Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Polyphony23
By: Daniel Dydey
- Polyphony in Western music is when two or more voices are singingdifferent melodies. Produces ‘polyphonic texture’.- In the Middle Ages was not written in fixed major or minor keys, butin sections of a diatonic scale, or ‘modes’.- Polyphony focuses on musical interest between all individual parts,giving them all equal musical importance.-Use of counterpoint, where two parts fitted together exactly
-Before Polyphony, only monophonic (single-sounded) music existed-Two or more melodic voices where played together to create strongerdepth in the music.-Started developing in the ninth century liturgical music, with simplerpolyphony by doubling the melody with parallel intervals such as fifths,fourths and octaves.-Known as ‘Organum’, meaning organised music.- Early polyphonic forms include the ‘Motet’ and ‘Conductus’.
- Organum contained two voices, ‘vox principalis’ and ‘vox organalis’ (theduplicate)- Organum started spanning types:1. simple: exact duplicate in parallel motion in consonant intervals2. Composite: doubling the octave with both or one voice parts of simple organum3. Modified parallel: each phrases begins in unison, would spread to fourths, then returns to the end with unison.- In later centuries (tenth onwards), parallel thirds and sixths were added. Secular technique known as ‘fauxbourdon’(false bass).- A free-moving, improvised part might be added over the melody, known as ‘descantus’.
- Born: 1160 in Paris, France, Died 1230-Major part in development of Polyphony, known as one of the twocomposers with their music preserved (other being Leonin)- Little is known of his life, other than his time and music- The Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the leading centres of musicaldevelopment, housing a school of music (1100).-Perotin and Leonin had been associated with this school around thelate twelfth century and its organum theme.- Their works were compiled in a volume of organum titled ‘MagnusLiber Organi’.- Other of his works include: Viderunt omnes, Sederunt princpes,Alleluia, all as Organum.
- Organum written in 1198, supposedlyfor Christmas Day.-Found in ‘Magnus Liber Organi’- Derived from Plainchant melody withuse of long sustained notes.-Four voices are used- The other voices contrast yetcompliment with short notes invarying rhythms. The use ofcounterpoint is inventive.- Polyphonic intervals include parallelfourths and octaves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpgaEFmd FcM
- Latham, A. (1985). The Cambridge Music Guide. In A. Latham, The Cambridge Music Guide (pp. 93-96). Great Britain: Cambridge.-New Burlington Books. (1989). The Book of Music. In N. Ardley, & D. Arthur, The Book of Music (pp. 22-24). Britain: New Burlington Books.- Shearing, C. R. (2004). Gregorian Chants: An Illustrated History of Religious Chanting. In C. R. Shearing, Gregorian Chants: An Illustrated History of Religious Chanting (pp. 72, 32). London: Mercury Books.