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Classical Music

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Classical music in France started in the medieval times (10th century) and continues to develop now. The types of classical music in France can be broken into six different eras: Middle Ages, Renaissance, baroque, opera, romantic era, and the 20th century. Classical music is associated with secular music, meaning non-religious music. It covers a broad range dating from the 10th century to the present. The major genres are all part of the classical music, whether it be sacred, secular, vocal, or instrumental. As you look into the classical music of France you see that there are different styles within each era. This type of music would start out as one thing, then progress throughout the centuries. Many composers would experiment with different styles to create a separate and unique sound that would be recognized as French music.
During the middle ages, music was not very unique. A single melody, or plainchant, would be sung to words from the Bible or other religious texts. Songs were also performed at castles and marketplaces by composer-poets known as minstrels, troubadours, and trouveres. Composers included the German nun Hildegard von Bingen and the popular French trouvere Blondel de Nesle (Novak). Music either associated with the king and nobles, or it was composed for religious reasons. It was a very limited amount of creativity, only singing about heroism and nobility. Music in France had been influenced by many other European countries. They all shared the same style during that time. The instruments that were used during this time period, included wind, string, and percussion instruments.
The Notre Dame School, also known as the Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris provided composers of the medieval era. The musicians compose...

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...s part of the music. They wanted monophonic values in their music. In other words, they wanted a solo singer and only one instrument to accompany them, the kithara. The kithara was a stringed instrument used by the Greeks. It was used in all sorts of social events. Greeks didn’t associate the kithara with educational purposes (Palisca, 22).
The Baroque era contains three phases: early, middle, and late. During the early phase of Baroque, harmony became the central idea to music. The Florentine Camarata reinvigorated this style and were the ones who opposed their contemporary music. This group started in Italy and influenced composers in France. Baroque music would help create the popular form of music known as opera. Since it focuses on the soloist rather than a group of people singing simultaneously. It also focuses on the harmonic aspect of music (Palisca, 25).
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