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- Unaccompanied monophonic singing without meter
- set sacred Latin texts in Catholic churches during Middle ages
- Named after Pope Gregory
- Many notes sung to only one syllable
- Opposed to syllabic (one or two notes per syllable)
- Central, most important service of Catholic Church
- Chants whose text changed to suit the feast day
- Chants with unvarying texts sung every day
What did Machaut do with the Mass?
What was the advantage?
- Before Machaut, composers writing polyphony had set only one or two sections of Proper of the Mass
- Machaut set all the chants of the Ordinary
- Could be heard on more than one feast day
- Early polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass
- Composed for Notre Dame Cathedral by Perotinus & Leoninus
- Gregorian chant composer, one of the first named composers
- Music appeals to sensual experience (blood, breath)
- Range huge by chant standards, big leaps of fourths & fifths
- Choirmaster at Notre Dame of Paris
- Created w/ Leoninus new style of chant: polyphony
- Added wholly independent voice(s) above existing chant
- Took centuries-old chant for mass (Viderunt Omnes), added 3 new voices above it
- Jaunty triple-meter rhythm
- The structurally fundamental line in medieval polyphony, moving very slowly, sustaining (holding) one note.
- Provided harmonic foundation
Guillame de Machaut (1300-1377)
- Genius of Medieval music. Pre-eminent poet-compser of 14th-century.
- Associated with Ars Nova- Middle Ages obsessed w/ rhythm, experimented w/ radical rhythmic composition
- Developed motet and was the first to set the Ordinary of the Mass in triple meter (first to use triple meter)
- Eliminated drone, put tenor in the middle, two on top, creating soprano/alto/tenor/bass (Perotinus had put all three above tenor)
- Unlike P., spread out voices over 2.5 octaves, becoming first to use almost full range of chorus
sacred Latin music for multiple voice parts
- Renaissance ideal emphasizing human potential and belief that people could be morally educated
- Belief that people are more than mere conduit for heaven, but have capacity to create & shape world.
Josquin Desprez (1455-1521)
- Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer
- Excelled in motets
- His Ave Maria (Hail Mary) uses standard four voice parts (S/A/T/B). As motet unfolds, voices enter in succession with same music motive (=imitation). Each voice equally important, yielding symmetry/balance.
- Imitation: procedure whereby one more voices duplicate in turn the notes of a melody