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The Medieval time period also known as the “Middle Ages” took place from 450 to 1450. This period in history was heavily influenced by religion. Christianity began to spread wildly during the Medieval period and the music at this time could be considered similar to chants and songs that were sung in religious places. Something that I found interesting was stated in packet #1 “The chants sung in the services, some of them of ancient origin, were passed on through oral tradition, undoubtedly undergoing changes in the process”. The Christians had difficulty passing down the passed traditions and because of this problem, they would later create the basis of staff lines and spaces which is something we still use today. It is considered one of the greatest achievements in human history. I listened to a song by Guillaume Dufay who was a major figure in this period “https://youtu.be/6mcxEtyEUw4”. The song sounded very majestic and echoed through my headphones. I was very surprised as it truly felt like I was listening to someone singing in a church.
The Medieval Time began around 476 A.D. which can be also called “The Middle Ages or Dark Ages”. The Medieval Age had played a tremendous role in Catholic Church which in that time era the composer’s with vocal music are being well respected. Many might be concerning, what’s the meaning of the medieval music? Let me explain, the medieval music was referred to the Western Europe music in the late 8th through 15th centuries. The musics are around with the church.
Léonin – Messe du Jour de Noël (Ensemble Organum) The rhythm, pitch from Léonin music was surprising amazing. During the entire process of his singing, It’s giving me goosebumps on how different the tone of his music is. The backing voice just gives the perfect fusion that I’m flowing with it. Comparing to today’s music in church, it a lot different, they don’t focus on the melody as strong as back then. Till today this kind of music still glows out cause it’s just a master piece of what they created back centuries ago.
The Baroque Era is one of the most eventful periods in human history. On the one hand, it contain’s both the American and French Revolution’s, two of the biggest political movements in modern human history. It also contains some of the greatest composers of the era, like Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. Their influence was so great on music that they have managed to influence people generations away from them, and have even managed to have a era of music based on them, even if that era isn’t technically correct to their time. All I knew about this era was that it had something to do with those composers, however I had assumed it had been named after Bach. The textbook describes the period as extensions of the Renaissance era, however I would consider it one of the high points in music history.
I listened to Vivaldi’s Summer, as I had heard a few things about him, but nothing that I can determine as actual fact or can recite here. I listened to two versions of the song. One was by composer Antonio Janigro and was recorded in 1957 in Vienna. The other version was recorded in 2011 by guitarists Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala, who were in the band Children Of Bodom. What I expected from the music was for it too be sophisticated. What I didn’t expect was for it to be heavy in the before heavy metal context. What also interested me is that the music was able to translate over too different instruments, and that it managed to sound the same despite this.
The Renaissance era was not only a change for humanity, but for music culture as well. This era consisted primarily of the change and accomplishments of art, literature, music, nature, and our own human philosophy overall. This historical era fascinates me the most because this was the start of modern day music, what we hear today was developed and built off the renaissance era. Though we had medieval times before our Renaissance era, the Renaissance is where you start hearing modern musical components and tones such as soprano, Tenor, Bass, echo, etc. Today, we recognize these sounds as played by instruments such as the trumpet, the trombones, the alto, and other instruments. After hearing “The Glory of Giovanni Gabrieli”, by Giovanni Gabreli, you can distinguish this as the earliest of what our modern music consists of today.
I must say, this is what I expected when I started listening to his music mainly because I know this era of orchestras, bands, groups coming together with instruments in general, all produce a harmonic yet rhythmic music meant for an audience to indulge in (from this era specifically). During this era, music was meant to express emotion through the people producing the music as well the people cheering to the music as entertainment.
One of, if not the most important era in musical history is the Medieval Era also commonly known as the Middle Ages (450-1450). Why is this one in particular so important, you may be asking? Well, that is because it established a foundation for the music we know and listen to today.
Christianity was spreading rapidly through Western Europe. Proper education was not big or sought out which factors in for most of the population’s inability to read or write. Instead, “monasteries were centers of learning.” (¶2, Line 5). In these monasteries, the monks were able to practice their religion through manuscripts that were made by other Arabic and Greek scholars. Their sacred texts were sung and passed on. Although they tried singing it in a certain way it eventually would change as time went on. To prevent any further change, the monks created a system that “fixed the pitches of a melody” while allowing for the representation of multiple melodies to be playing “simultaneously.” (¶3, Line 9-12). An early example of this could be heard by “Leonin” through a piece called “Viderunt Omnes.”
I was honestly surprised when I heard this for the first time. It doesn’t sound as foreign and weird as I thought it would. If anything, it sounds more calming and comforting than a lot of the music that is produced today. It’s interesting how a big portion of the music made in the twentieth century is what I expected to hear in the Middle Ages, especially through the way the article made the creation of the system sound. Though it was made centuries ago, the art he made still shines brightly to this day.
Reading about the Baroque period I find it really interesting that people took violence and war as inspiration to create art. When I think of the word art I think of something elegant and beautiful, the opposite of what was going on during that period. The fact that people were still able to take from such a dark time and create something alluring and loved by the public is amazing to me. To be honest I didn’t even know that this time period existed before reading this text so not much. The textbook described the music as emotional with varieties of emotions such as anger, love, joy, and grief. It also mentioned how musicians would like to have strong contrasting effects. One of the effects being loud and soft. I love that they did this because as someone who has a short attention span,I’d rather listen to something that keeps me on my feet than listening to something that is repetitive.
Listening to Magnificat by Claudio Monteverdi, an Italian composer of Orfeo of 1607, I’m hearing exactly what I’d expect from someone who said they were an opera. The fact that he’s considered as the first great opera already shows that he’s going to have a huge impact on opera performers at that time and in the future. It’s no surprise that his music is exactly what I’d expect from an opera singer.
The time period of music that was assigned to me was Baroque (ca. 1600-1750). What drew my attention the most about this time period was how important it was to the growth of England, and a bunch of Italian city-states. The Baroque period was when England first started to separate itself from religion and from the church. The people wanted to learn new things, and this became the famous time period that we know as the Renaissance. But during the baroque, many can say was when people started preparing for the shift the age of the Renaissance would cause. The baroque is a time period that many overlook, I know this because the Renaissance holds such great importance in the whole outcome of Europe. If it wasn’t for philosophers in the baroque time period religious conflicts would’ve never erupted. Without conflict, the people would’ve never wanted a change in the lifestyle they were used to. The reading packet describes music from this time period as a romantic expression. During this time period the music we know today as opera, oratorio, cantata, Concerto, fugue, Sonata, and suite were discovered. Another big accomplishment from this time period was the creation of songs for a solo voice, before this time period typically instrumental or acapella. In this time period music began to change from being strictly for the church and about religion to about emotions. From the reading packet, I choose to listen to Jean Baptiste Lully’s music because it caught my eye that he was a composer who dominated music in the court of Louis XIV. After listening to his song “Miserere” from 1664 the music reminds me of opera music without strong vocal power. From the reading, his song is something I expected music from this time period to sound like because it sounds sad while also sounding powerful. This supports the idea that the baroque time period was just the start of the Renaissance. The sadness in the song shows how Europe was before they became educated with ideas outside of the church’s beliefs, while the powerful parts of the song shows how they are ready for new ideas.
When hearing of the Romantic Era (1820-1900), instruments such as the harp and violin would come to mind. The most interesting thing I learned is how inspiration for music was taken not only from aspects associated with dreams or love, but also from categories that are considered dark and negative. For example, according to the “Excerpt from Music: Its Language, History, and Culture,” by Douglas Cohen, Cohen writes, “… they [the romantics of the 19th century] were fascinated by subjects associated with dreams (Goya’s The Dream of Reason), oppression, injustice, and political struggle (novels of Dickens, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable ), the macabre (stories of Edgar Allen Poe), and death (poems of Emily Dickinson)” (29). I originally thought that because this is the “romantic” era, people would look at aspects of love and happiness to compose music, but once learning about how inspiration was also taken from dark forms of society (such as oppression and death), it opened a new perspective for me.
After listening to Nicolo Paganini’s Caprice No. 24, the music sounds like how it was described in the textbook. In Paganini’s music, I felt a sense of sorrow and sometimes fear. Also, while listening, I could feel that it included aspects in the excerpt written by Cohen, such as “restlessness, longing, and unhappy love relationships” (29).
It was interesting to me how the Renaissance, being a time of rebirth, went back in time to the ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans to influence their music and art. I had already known before jumping into the reading that instrumental music at the time wasn’t something composers were exploring with enthusiasm. The textbook describes the music of the Renaissance Era as mainly vocal, with the emergence of the four major voice parts: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass. There was a “new emphasis on harmonious sonorities” and “evolved… concepts of consonance and dissonance…” (Cohan, pg. 20)
I chose to listen to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina because the reading said he was referred to as “The Prince of Music” (Cohen, pg. 22) and I wanted to know if that meant his music was regal-sounding. I listened to Palestrina’s “Missa Papae Marcelli” and upon hearing the words “Kyrie Eleison,” I ended up mixing it up with Josquin des Prés’ “Missa Pange Lingua,” a piece that I had already heard beforehand. So, it’s safe to say I came in expecting music that sounded like it would’ve been played during a church service.
One of the many historical periods of western art music that is widely recognized by various individuals throughout the span of time would be European Art music: Classical, which was also known as the Enlightenment Period. During this time, it consisted of “classicists” who wanted to achieve being able to express and share a vast amount of universal beauty ideas, as well as through the use of their idealized forms in their artwork with others. The 18th century was known as the age of reason solely due to a variety of individuals such as Voltaire, Diderot, and Lessing who went on to write about “the ideals of reason, objectivity, and scientific knowledge” which they would go on to spread throughout both “european society and culture”. This includes other well-known individuals such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin who agreed on the topic of natural rights for individuals rather than that of state rights. Thus this led up to the American Revolution and French Revolution taking place, and so forth. Furthermore, during this classical period it resulted in composers discarding what they once knew and moving toward learning “compositional techniques such as fugal imitation, and grandeur in favor of transparent textures, a single melody supported by a subordinate accompaniment, and somewhat superficial sentiments.” It had become an important time when performers began to expand their orchestra from about “thirty or forty players”. This led to the orchestra receiving positive feedback from the public after each concert.
When it comes to the classical historical period, what I find most interesting is that when the orchestra decided to increase the number of performers they would used to strengthen their sound. I find this interesting because compared to the smaller orchestra they possibly had before it’s compelling to see how they wanted to expand the number of instruments used and the increased amount of support they had gotten from the public. Even before having the ability to read the information within the article I was not really knowledgeable about this time period regarding the classical music era. The textbook describes the classical music from this period as switching to a new way of doing music and different styles compared to earlier classical music and mature classical music. For example, the article, states “composers of the early classical period discarded complex textures, learned compositional techniques such as fugal imitation, and grandeur in favor of transparent textures, a single melody supported by a subordinate accompaniment, and somewhat superficial sentiment”. While “In the mature classical style of Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven, counterpoint, processes of rigorous development, and depth of expression reappear, but in the context of classical ideals of clarity, proportion, and refined taste.” The music did sound like what I had expected from the textbook and to my own knowledge. It sounded like a soft melody for many of them but would lead up to a more intense tune and back to a soothing sound for the three different songs. For example, Surprise by Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto, and Beethoven- Moonlight Sonata.