Monophonic Music In The Middle Ages

Topics: Music, Baroque music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pages: 3 (683 words) Published: September 15, 2015


Long before the Middle-Ages, western music was mainly monophonic. Monophony or monophonic music consists of a single melodic line, in which one person singing can exemplify monophonic texture. The Roman Catholic Church used the Gregorian chant, which consisted of a melody set that was sacred to Latin texts, and was sung without accompaniment; this type of chant was known as a monophonic texture. The Gregorian chant has a soft, smooth touch; it symbolizes the voice of the entire church instead of a single individual within the church. “Its rhythm is flexible, without meter, and has little sense of beat”. One famous Gregorian chant during the Middle-Ages would be O successors. A Gregorian chant is supposed to be a single melodic line, without...

The Church was beginning to have less power in the music during the Renaissance, so that meant Kings were starting to have more influence in music. Unlike the Middle-Ages were the polyphonic texture was sung by soloists, in the Renaissance the texture was performed by entire (male) choirs. Renaissance music has more variety of sound than the Middle-Ages’ music had. With the use of the bass register for the first time, it expanded the bass pitch range to four or more octaves and also gave richer harmony. “Renaissance music sounds mild and relaxed, because stable, consonant chords are favored; triads occur often, while dissonances are played down”. During the Renaissance, rhythm flows gently rather than a sharp, rapid beat. “This is because each melodic line has great rhythmic independence when one singer is at the beginning of his or her melodic phrase, the others may already be in the middle of theirs”. Using this technique makes singing difficult, but also a pleasant, beautiful sound because each singer has to maintain their individual rhythm. “Homophonic texture, with successions of chords, is also used; the texture may vary within a piece to provide contrast and bring out aspects of the text as it develops”. Homophonic texture is when a melody is accompanied by chords. The homophonic textures caused the melodies to become more difficult and...
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