The History of Western Music as I See It [III, Medieval]

In the Middle Ages, these instruments could not be found in churches, as religious music was about reverence and solemnity, and the only instrument allowed to be used was the organ, which is often featured in secular music in these videos.

After all, the era is so old, plus the notation is incomplete, medieval music is basically a late reset, so you can only try to get as close to that feeling of the time as possible, and the audio and video sources can be quite mixed, begging for forgiveness.

During the latter part of the Roman Empire, the Germans in the north of Europe continued to invade and harass the Western Roman Empire, which fell in 476 AD. . Because of the existence of various branches of the Germanic peoples (Franks, Goths, Angles, etc.), it was not until the Germans destroyed the West that the Germans were able to destroy the West. After the Roman Empire, they each established their own regimes, large and small, and Europe entered the Medieval period.

In addition, Christianity, founded in the first century A.D., was able to continue to grow after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and during the Middle Ages became a The spiritual ruler of the whole of Europe, and therefore religious music was the most important component of medieval music. At the same time, secular music took a different path from religious music, mainly in terms of modulation, instrumentation, lyrics and even the use of place. etc.

State regimes, large and small, controlled the politics of Europe, and Christianity controlled the spirit of Europe, and these two forces colluded with each other to Given support, Europe grew slowly throughout the Middle Ages in a long period of darkness. Under the circumstances, many Europeans found spiritual solace through Christianity, and the popularity and dominance of Christianity in Europe reached summit. The Pope and the Emperor report to each other, and the Emperor’s succession would be more convincingly recognized by the Pope’s coronation; the Pope borrowed the Emperor’s Political power gets more entitlements, and the Vatican in Europe today is the same Vatican that Pippin dedicated to the Pope. So it is said: the Pope crowned the Emperor and the Emperor fed the Pope.

One, the Middle Ages, a time of darkness and light.
This section, like its predecessor, aims to quickly clarify the general historical context of the first millennium of the Middle Ages and several historical events as quickly as possible, to facilitate the historical background for the rest of music history.

1. the great conflagration and the fragmentation of a multinational regime

Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Germans, the various branches of the Germanic nation began to separate themselves, carving out territories to form kingdoms and Attacking each other, the era of the Great Scuffle thus began. There are no particularly important historical events of this era, the main, more powerful ones being the Franks and the Angles, because of the They laid the basic pattern of Europe.

During this period, Christianity was preserved, and the invading Germans treated Christianity much more politely than when they packed up the Romans, after all, they belonged to the invasion of outsiders and needed a moral and spiritual high ground, obviously, Christianity became a good breakthrough.

2. unification again, the Caroline dynasty

During the first period mentioned above, the Franks, a branch of the Germanic peoples, established the Merovingian dynasty[1], the first dynasty of the Frankish kingdom.

The politics of the Merovingian dynasty was really not clean (the medieval kingdoms were basically the same), and in the struggle for power, the dynasty Power was gradually transferred to the family of Pippei, the palace prime minister. In the third generation (known as “Pi-Ping III”[2] or “Shorty Pi-Ping”), Pi-Ping finally seized the throne in 751. Pope St. Zacharias sent an archbishop to Paris to crown Pepin, which was the beginning of the “divine right of kings” in Europe and the end of the Merovingian Dynasty, founding of the Caroline Dynasty[3]. In 754 A.D., Pepin granted a piece of land to the Pope for the establishment of a “Papal States”, which is now the Vatican[4]. This was the forerunner of the famous “dedication of the soil by Pippin”.

After the death of Pippin, his son Charlemagne[5] succeeded his father on the throne and became the second Carolingian monarch. European history has an extremely important influence, the status is equal to the Chinese history of the Qin Emperor and the Han Wu, poker in the king of hearts is his (poker). (Yes, I can’t afford it!)

Charlemagne further reinforced the tradition of divine right of kingship, which until Pepin had been a fragmented chant in various parts of Christendom, such as Ambrose Chant in Milan, Mozarabic Chant in Spain and Portugal, Celtic Chant in Ireland and Scotland. etc. Pippin forced the introduction of the Roman liturgy and chant during his reign, and his son, Charlemagne, furthered this and eventually contributed to the A hybrid with a Roman chant as the mainstay: the Gregorian chant. The story of this process is known as the Gallic Renaissance.

Charlemagne’s conquests made the Frankish dynasty so powerful that he became known as “the father of Europe”. In 814, this legendary emperor died of a cold.

At the same time, in the British Isles, the Angles and Saxons, another branch of the Germanic peoples, established seven kingdoms, known as the “Age of Seven Kingdoms,” which marked a new era in European history.

3. Re-disintegration and the basic structure of Europe was established.

According to the Germanic tradition, when an elder dies, the inheritance is divided equally among the younger generations. After the death of Charlemagne, his three grandsons divided the territory of the Caroline dynasty, which was divided into three kingdoms: the West Frankish kingdom (today’s (predecessor and prototype of France), Middle Frankish Kingdom (predecessor and prototype of present-day Italy), East Frankish Kingdom (predecessor and prototype of present-day Germany) .

At almost the same time, the Kingdom of Wessex, far away in the British Isles, annexed the remaining six kingdoms, and the Kingdom of England was born. (Compare this to the Warring States period in China, which is amazingly similar.)

Since then, the pattern of Europe was basically established, the medieval warfare also began to be relatively less, the whole of Europe entered a period of relative stability, the economy gradually had a recovery, the population also began to grow.

4, the waves rise again, the Holy Roman Empire, the Crusades, the dawn of modernity

After the division of the Frankish dynasty into three, Europe had a good time, but it didn’t last long. In 911 AD, the Caroline dynasty of the Eastern Franks died out, and the Otto family took over the power, Otto the Great thought he was so powerful that he was as powerful as the historical Roman Empire, so he changed the name of the Eastern Franks to the “Roman Empire”, and his successors added the word “divine”.

In 1152 A.D., Frederick I[6] was elected king of the Eastern Franks, the second monarch of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. The Holy Roman Empire reached its medieval peak in his hands. His fame is of great importance throughout European history. During his lifetime, he invaded Italy six times (though he failed in all of them), and is best known for leading the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart. One of his most famous events was the Third Crusade, which he led with Richard the Lionheart[7].

As we have seen in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Western Roman Empire fell, but the Eastern Roman Empire survived and had Christianity in its territory. The place of pilgrimage – Jerusalem [8]. In the 7th century A.D., Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula, and coincidentally, its holy site was just as much Jerusalem, and the Muslims Prevailed by force and defeated the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire in 636 A.D. In 638 A.D., Islam took over the Jerusalem.

The Crusades were essentially a massive religious struggle between Christianity and Islam to recover the Holy Land, Jerusalem. From the first expedition in 1095 to the complete failure of the ninth in 1291, which lasted for 196 years and involved nine battles. The end result was a crushing defeat for the Crusaders and a significant setback to Christian influence and prestige.

Although the Crusades were a crushing defeat in historical terms, the historical event still had far-reaching consequences for Europe at the time, notably in these ways.

The Church’s prestige slipped and its control declined, preparing the way for the Renaissance and the Reformation.
Trade routes between Europe and the Middle East were opened, capitalism had better conditions for development, and the bourgeoisie began to grow.
There was a cultural and technological exchange between Europe and the Middle East, Arabic numerals, compasses, gunpowder, etc., began to arrive in Europe, and veterans of the Crusades saw things that could not be seen in their villages and brought them back to their homelands, providing material for the creative fields of Europe and laying the foundations for the Renaissance.
Generally speaking, the Crusades opened the eyes of Europeans to the world and paved the way for the whole of Europe to adjust its state and gather momentum.

II. Music of the Middle Ages
In this section of formal music history, the music of the Middle Ages presents many characteristics that can be analyzed from many angles.

1、Religious music and secular music

1) Religious music: in the Middle Ages, Catholicism[9] held absolute authority in Europe. Since the Carolingian Renaissance, Gregorian chant has become the official chant of the Church, emphasizing solemnity and dignity, and forbidding the use of musical instruments (The use of the organ is later permitted.) Gregorian chant is monophonic weave with no definite rhythmic vocal music, sung in Latin, and can be described as medieval monophonic weave The most typical representation of the music.

There are four main types of Gregorian chant: syllabic (one word to one note), chant (one note to many words), syllabic (one word to many notes), and floric (one word to many notes).

Share Gregorian Chant (source: Himalayan Tease Radio).

The most important rite for the use of the chant is the Mass, which is translated from the Latin word misa, meaning “gathering”, and is divided into two categories: the daily Mass and the liturgical Mass.

There are five sets of regular Masses, including.

Sutra of Compassion (Kyrie)
Gloria (Gloria)
The Lamb’s Bible (Aguns Dei)
As time went on, ecclesiastical music developed into a polyphonic fabric, and in the 9th century the first polyphonic music was born: Organum, which developed into several forms, giving birth to the first “imitation polyphony”, the now familiar Canon, which, of course, was to come later and will be discussed in detail in the polyphonic music section.

They were both musicians and poets, and wrote in the ancient Provencal dialect (as opposed to the Latin of church chant), mostly about love and occasionally criticizing the times.

Under their influence, another group of troubadours, Trouvere, appeared in northern France, essentially imitating The Troubadour of southern France has not changed much. Germany, under French influence, also saw the emergence of troubadours, and the history of music calls the German medieval troubadours “oenophiles”, who were basically… It is a copy of the French troubadours.

The most noteworthy thing is that the minstrels had already developed the concept of the AAB form, in which the same melody is sung at the beginning of a song with different lyrics, which is known in music history as the “bar form”.

Unlike religious music, secular music makes extensive use of musical instruments and does not often use church tunings, but rather has both Ionian and Ionian tunings (predecessors of modern major and minor tunings).

Sharing some medieval folk music, reworked by the modern day, of course, from ancient sheet music (source: Himalayan Tease Meow Radio).

These pieces use a very wide range of instruments, such as lutes, cioppets, old trombones, etc., creating a completely different atmosphere from religious music and closer to the popular music we listen to today (this also has to do with the choice of key).

There is some historical background to be explained: the bards of the time travelled widely, often to various courts, and the theme of love is the most photographed. It is also related to courtly love. The second song was written by a troubadour to the wife of a court earl, and the countess fell in love with the troubadour. Poet. Poet’s blood, nice, poor Earl’s head is green.

The secular music section will be covered here first.

2. Monophonic and polyphonic weaves

The monophonic weave is very well understood, there is only one voice in the whole song, there are many chants even though there are multiple choruses, but the singing is still only one voices, so it remains a monophonic weaving. The focus of this section is on polyphonic music.

① The earliest polyphonic music: the Organum (Olgarnon)

In the 9th century A.D., some monks began to experiment with adding a melodic line of parallel fourths or fifths to Gregorian chant, and the first polyphonic music was born.

Gradually, over time, the Algernon took many forms.

Parallel Olgarnon: the initial form of the Olgarnon, adding a parallel fourth or fifth melody above or below the chant. to enhance the impact of the chant. The melody of the chant is called a definite melody (in the sense that a second melody is composed on the basis of this melody).
Parallel Olgarnon (free or reversed): Parallel Olgarnon because the added melody is a parallel fourth or fifth, which means that the added melody is in the same direction as the chant melody, but this variation is different, the added melody is not the same as the chant, but can be changed freely, including the opposite of the chant melody (i.e. the chant melody goes up, the added melody goes down).
The new melody corresponds to a dozen or more notes. One note of the chanting melody, and this form is growing in intensity, which leads to the following chanting melody having to be longer and longer, sometimes Singing a single note requires several people to take turns shifting their breath to hold it, so the definite melody at the bottom is thick and long, and the sung melody at the top is smooth and dynamic. It creates a sense of expansive space. (This is what makes the Gothic style so special musically.)
DISCANT: After the development of the choral oratorio, each note of the sacred chant melody was greatly lengthened and the original Latin rhythm was dismembered. In this case, the church musicians studied six ways of organizing the rhythms to re-organize the upper voices of the flower-singing Olgarnon, which It can be seen as an early prototype of counterpoint. Disconnection, as a compositional technique or style, had a profound influence on future generations.
(ii) New varieties of polyphonic music: conductus, canon, scripture song

Algernon is polyphonic music composed to the definitive melody of Gregorian chant, but it is clear that medieval music could not be only Gregorian. Goliath Chant. After the birth of Discontente, the development of polyphony entered a new phase, with the most far-reaching influences such as Conductus, Canon, and Scripture songs of three kinds.

Conductus: in the 11th-12th centuries AD, under the influence of secular bards, the church began to A new kind of polyphonic music, the Conductus, has emerged. It differs greatly from Algernon in that it no longer uses chant as its definitive melody, but instead creates its own definitive melody, and in the manner of Dieskant. to organize rhythms and weaves.
Canon: Canon can’t be called a genre, it’s more of a compositional technique, or polyphonic form. It would be more appropriate to call it “imitative polyphony”, because canons are based on continuous imitation. The first voice comes in, called the “main clause”, and the second voice comes in later with exactly the same intervallic structure as the first. In the later stages of development, the number of voices gradually increased, but the basic idea remained the same: continuous imitation.
In the late 13th century, musicians perfected the clausula, which became the scripture song.
3. Notation and music theory

This section focuses on medieval contributions to music theory and notation. The main focus is on the concept of “measure” and the birth of the “quadrille”.

During the Greco-Roman and early medieval periods, notation was very imperfect, firstly because of its inability to record pitches accurately, and secondly because of its lack of accuracy. is the inability to accurately record the duration of a tone, let alone the concept of rhythm. The focus of medieval music theory research, therefore, was to address these two issues.

1) Newm’s score, the quadrille and the guido

In the early Middle Ages, monks and church musicians also attempted to record music, resulting in the more representative early Nummer scores [11].

It can be seen that even though Newm’s score already had the concept and idea of a line score, it was difficult to record the rhythms accurately and seemed rather vague, because the concept of quantified notes did not exist at this time.

The earliest Neum scores had only one line, which gradually developed into two and three lines.In the 11th century, the most important musicians of the Middle Ages. One of the composers, Guido Arezzo [12], who developed the Num score into four lines from the original, and formed the five lines for the five lines The groundwork is laid.

His other two major achievements were the creation of the six-tone scale, with a choral name assigned to each note (essentially the forerunner of the modern first-name system), where notes were previously sung with lyrics, but starting with the Guido, notes began to have their own choral names; and the invention of the “Guido hand” to help people memorize scales and choral names, which was so efficient that, given the technology of the time, it took ten years of study to learn what the Guido hand was used to, but since its inception, the learning time has been reduced to five months, a truly pioneering invention of the Middle Ages.

Franco, Quantitative notation.

This section begins with two major problems to be solved by medieval music: pitch and duration. Guido essentially solved the first, and the second was solved by the 13th century German music theorist, Canon Franco, in his book “Quantitative proposed and attempted to be solved in The Art of Song.

In this work, for the first time, the idea of a proportional duration of the notes was proposed, divided into four forms: doubly long notes, long notes, short notes, and doubly short notes. . Interestingly, while Franco believed that trituration was the perfect way to divide notes (e.g. a long note can be divided into three short notes). However, the division between the doubled long note and the long note is dichotomous, meaning that a doubled long note can be divided into two long notes.

It is clear that this attempt succeeded in opening up an important step in the quantification of notes, and that the medieval musicians represented in Guido, Franco and others’ Thanks to the constant efforts of the musicians, the notation gradually matured and laid the most important step for the rapid development of the music that followed. After all, without notation, it would have been difficult to develop compositional theory, music research theory, etc., because only if one could first record the Figure out how to study in order to progress.

4. Late medieval, religious polyphonic music in its fullest form: the Notre Dame School.

During the medieval period, polyphony developed mainly in the milieu of religious music, and around the 12th to 13th century, the Notre Dame School was born in Notre Dame, Paris, France, a school that was the center of the development of late medieval polyphony, where it was fully developed in quantity and quality worthy of the medieval extremes.

In addition, the theory of notation, as represented by Guido and Franco, was also fully practiced here. Many rhythmic patterns were innovated, and polyphony developed to its medieval zenith.

There were two masters of this school of music, Léonan and Perrotin, who are the earliest known composers[13] and a little before Marceau.

(Sadly, Notre Dame de Paris suffered a fire and it is not known how much of it will be restored)

III. Late Middle Ages, Art Nouveau Splendor
The 150 years or so between 1300 and 1453 are what art history calls the “Art Nouveau” period, which I have singled out. It’s because it’s a time of inheritance, as a transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. However, the main reason I still classify him as medieval is that this phase of musical development is still primarily an inheritance and refinement of the prior The musical results, the innovations are few.

One must mention the French master and the first composer in the history of Western music whose works have survived with clarity: Guillaume de Marceau.[14]

There are three main areas of Mashaw’s work.

He composed 23 scripture songs, mostly in three parts, with French lyrics and French nursery rhymes or ballads instead of chant melodies.
Although he composed only one Mass, the Messe de Notre Dame, he wrote his first five masses as a whole: the Mass of Mercy, the Mass of Glory, the Mass of Faith, the Mass of the Holy Spirit and the Mass of the Lamb.
He often wrote some non-religious music for the nobles, that is, the “caveman” of the Middle Ages, and secular songs can even be said to be the most important field of writing for him.

From then on, Europe gradually got rid of its ignorance and numbness, and entered the Renaissance period, when music, under the call of the times, began to show many new characteristics.

Renaissance, Europe’s opening tour is about to begin.

IV Closing Thoughts.

The Middle Ages up to 1000 years, although in the ignorance and numbness in the slow development, can eventually lay the foundation for the later explosive development of Europe, Europe seems to modern development like hanging, in essence is to pay a long time cost for the price, can be said to be a perfect interpretation of the word “thick and thin”.

Europe, this group of people, absolutely have its terrible place, China is a great country, even if not afraid, also can not despise this group of people, learn from each other, common progress, China’s music and even in various fields, I believe that can be a higher level.