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Questions tagged [medieval]

For questions about the era of Western music from about 500 A.D. to 1400, just before the Renaissance. Medieval music includes liturgical music (like Gregorian chant or choral music) as well as secular music.

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11
votes
5answers
1k views

Fivefold division of the whole tone - What does it mean?

I am recently reading this article: Jan W. Herlinger. Journal of the American Musicological Society. Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 193-216 (Title: Marchetto's Division of the Whole Tone). In the ...
-3
votes
1answer
61 views

Relationship of Hurdy-Gurdy and Organ?

Just wondering why this is entitled "Hurdy-Gurdy With Organ". Is it just a Hurdy-Gurdy alone? If so why would it say "With Organ"? It sounds like a riff on G natural minor. I think there's a drone on ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Tetrachords in medieval music

Are tetrachords used in medieval/renaissance music the same way as modern chords are used in modern music (as a base for the melody)? And if so... how are the applied?
5
votes
1answer
188 views

What do 'dominant' and 'plagal' mean in medieval music?

In classical style brief definitions would be... Dominant: a major chord, built on the tone a perfect fifth above the tonic, used to form authentic, half, and deceptive cadences. Plagal: a cadence ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

How could the medieval chants be classified before any notation was available?

We all have in mind the image of a medieval mode as a scale with a pattern of tones and semitones with a finalis, a specific range, etc. However, it seems that medieval chants were classified ...
1
vote
1answer
261 views

Why is a bourdon tone added to this Von Bingen antiphone?

Consider the antiphone Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita of Hildegard Von Bingen [sound, score] In the recording, in addition to the notated voice, one note is held throughout the antiphone. Why is ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Different approaches to Latin pronunciation in Early Music

I know there are several different ways to pronounce Latin. I think no one sings classical music using Classical Latin pronunciation in which, for instance, "c" is pronounced as /k/. I believe the ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Is there a school of Medieval-Russian music?

I'm researching music for the SCA, and I'm supposed to be looking for specific music from the Russian (as a culture) area. I have plenty of information on Medieval music as a whole, but I can't find ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Whats the difference between Organum, Motet, and Clausula?

Organa, Motets, and clausulae were all common in the 13th century, written and composed by the then-leading School of Notre Dame (Leonin and Perotin). However, I've found it really hard to understand ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Who were Anonymous I-III? Was there an Anonymous V?

An important treatise on medieval music theory was written in the 13th century. His or her name was lost to history, and a 19th-century French historian later dubbed him/her "Anonymous IV". This ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between Gregorian chant and Gothic chant?

I understand both belong to the plainchant class of music from the pre-Renaissance period. However, I am not sure if they differ in any identifiable way. I have also heard the term Roman chant being ...
-3
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2answers
2k views

Analysis of Greensleeves

I had a go at chording out GreenSleeves today: (EDIT: Revised image, thanks ℵ₀) This is very exciting, as it is completely off my map. Here be dragons! The central section (m9-12) looks like a IV ->...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Analysis of Scarborough Fair

I'm attempting to figure out what is going on in terms of harmony with this song. This is the best I have managed so far (supposing a tonal center of A): Chords are: Am Em G ...
-1
votes
1answer
432 views

Are there any documentaries on the subject of Medieval and/or Renaissance western music and its practice?

I am looking mostly for the essential information on polypohony, gregorian chant, techniques of the time and their development etc, in order to get a grasp of the subject, names and times so I can ...
3
votes
2answers
582 views

How to read accidentals in medieval music “modern” notation?

I am writing an instrumental orchestration of De Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame, Kyrie. I found scores in IMSLP here and here. These scores show accidentals above notes, sometimes in parenthesis. I ...
2
votes
2answers
321 views

Is this pseudoCode for composing a medieval song accurate/adequate?

I've created some pseudocode for some software that is supposed to compose music independently, given a specific musical time period. This particular algorithm is supposed to create a medieval song, ...
0
votes
1answer
928 views

Which were the most popular key signatures in the Medieval era? [closed]

I am writing a piece of composition software and need information regarding different musical eras in order to make the algorithms work for different time periods. Therefore it would help to know if ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the earliest known piece of polyphonic music?

Do we know what is the earliest known piece of polyphonic music? I know that there are some 12-th century composers like Léonin and Pérotin that did this kind of thing, but did they compose the ...
8
votes
2answers
220 views

Is there a name for this: text syncopates otherwise unsyncopated vocal music?

There's an interesting musical phenomenon in "O Virgo Splendens" (14th century, in the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat) as it is consistently interpreted across all editions I have ever encountered. The ...