and texts with Gregorian chant.
Ambrosian, , Gallican, Mozarabic/Visigothic: see lecture notes
Pope Gregory I (590-604): the “Father of Christian worship”
Pope Gregory II (715-731): Defied Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian
Metz (France): city in the northeast of France, where Gregorian chant developed.
St. Gall (Switzerland): a town in northeastern Switzerland
Memory: people remembered chant and passed it down generations.
Chant Transmission: the tradition of orally transmitting chant through memory
Neumes: Sign used in early chant notation. Indicates the pitch of notes.
Unheightened (non-diastematic): musical notation that does not indicate pitch
Heightened (diastematic): musical notation that shows, through the use of staves
or careful vertical placement, the pitches of notes
1) Melodic mode: a scale type with a specific pattern of whole and half steps.
Melodies of these 'church modes' of the medieval end of the final pitch – the
finalis, and move up and down within a particular ambitus (range).
2) Rhythmic mode: in the medieval era – one of 6 patterns of repeated units of
long and short duration (one of the two principal forms that is known as
major or minor since the 18th cenutry)
The Divine Office: Series of eight services held daily in monasteries, chanting
Matins, Lauds, The Little Hours: see lecture notes/textbook.
–Proper: texts which change according to the saint or season being
–Ordinary: texts sung at each service
The Liturgical Year: the church year – a cycle of seasons determining feast days,
and which portions of Scripture to be read during different times of year.
The Abbey of Solesmes: Benedictine monastery in Solesmes, France.
Gradual (Graduale): 1) The liturgical book containing the texts of the Mass
Ordinary. 2) The second element of the Mass Propers.
Antiphoner: The liturgical book containing texts (possibly chants) off the Mass
Liber Usualis: Anthology of many different kinds of plainchant for both the Mass
and the Office.
Syllabic Chant: chant where one note per syllable of text occurs.
Neumatic Chant: chant when there is two or more notes per syllable of chant –
primarly connected to plainchant.
Melismatic Chant: individual syllables of texts have more than 3 or 4 notes.
Recitation Tone: In plainchant (psalm tones), a central pitch used repeatedly in
succession to emphasize large amounts of text.
Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.
Cadence: Point of musical closure indicated by pitch, harmony, rhythm, or a
combination of these elements.
Psalm Tones (8+1): Plainchant formula used to recite the psalms.
Antiphon: Plainchant sung before (sometimes after) the recitation of a psalm or
Hymn: Setting of a sacred, nonliturgical text – usually strophic and predominantly
Authentic/Plagal Modes: Any of the melodic modes with an ambitus running
approximately a fifth and fourth below the final note.
Hexachord: Any grouping of six pitches.
Gamut: Entire range of available pitches, conceived of a series of seven
interlocking hexachords beginning on C,F, or G (Eg. 1-4)
Musica Ficta: Tradition of the late medieval and Renaissance eras. Certain notes
were sharped or flattened in performed according to various conventions i.e.
Creating cadential leading tones or avoiding cross-relations between voices.
Historae (Newly Composed Saints Offices):
Trope: Musical or textural addition to an existing plainchant. Could be added to
the beginning or end, or inside the chant itself.
Prosula: Type of trope in which word were added to an existing chant.
Sequence: see textbook/notes
Musical Characteristics of Late Medieval Chant: see textbook/notes.
Glossing: notating the meaning of texts in the margins of a book.
Liturgical Drama: A liturgical passage in chant presented in a quasi-theatrical
manner during the service, with individual portrayals of the protagonists.
Rhymed Office: liturgical text drawn from parts of the Bible.
Council of Trent (1545-1563): Council of the Roman Catholic Church
Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179): German composer who wrote theology of
visionary writings. Wrote treatises about history and natural healing.
Carmina Burana: manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the
11th and 12th century (some from the 13th)
Goliards (The Order Of): clergy who wrote satirical poetry in Latin in the 12th and
Jongleurs: Professional entertainers (singing, theatre etc) who often travelled in
Troubadours/Trouvères: Wandering minstrels (a composer, performer, and poet)
entertained noble courts in N (trouvères) and S (troubadours) France in the 12th
and 13th centuries.
Chanson de Geste: “songs of heroic deeds” - old French epic poems of the 11th-
14th centuries celebrating Charlemagne and his successors.
Chanson de Roland: heroic poem written in 778 about the Battle of Roncesvalles
(during the reign of Charlemagne)
Bernart de Ventadorn (ca. 1140-1190): troubadour who developed the cançons
into a more formalized style which allowed for sudden turns. He is remembered
for his mastery as well as popularisation of the trobar leu style, and for his prolific
cançons, which helped define the genre and establish the "classical" form of
courtly love poetry
Countess de Dia (Beatriz – d. ca. 1212): the most famous trobairitz (female
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