Listening Assignment

I’m working on a Music exercise and need support.

These journal entries should explain your understanding concerning each piece listened to, so comment on what you hear, how it associates with the video lectures and/or corresponding readings from the assignment text, your impression of what you hear, any of the questions listed to encourage deeper thought you feel appropriate, etc. Musical terminology gained from the vocabulary assignments are appropriate and expected to be used in the appropriate fashion, as well as the use of complete sentences, correct grammar, spell check, and other tools at your disposal, including proper use of valuable information in the accompanying descriptions. *I want to see evidence in your reports that the clips were viewed and the descriptions were read.* Listed here are some basic ideas on what to include in your journals to help get you started:

EXAMPLE NUMBER ONE: Paris became the capital of cultural development in the last half of the Middle Ages with the University of Paris the intellectual capital of Europe and the cathedral of Notre Dame its’ artistic capital. It is at Notre Dame where the 2 biggest musical names of the era would emerge: the successive choir masters Leonin & Peotin. Leonin (fl.1170-1200) starts a practice that would ultimately become the most rhythmically and harmonically complex organum, on which Perotin (fl.1200-1230) expands this to include more voices in close intervals to one another. The most influential aspect of their style of organum is arguably measured rhythm, which necessitates the use of the beat (a practice long avoided in western sacred music). The rhythmic divisions in Notre Dame organum are based on a sense of what we might call ‘triple meter’ in more modern terminology, because of the religious doctrine of the ‘Trinity’ directly influencing the numerical symbolism. Though the discussions and descriptions in the video are important for understanding this music (which is rather unusual to our ears), starting 5 minutes in until just after 9 minutes in, try to concentrate on the music itself in order to comment on what seems to make Notre Dame style organum what it is.)

EXAMPLE NUMBER TWO: Unlike in the Dark Ages, eventually churches sought to employ the most skilled musicians, who no longer had to be clerics. One such figure who would go on to become the most influential French composer of his day, was Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377). Though he wrote many secular songs, through his employment at Notre Dame he builds on the influence of Leonin & Perotin. As such the Ars Nova influenced music of the late Gothic Era begins to demonstrate greater vocal independence in musical lines than that of the more restrictive practice of organum, but the harmony will still perhaps be rather unusual to our ears. The most important work by Machaut is his Notre Dame Mass, the first known complete polyphonic setting of a mass by an individual composer (in other words he was the first person to compose all the parts of the service music himself). In this example we hear his “Agnus Dei” (‘Lamb of God’ – a prayer for mercy and peace). Because of the aforementioned numerical symbolism, the piece is in triple meter as well as in 3 sections. It is also for 4 voices, giving an unusually full sound in comparison to previous examples. It is still based on a Gregorian Chant, which the lower voices sustain in longer note values in comparison the much more free upper 2 that obviously move more quickly. The first and second sections state: “Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.” The third final section: “Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, grant us peace.” And how does one know they get to the end of a prayer? The Amen…

EXAMPLE NUMBER THREE: Much like Machaut in France, Francesco Landini (d.1397) became the most influential Italian composer of the Gothic Era. Landini too was a poet-composer employed by the church (in fact it is said that no one could rival his ability to play the organ). But unlike Machaut, Landini suffered an illness at a young age that left him permanently blind, and we will also instead focus on his secular music (of which he is responsible for composing a third of all the Italian secular music that survives to this day). His “Ecco la primavera” (‘Spring has come’) is a ballata (a joyous Italian poetic dance song). Most secular music was simpler in texture than sacred music during this era, and this example in 2-voices is a common demonstration of that..
The text is: “Spring has come. It makes the heart joyful, now is the time to fall in love and be happy. We see the air and the fine weather which also calls us to be happy. In this sweet time, everything is beautiful. Flowers and fresh green grass cover the meadows, and the trees too are in blossom.”
Secular music is also usually much shorter than sacred music because of the different length of the texts. Please notice this example opens with recorders recorders playing the tune, then percussion, lute, and shawm continue to accompany the voices as they sing the poem (also note it ends right at 2 minutes in, so i’m not sure why the video keeps streaming for another minute in silence…)

write at least 200 words explaining what you hear for all the artistic musical performances in EACH of the three examples given (i.e. 3 examples x 200 words each = 600 word assignment total).

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