Medieval/Gothic Music

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The movement from the single-melody chant, or monophony, to multiple melodies sung or played at the same time, (polyphony), was from the Greek times and greatly born out of the need to use multiple voices. “In the Medieval/Gothic period, chants grew from highly developed single-line melodies to octaves, simple intervals, and independent parts.” Octave was the first unison sang, which this type of singing came out the need for males to sing the same melody, since women were not allowed in the Church. “Women were not allowed to sing in the early church so men’s voices dominated the chant performance, with the only exception being boys’ choirs. The boys sang an octave higher than the men because their voices had not changed. The upper melody was the same as the lower melody and gravitated into parallel octaves.” This process is recognized to the ancient Greece as magadizing. In my belief, I do not think some radical monk started the movement, but instead, it was a gradual process in which a group of people realized that it sounded pleasant to have multiple voices sing different melodies simultaneously.

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