Music on Earth

This post offers a broad view of humanity's musical customs. It explores the evidence for prehistoric music making, and it explains how music got passed down through the ages. The world's musical traditions are also explored, as are the earliest efforts to notate music.

Hallucinating Melismas with Hildegard of Bingen

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.

What They Were Chanting

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.

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