This blog post covers the famous medieval composer and religious mystic known as Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179). Her strange musical creativity is explored as is the likely source of that creativity—migrainous hallucinations. Her most important work, Scivias, which is the source of her chant called Ordo virtutum, is analyzed and explained.
This blog post describes the earliest efforts to notate music in medieval Western Europe. It explores the pressures that lead to the emergence of standard musical notation, and it analyzes the inchoate forms that marked the progress of the system. Important figures like Boethius (c. 477 – 524) and Guido of Arezzo ((992 – 1033) are covered.
This blog post explores Gregorian chant and the psalms and hymns that comprise the Roman liturgy. It also describes variants of chant that evolved later in the tradition’s history like tropes, sequences, and liturgical dramas.
This blog post describes the fall of the Roman Empire and the music that emerged as a consequence of that fall. It analyzes the musical habits of early Christians, and it inspects the early stages of Gregorian chant. Political and societal influences are considered for context and scope.
This blog post summarizes the events that lead to the birth of jazz. It covers the European and African traditions that conspired to create this style, and it inspects the important figures who contributed to its development.
This blog post covers humanity’s earliest musical efforts. It begins with artifacts found in caves, and it ends with the music of ancient Greece and Rome. Along the way it covers Mesopotamian music, ancient musical philosophy, and the earliest efforts to notate.