Music in History

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chant

early middle ages
 



chant
This is a term to refer to liturgical music of western church which was monophonic  with free rhythm at this particular historical period. (Plain song /cantus planus) . Generally, liturgical music exists in all the churches of the Christian world which are divided into two areas. a) East Church: Armenian and Byzantine  music, Coptic, Syriac. b) Western: Gallican, Mozarabic, Old Roman chant, Ambrosian chant, Gregorian chant.
Plainsong does not include Byzantine music.

The monophonic music, as opposed to polyphonic and homophonic music,  consists of a melodic line without accompaniment or additional parts.  It is the oldest type of music, the only one that  was in use in  antiquity and during  early  middle ages (Byzantine music, Gregorian chant). Trouveres also sang monophonic songs. "Monophony" was in  dominance  from ancient times to circa 13th century AD.

Byzantine music
Byzantine music fall into three categories: hirmologikon, stichirarikon, papadikon.
a) hirmologikon. It is the oldest type and is thought to contain part of the music of the Greeks. It is very short and includes fast parts corresponding to one symbol per syllable. During first christian centuries, the rhythm was adapted to the text.
b) stichirarikon. Here, the melody is widened with respect to the syllable. It is not tied so closely to the text, thereby enabling the rhythm division  in order to display the text ´s prosody (for example, strong and weak  pulses correspond to the intonation of the text).
c) papadikon. In these later hymns a syllable may be extended to the entire musical phrase. Papadikon appeared in church music when liturgies  became longer and more complicated.

The Byzantine Μusic notation was simply a memory aid in an oral tradition. The Ison created the so-called pseudo-poliphony.

Some people suggest that pope Gregory the great introduced the "papadika" to the western christian church. They suggest that papadika are the  ancestor of gregorian chant. Some others claim that Ambrosius was  to introduce  elements of Byzantine music in Western church in the 4th century. However, most of historians agree  that Gregorian chant developed during the mid-8th century. It was developed by the combination of Roman and Frankish chant.

                                                    P. Oxy. XV 1786
          

                                                      Φως Ιλαρόν.
          

Ambrosian or MIlanese chant

It is the only surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian to maintain the official sanction of the Roman Catholic Church. It is said that Saint Ambrosius, bishop of Milan during 374-397, introduced the antiphonal method  of singing hymns and psalms.Τhe congregation could sing instead of the chorus. It is also said that Ambrosius and Augustinus  composed  the "Te Deum" hymn. Ambrose is not known to have composed any of the Ambrosian chant repertory.
The Ambrosian modes took this name in his honor. They are the first four modes of Gregorian chant, that is: Dorian (D), Phrygian (E), Lydian (F), Mixolydian (G). As the time went by, church music became more complicated.
In 455 Rome falls from the Vandals (Germanic tribes). The preservation of knowledge and art passed entirely to  the church. The Church is becoming an international center of power.

                                   Inno di Sant'Ambrogio, Deus creator omnium


(old Roman chant)

This repertory is consisted of  some graduales and antiphons dating between 1070 and 1250. It  is believed that this old Roman oral tradition was in practice until it was replaced by the Gregorian chant. There are many theories about the origins of the old Roman and Gregorian chant. The dominant theory for the origins  of both Chants  suggests that the Franks brought the old Roman State north, in order to consolidate the ecclesiastical power and to strengthen their political ties with the Roman church. This  mix of Roman and Frankish Chant created  the Gregorian Chant.

                                    Old Roman chant - Dominus dixit ad me

resources
1)Willi Apel, Ηarvard dictionary of music second edition eighth printing
2)Christopher Headington, Η ιστορία της δυτικής μουσικής, μετάφραση Μάρκος Δραγούμης, εκδόσεις Gutemberg
3)Alberto Turco 8ο συνέδριο Associatione Internationale Studi di canto Gregoriano, Verona 25-02-2007
5) wikipedia the free encyclopedia, Jubilus, last modified on 1 November 2011, at 12:21
6)wikipedia the free encyclopedia, medieval music , last modified on 19 October 2012 at 13:43
7) Bικιπαίδεια, μεσαιωνική μουσική, τελευταία τροποποίηση 6 Αυγούστου 2012, 10:36

 
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