Western Art Music - Secular music of the middle ages

Topics: Medieval music, Guillaume de Machaut, Motet Pages: 3 (649 words) Published: March 5, 2014


Western Art Music ( MUF106 )

LECTURER : Prof. Madya Hanizah Hj. Musib
COURSE : MUF106 - Western art music
TITLE : Secular Music in the Middle Ages

Secular music is non-religious music. Secular means worldly. Secular music developed in the Medieval period and was used in the Renaissance. Secular music in the Middle Ages included love songs, dances, and dramatic works. This music was not bound by the traditions of the Church, nor was it even written down for the first time until sometime after the tenth century. Hundreds of these songs were created and performed and eventually notated by bands of musicians flourishing across Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, the most famous of which were the French trouvères and troubadours. The monophonic melodies of these musicians, to which may have been added improvised accompaniments, were often rhythmically lively. The subject of the overwhelming majority of these songs is love. Most of which are performed by wandering minstrels.

Instruments most probably used in secular music during the middle ages may include drums, harps, recorders, and bagpipes were the instruments used in secular music because they were easy for the traveling musicians to tote about. Instruments were taught through oral tradition and provided great dancing music and accompanied the stanzas well.

There are many composers which composed secular music. These composers were known as Troubadours and trouveres. They are French nobles. Among the best known of these poet-musicians are were the troubadour Guillaume IX, duke of Aquitain, from southern France. As well as trouvere, Chastelain de Couci, from northern France. Not all were men, Beatriz de Dia was a troubadour who addressed songs to men.

An in-depth about one of the composers, Guillaume de Machaut was born about 1300 and Died in 1377, he was famous as a musician as well as a poet, An avant...
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