Music in the Middle Ages

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Reason for choosing piece

The chant was predominantly a tool of Catholics but is recently being parodied by Protestants (the Anglicans and Lutherans) and secular artists. The study will try to establish how the Gregorian chant has shaped modern music.

How it fits the middle age

It is a vocalized music with no instrumental accompaniment, has short melodic intervals, is predominantly religious and is sung in unison with a single note sung simultaneously by all the audience (Calvo et al., 23).

2. Second piece

Name of piece: Gregorian Chant. Whitsunday Mass, “Alleluia Emitte Spiritum.”

Composer: Benedictine monks of the Abbey.


Reason for choosing piece

The piece was composed for the seventh day after Easter a day that Christians believe that Jesus sent his disciples the Holy Spirit. By studying it the study will unravel what role Gregorian music played in The Roman religious believes.

How it fits the middle age

This is a vocalized music (no music accompaniment) it is sung with a free rhythm and has a single melody (monophony). These attributes are characteristic of music in the medieval era (Calvo et al., 24).


1. First piece

Name of piece: EL Grillo.

Composer: Josquin Des Prez.


Reason for choosing piece: It is a short and plain text that makes it to analyze and comprehend renaissance music.


Text painting where the music matches a word (the word long is extended, “Long-” and whimsical repetition just like a cricket repeats its sound in reality), has a musical accompaniment and a polyphonic melody that is more complex compared to the medieval music above (Pyne, 114). 

2. Second piece

Name of piece: Welcome Sweet Pleasure

Composer: Thomas Weelkes.


Reason for choosing

The song is captured about a common humanistic theme of obsession with wealth.


Has musical accompaniment, captured about a humanistic theme and has a complex melody unlike medieval music (Pyne, 116).

Works Cited

Calvo-Zaragoza, Jorge, Gabriel Vigliensoni, and Ichiro Fujinaga. "One-step detection of background, staff lines, and symbols in medieval music manuscripts with convolutional neural networks." Proceedings of the 18th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR), Suzhou, China. (2017): 23-27.

Pyne, Stephen J. "Space: a Third Great Age of Discovery." Space Policy 37 (2016): 113-119.

October 05, 2023

History Music


Medieval Europe

Subject area:

Middle Ages

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Expertise Middle Ages
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