....The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no man be trusted. Mark the music.
Merchant of Venice
Act V-Scene 1
Musical Notation The Middle Ages The Renaissance The Baroque Era
Classical Period Romantic Era Twentieth-Century
Definition: symbols used to record musical sounds.
There were different ways of writing down music early in history. To the writer they were easy to understand, but teaching others to read and write music was something very difficult. The notes for music were of different shape.
One man, that had a great change in this, was Guido of Arezzo. He used a hexachord, a six-tone scale. To help his students memorize and tell the difference in pitch levels he invented a system known as solmization. He associated each note with a Latin syllable.
ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la
Which is known today as: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do
But what Arezzo is most recognized for is his invention of a staff line.
Before, Greek signs were placed above the note to indicate whether the note was high or low. This would cause a problem in the precision of the note sung.
Arezzo established a four line staff. In this staff, he was able to place a note above, below, or on a line to indicate the note's pitch. We still use a line staff to this day. (Alberti, 40)
THE MIDDLE AGES
Around 500 A.D.
After the end of the Roman Empire the Christian Church dominated Europe. This was the time when only religious music was played. Around this time, Gregorian Chant became the standard music. Pope Gregory I was the person who collected and reorganized music that he felt was acceptable for the church.
The Renaissance was a great time for music, and all other arts. Secular music was performed in great demand. Music started to break away from the church and started to evolve into an art form of entertainment. A lot of the music was not written down so others were left with the job of writing down the notation. With the "rebirth" of the arts, music was once again thriving.
THE BAROQUE ERA
The Baroque era was one of great change. A new style of music was being created. Composers created performances more formal, suits were now the attire for public performances. Instrumental concertos were being heard all around this era. Another important creation arose from this era which became known as OPERA. It was established by composers in Florence, Italy. From this era great masterpieces were born.
Aristocrats ruled the music style of this time. The classical, elegant music came forth. This was the time when symphonies, string quartets, and sonatas were created by great composers, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. The center for music, during this time, was Vienna, Austria. Many came to learn the standard and formalized music.
During this era emotion came into play with the composers. Many looked to their homelands or poems for inspiration. Pianist ruled this era with their emotional enhancement. Some popular pianists were Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt, as well as Peter llyich Tchaikovsky. New inventions of instruments gave variety to romantic music. This era brought inspiration to symphonies and musical performances.
With a whole new century came experimentation. Composers were now trying out new kinds of rhythms. Some try to keep the traditional forms of music alive for new audiences. Yet innovative styles of musical trends have emerged.
This information taken from Yaquelin's knowledge and from <http://ipl.si.umich.edu/div/mushist/>
To see the styles of music that have come forth see Types of music