Music History thru the Middle Ages, Rennisance, Baroque, etc...
1978 Words8 Pages
Music has evolved too many different forms that we recognize today. We trace this development throughout time. Beginning in the middle ages, we have seen advancement from the Gregorian chant all the way to the Jazz of the 20th century. The current events, politics, religion, technology and composers can shape musical eras during time. Here I will look at the middle ages, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic and twentieth century periods. I hope that a better understanding can be reached to why, when, where and who are the reasons for musical evolution.
Beginning with fall of Rome in 476a.d. the first half of this millennium is referred to as the “dark ages”. In society, all power flowed from the king with the approval of the Roman Catholic Church and its bishops. This is what we know as church and state.
The “dark ages” or an encompassment of the middle ages by history, gave to many early development in western music. Polyphony, which combines two or more simultaneous melodic lines, is a perfect example of this. Because polyphony required to be written to indicate precise rhythm and pitch, a new notational system was designed.
Lifestyle in the middle Ages centered on the church. All levels of society choose religious life. This was not easy for patrons, some orders required vows of poverty. Discipline was evident among the church. A typical day began at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. with the celebration of daily services, reading of lessons, and the singing of psalms.
Probably one of the most notable themes of the middle ages was sacred music, shaped in part by Greek, Hebrew, and Syrian influences. Religious pieces known as a Gregorian chant were popular. These consist of a single-line melody and monophonic texture lacking harmony and counterpoint. The Mass, a reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ, is the most solemn ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. Haec dies, from the Mass for Easter Day, serves as a fine example of Gregorian chant used during this period.
Minstrels now began to emerge as a class of musicians who wandered among the courts and towns. Some of these minstrels juggled, showed tricks, and introduced animals, along with the normal singing and dancing. This type of music that accompanied dinner and after-dinner entertainment is secular. Secular music became an integral part of medieval court life.
The renaissance began in...
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...elopment of early jazz styles. Improvisation was his thing and he was very good at it. Armstrong also introduced scat singing to the jazz world by accident during a recording.
Musical theater became an important development to the 20th century. This type of comic opera depended on romantic plots, appealing melodies, choruses and comedy. Composers like George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Stephen Sondheim brought the genre to new level of sophistication. They composed masterpieces like “Porgy and Bess”, “South Pacific”, and “Sweeney Todd” respectively.
Leonard Bernstein was a famous conductor, educator, and pianist of this time. He first conducted the New York Philharmonic at age 25. He brought Broadway music to a new level. Bernstein is best known for “West Side Story” where he tells an updated tale of Romeo and Juliet in a modern setting.
Through out these periods of progression we have not discovered a better style. We have just given ourselves more of a selection when it comes to what we choose to listen to. If it were I, Bach and Mozart would be in my CD player before some of the newer stuff released today. It is all just a matter of preference.