The Evolution Of Music In Europe From 5th To 18th Centuries

2032 words - 8 pages

Ömer Faruk SarıSummer 2014Music 200 Midterm 1 The Evolution of Music in Europe from 5th to 18th CenturiesThe Roman Empire by the 5th century was the main unifying power influencing not only Western Europe but also the East Asia and North Africa, but the empire was weakened and the lands were too large to control so The Roman Empire splintered into fragments that could not regroup in centuries.As The Roman Empire vanished, the Church strengthened and took the role of Rome in Europe and until 10th century the Church has been the main unifying power. The Church did not take the role of Roman Empire only; they took their mission as well, gathering people under its way. The Church Fathers discovered that the music has great power to influence people and inspire divine thoughts. This idea was similar to Doctrine of Ethos from Ancient Greek. Doctrine of Ethos is the belief that music possessed moral qualities and could affect a person's character and behaviour.The music theory and philosophy from ancient times gathered and transmitted to these early times of Christianity. The most important writers of this era are Martianus Capella and Boethius. Capella believed that the music is a discipline based on numbers. Boethius in the other hand divided music in three kinds. According to him the first one of these three kinds is Musica Mundana, the cosmic music, relations seen in the movement of the planets, changing of the season's etc. The second one is called Musica Humana which controls the union of body and soul. The third one is Musica Instrumentalia, audible music produced by human voice or instruments.During its first centuries church mixed the oriental-hellenistic societies around eastern mediterrenean with the features they absorbed from Greek music. But the Church unquestionably banned the use of music for pure entartainment. For them music was to be servant of the religion so the instrumental music was excluded from church.After Roman Empire divided into Eastern and Western Empires, in the absence of central authority, Christian churches in the several regions of Eastern Empire established different liturgies. The local churches in the West were also fairly independent at first. Western Europe was controlled by various families and individuals who lived in Germany, Italy and France. These political provinces produced their own melodies for singing sacred texts in Latin. By the time Rome developed a solid central authority and during the middle ages, from 9th to 16th centuries, these local versions of sacred melodies were all immersed or dissapeared in order to Romanize the liturgy of the Western church both in theory and practice and to create a common society and culture. Following this idea The Roman Church assigned the Gregorian chant as the sacred song of the Christian Church. About a thousand years Gregorian chant became the principal religious music. Gregorian chant is monophonic, sung in Latin, uses free and flexible prose rhythms,...

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