You are on page 1of 6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

Unlimited Listening Downloads Classical.com Dating

Search

Login / Register / Subscribe for unlimited listening

Please Log in
Email address Remember me
Login

Password

Forgotten your password? Email address


Send me my password

Or register with us - fast and easy


Please complete the form below to register. Registration is free of charge and enables you to... Create your own playlists Download music Take a trial Become a subscriber Fields marked with asterisk (*) are required. close X Email address* Password* Confirm password*

Yes , I would like the newsletter. The newsletter includes helpful features on new music added to the service. Privacy policy
www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1 1/6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

Registration is free. If you purchase downloads or a Membership subscription you are covered by our Terms of Use.
Register

Please Log in
Email address Remember me
Login

Password

Forgotten your password? Email address


Send me my password

Or register with us - fast and easy


Please complete the form below to register. Registration is free of charge and enables you to... Create your own playlists Download music Take a trial Become a Member Fields marked with asterisk (*) are reuqired. close X Email address* Password* Confirm password*

Yes , I would like the newsletter. The newsletter includes helpful features on new music added to the service. Privacy policy Registration is free. If you purchase downloads or a Membership subscription you are covered by our Terms of Use.
Register

www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1

2/6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

Music Composer Genre Conductor Ensemble Performer Instrument Period Country Label Charts Top Albums/Tracks Composer Genres Periods Playlists Shared My Playlists Themed

Discover
Free album of the week I'm in the mood for... Recommendations Shared playlists Listening history Radio

Find out more


Classical Academy Composer bios Film Opera Musicals Quiz Books on music Take me to... > Listen to Medieval Music

This term is used to describe music from c500 to c1430. However, as music was not written down until the 9th century and we can only interpret the notation from the 11th century onwards, this earlier boundary is open to debate! The evolution of a reliable method of notating music is perhaps the single most important development in the history of music. Before the 9th
www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1

3/6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

century, vocal music was transmitted orally and re-constructed by performers within rules defined by the church. As religious music became more complex, though, it became necessary to record certain elements of it: firstly pitch then later rhythm. However, the oral transmission of music is retained alongside notation throughout this period. Church music consisted originally of a single line of plainchant, but from the 9th century we know that singing in 2 or more parts was common. This simple form of polyphony was known as Organum. The extra part(s) would sing the same plainchant at a higher or lower pitch as the original voice, adjusting the melody to avoid the tritone (a dissonance nicknamed the devil in music!). This style of polyphony reached its zenith in the repertory of Notre Dame composers Leoninus and Protinus at the end of the 12th century. Greater freedom in polyphonic writing began to be accepted at the beginning of the 14th century. This was known as ars nova or new art and is exemplified in the works of Machaut that feature greater independence in part-writing. The most significant music to come from secular sources are the songs of the Troubadours and, later, the Trouvres. These composer-poets wrote songs that exemplified the notion of courtly love. For them, to sing and to love were two facets of the same activity. The activities of the Troubadours were at their height from 1180-1220, though the first known Troubadour, William IX Duke of Aquitaine, lived from 1071-1127. Adam de la Halle linked the later Trouvre tradition to the new polyphonic style in the late 13th century, but most of the songs that survive consist only of the words. This period, for both religious and secular music, was thus one of largely oral traditions, though the development of suitable notations was already leading to more complicated music.

www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1

4/6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

Site map
Classical.com
Free album of the week Charts Recommendations About us

Discover
Composer Genre Instrument
www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1 5/6

8/19/13

Encyclopaedia

Period

Playlists
Shared My Playlist Themed

Support
Beginners Guide Help

Connect
Facebook Twitter Copyright 2011 Classical.com. All rights reserved

Terms of use

www.classical.com/reference/era.php?pid=1

6/6