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. Musical instruments, traditions, and notation systems are also examined.

Illiterate by Choice

In this blog post Brian Jump explores the hostility many musicians feel towards reading music. He describes the many ways students shirk the responsibility of reading, and he attempts to dispel the myth that learning how to read is antithetical to the spirit of music. Jump’s main point in this post is that becoming literate drastically improves one’s musicianship.

Motets, Measures, and the New Art

This blog post analyzes the motet, which was a style of polyphonic vocal music that evolved during the European Middle Ages. The motet featured simultaneous, overlapping vocal lines of varying text. They were compositionally dense and musically sophisticated. Progenitors of the motet like Philippe de Vitry, Franco of Cologne, and Guillaume de Mauchaut, are covered.

Picture credit: Desmond, Karen. “Ars Musicae.” Ars Musicae.and