A Comparison Between Medieval Instruments and Present Day Instruments

Topics: Middle Ages, Dark Ages, Periodization Pages: 6 (2144 words) Published: April 27, 2011
A Comparison between Medieval Instruments and Present Day Instruments

A Comparison between Medieval Instruments and Present Day Instruments

The medieval time period is known as an era where every subject about social life exploded. It is known the era where the government, society, and religion made enormous advances. Music, art, and literature were also prevalent but one area that had the most impact on the medieval society was the use of musical instruments. They were used in plays and performances as a way to keep the audience entertained. Such instruments were used in the orchestra and because many people wanted to invent new instruments or upgrade on another, there was an explosion of music. From this time period to present day, there is a considerate amount of comparison that can be done between the two.

The medieval time period began around 800 A.D. and it spanned for about 700 years. Feudalism was an occurring topic in the medieval era because in 1066, William the Conqueror led the Normans to invade England. After this invasion, since there was no region boundaries of where a country started or ended, there was a need to set in place a government structure. Under the feudal system, lesser and poorer individuals were forced to listen to one of a higher caliber. In return for protection, the lower class had to provide men just in case one had to enter a war or had to defend the country. Not only was their a government system set in place but the people of the medieval era would quickly come to learn about a new religion that was spreading through Europe like a forest fire. (Medieval Period).

Christianity at the time was not a well known religion. It was not until Charlemagne was in power when the Great Schism of 1054 occurred. At the time, two religious powers began to compete. Pope Leo IX of the Roman Catholic Church, and Patriarch Michael I of the Eastern Orthodox faith, refused to talk to one another because of the competition of who had the most authority. (Medieval Period).

After both religious figures refused to speak to each other or communicate with one another. The Crusades became born. Before the Crusades were born, Christianity expanded into all parts of the world. The Crusades were formed to defend Christianity from Islam. Europeans that wanted to keep Christianity alive traveled to Jerusalem and engaged in war with the Islamic forces in order to inhabit the land and to regain the Holy Land. In the fall of Acre in 1291, the Crusades fell apart and it can be seen that their reign lasted for more than 200 years. (Medieval Period).

From their government, to religion, the lives of the medieval people was improved and was made easier. Europeans wanted to invent many new inventions and as a result, they discovered new trade routes. The old ways they were taught to navigate around Europe were soon forgotten when improvements were made and they managed to discover silk, gunpowder, and navigation aids. This is known as the Age of Exploration. Even though they managed to discover new routes and new objects, the cities were unhealthy places to live most of the time. (Medieval Period).

The most infamous event known to man happened in the medieval period known as the Black Plague. Since there was an explosion of population, it caused conditions that were unsanitary to man. Half of the people populating Europe died because of the Black Plague and after this period was soon over, enlightenment was done in the church. Soon after, many people began to be executed by the church because the Inquisition. A lot of the history during this time period can be categorized into three parts, the Dark Ages, the High Middle Ages, and the Later Middle Ages. In between all the chaos, wars, and disease running rampant, the development of music and instruments were being made. (Medieval Period).

During a medieval performance, an emphasis was given on the voice. “Their sound is sometimes likened to the...
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