Medieval Period

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The Middle Ages or Medieval period spanned from approximately 600 AD until the year 1450 AD. This era commenced with the splintering of the Roman Empire. What had once been the strong driving force of the entire known world at that point, was now a broken world with many people fighting to bring the world into subjection under one powerful nation once again. One superpower did come close to achieving this however, and this was the Catholic Church. It was not seen as just a religious body but also as a political entity. One of the sectors over which the church had control was music. Though there were other forms of music at that time which were secular, most of the music that remains at this present day for our observation is from the music…show more content…
New forms that were developed from the chant were created. This included the trope, the sequence and liturgical dramas.(Grout 22) A trope was an addition to a liturgical chant, Usually this chant was either added at the beginning the end or the middle. At first, these additions were only of music alone but eventually they included the addition of text as well. This form of chant began in France around the eighth century and gained popularity during the tenth to twelfth centuries.(Grout 22) A sequence was a specific type of troping and has beginnings in the Alleluias of the Mass. The liturgical drama originated from within the liturgy. The earliest recorded liturgy drama was started from a trope that was put on during the tenth century.(Grout 23)This took place during an Easter ceremony, while there was not a big dramatic play as would take place today. There were appropriate actions that accompanied the text of the liturgical drama. As time went on the liturgical drama evolved and elements of the secular and sacred were observed which was very similar to the global setting at that time during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The plays grew bigger and spoken dialogue was used to enhance the drama. The congregation was even allowed to take part and sang at certain points. During the Council of Trent however many of these were abolished, especially the tropes and sequences. Only four…show more content…
One of their main duties was to read and copy religious texts and music. This allowed music to be conserved and also allowed for distribution throughout the church in other regions. During the medieval period there was a scale of sorts and this was called the church modes.(Wayland Middle School Bands) By the end of the eleventh century the church recognized eight modes. Modes were numbered and placed in pairs with the odd-numbered modes called the authentic or original modes and the even-numbered called the plagal or derived modes. A mode could be recognized by its range, dominant and final.(Grout 25) With the idea of a scale or mode as it was called sight singing was now a possibility and an eleventh century monk Guido d’Arezzo helped with this progression. Guido developed a pattern that made sight reading a possibility and to aid him in memorizing he used the hymn, Ut queant laxis in which the six phrases progress in ascending order of the scale at the beginning of each phrase.( Grout 27) The syllables at the beginning of each phrase are: ut, re, mi, fa, so, la. Very similar to the present day singing scale with a few variations. During this present age we still use Guido’s discovery to aid in sight

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