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Music History Midterm at Hardin-Simmons University

Ars Antiqua


Ars Nova




313 A.D.

Emperor Constantine issues the Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity.

1050 A.D.

Four line staff notation first used.


Founder of Greek Music theory


the most revered authority on music in the middle ages, he also wrote, "De institutione musica."


issued the Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity.

Gregory I

The pope who is acknowledged by the English as the creator of chant, because of his establishment of the church there.

Guido d'Arezzo

Developed 4-line staff, solmization syllables; his "Micrologus" was first comprehensive treatise on musical practice.


A legendary German Minnesanger.

Wsalter von der Vogelweide

Leading minnesanger; political and moralistic songs as well as love songs.

Bernart de Ventadorn

One of the greatest troubadors.

Adam de la Halle

Last of the trouveres; monophonic chansons; motets; oldest surviving polyphonic secular songs (rondeaux).


First great Notre Dame school composer; two-part organum.


Successor of Leonin; three and four-part organum and clausulae.

Franco of Cologne

Formalized mensural notation in treatise, "Ars Cantus Mensurabilis."

Leonel Power

Paired Mass movements, cantus firmus masses, motets.

John Dunstaple

Masses and Motets.

Philippe de Vitry

Helped establish mensural notation in treatise, "Ars Nova; introduced isorhythmic motets.

Guillaume de Machaut

Lais, motets, ballades, rondeaux, virelais; oldest surviving complete Mass by one composer.

Guillaume Dufay

Masses, Chansons. Burgundian court member.

Gilles Binchois

Chansons, especially rondeaux; also motets, Mass movements.


Ballate; also madrigals, caccie; renowned organist.


Brought out the first collection of polyphonic music printed entirely from moveable type.

Hildegard von Bingen

A nun who had the most surviving chants most sacred and for offices.

Monks of Solesmes

Prepared modern editions of chant, as well as added interpretive signs that are not in the originals.

Successive Composition

Composing one line at a time.

Simultaneous Composition

Composing all the lines at one time.

Ambrosian Chant

A repertory of ecclesiastical chant used in Milan.

Gregorian Chant

A repertory of ecclesiastical chant used in the Roman Catholic Church.


Song to or in honor of a god. In the Christian tradition, song of praise to God.


English song, usually on a religious subject, with several stanzas and a burden, or refrain.

Ethos in music

Character, mood, or emotional effect of a certain tonos, mode, meter, or melody.

Greater Perfect System

A system of tetrachords spanning two octaves.


A scale of four notes spanning a perfect fourth.


The six notes represented by the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, which could be transposed to three positions.

"Hard" Hexachord


"Soft" Hexachord


Stimmtausch/voice exchange

technique in which voices trade segments of music, so that the same combination of lines is heard twice or more, but with different voices singing each line.


First item in the mass proper, originally sung for the entrance procession, comprising an antiphon, psalm verse, lesser doxology, and a reprise of the antiphon.

Parody/Derived Mass

A musical setting of the mass that uses multiple voices of another pre-existing piece of music, such as a fragment of a motet or a secular chanson, as part of its melodic material.

Gallican Chant

The repertory of the Roman Catholic Church in Gaul.

Mozarabic Chant

The repertory of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain.

Sarum Chant

Utilized chant at the cathedral of Salzburg with the British.

Byzantine Chant

The music of the Byzantine Empire composed to Greek texts as ceremonial, festival, or church music.

Characteristic Octave

Transpose into characteristic octave of that key.


The classes of tetrachord: Diatonic, Chromatic, and Enharmonic.

Hexachord "Conjunct"

Two with a shared note.

Hexachord "Disjunct"

Two separated by a whole tone.


is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.


a form of medieval French verse used often in poetry and music. It is one of the three formes fixes (the others were the ballade and the rondeau) and was one of the most common verse forms set to music in Europe from the late thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries.

Greater Doxology

an ancient hymn of praise to the Trinity which is chanted or read daily in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches.

Lesser Doxology

a doxology, a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian liturgies.

Missa Solemnis

Latin for solemn mass, and is a name which has been applied to a number of musical settings of the mass, especially particularly serious or large-scale ones.


an archaic term[1] for the drone or base in some musical instruments, also the refrain.

Missa Lecta

literally means "read Mass"

Missa pro defunctis

A requiem mass.


Writing in parallel fifths.


Writing in an octave.


Writing in parallel fourths.

Mystery Plays

focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song.

Graduale Romanum

an official liturgical book of the Roman Rite containing chants, including the Gradual but many more as well, for use at Mass.

Ut quant laxis

is the song Guido d'Arezzo used to name the tones of the Greater Perfect System.

Antiphonale Romanum

an official liturgical book containing antiphons.

Liber Usualis

a book of commonly used Gregorian chants in the Catholic tradition, compiled by the monks of the Abbey of Solesmes in France.

Diabolus in musica

traditionally defined as a musical interval composed of three whole tones or a tri-tone.

C.F. Mass

was a setting of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass, in which each of the movements - Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei - shared a common musical theme, commonly a cantus firmus, thus making it a unified whole.


he liturgical orientation in which the priest celebrates Mass facing the people.


the basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation.

Vox organalis

The voices in a motet that are above and do not hold the chant.

Vox principalis

The voice, usually the tenor, that holds the original chant line in a motet.

In campo aperto

the use of hand signals to direct vocal music performance.

Magnus liber organi

a compilation of the medieval music known as organum. Most accredited to the Notre Dame composers Leonin and Perotin.


The line right above the tenor.


The highest line in organum.


The line that has the original chant line involved in it.

Cantus firmus

a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.


Every syllable has a single note.


Long melodic passages on a single syllable.


One neume per syllable.


Trope refers to additions of new music to pre-existing chants in use in the Western Christian Church.


Middle Eastern mode.


Middle Eastern Rhythm


Medieval polyphony improvised or notated in which all voices move at essentially the same place.

Liturgical Drama

Sung in Latin; Borrows texts and music from liturgy; Surviving dramas are Easter and Christmas.


Repeated rhythm in isorhythm


Repeated melody in isorhythm

Choirbook Format

Book large enough for entire choir to read polyphonic works with all parts.


Compositions written to substitute for the portions in discant style. The earliest motets were this with added text to the upper voices.


A brief composition for two to three voices. The tenor line is drawn from chant melodies and the two voices above are more rhythmically and melodically active sometimes having independent texts and languages from the tenor line.

Isorhythmic Motet

A motet that utilizes the repetition of a rhythmic pattern throughout a voice part; Found in 1300-1400 motets; Usually found in tenor.


Service in Roman Catholic Church; Chants, prayers, and readings.

Mass Ordinary

Texts and music appropriate for any day.

Mass Proper

Texts and music only for a particular feast.


Term for certain vocal forms as they were known in the 15th century; also a musical texture used widely in both secular and sacred compositions of that century.


one of the present Catholic liturgical books containing Antiphons.

Song Motets

Motets with short, Latin, and sacred texts intended for devotional use.


A type of responsorial psalm that usually came first in a service.

B.V.M. Antiphon

Sung at the conclusion of any seasonal prayer services.


Were a group of clergy who wrote bibulous, satirical Latin poetry in the 12th and 13th centuries.


Refers to poet-composers who were roughly contemporary with and influenced by the troubadours but who composed their works in the northern dialects of France.


Was in use from the late 13th to the 15th century. It has the musical structure AbbaA, with the first and last stanzas having the same texts.

Paraphrase Motet

A melody borrowed from another source (usually chant) and then ornamented.

Musica ficta/ Musica falsa

A term used in European music theory from the late 12th century to about 1600 to describe any pitches, whether notated or to be added by performers in accordance with their training, that lie outside the system of musica recta or musica vera ('correct' or 'true' music) as defined by the hexachord system of Guido of Arezzo.

Formes fixe

Any one of three fourteenth and fifteenth centuries French poetic forms, the ballade, rondeau and virelai.

Rhythmic Modes

Set patterns of long and short durations (or rhythms).

Rhythmic Mode 1

Quarter, Eighth

Rhythmic Mode 2

Eighth, Quarter

Rhythmic Mode 3

Dotted Quarter, Eighth, Quarter

Rhythmic Mode 4

Eighth, Quarter, Dotted Quarter

Rhythmic Mode 5

Dotted Quarter, Dotted Quarter

Rhythmic Mode 6


St. Martial School

A medieval school of composition centered in the Abbey of Saint Martial, Limoges, France. It is known for the composition of tropes, sequences, and early organum. In this respect, it was an important precursor to the Notre Dame School.


A "responsory" by a choir or congregation, usually in Gregorian chant, to a psalm or other text in a religious service or musical work.


A type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line.

Kithara or Aulos

An ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre or lyra family.

Oral Tradition

Cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another.


A theory about the composition of a melody, melodies, or piece based on pre-existing melodic figures and formulas.

Lesser Perfect System

The octave species continued to be used as a basis of the theory of modes in combination with other elements particularly the system of octo echos borrowed from the Byzantine Church.

Church Modes

One of the eight systems of pitch organization used to describe Gregorian chant.

Church Mode 1 (Dorian)

Final is D. Doesn't go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 2 (Hypodorian)

Final is D. DOES go below initial note by more than three notes.

Church Mode 3 (Phyrgian)

Final is E. Doesn't go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 4 (Hypophrygian)

Final is E. DOES go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 5 (Lydian)

Final is F. Doesn't go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 6 (Hypolydian)

Final is F. DOES go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 7 (Mixolydian)

Final is G. Doesn't go below initial note by three notes.

Church Mode 8 (Hypomixolydian)

Final is G. DOES go below initial note by three notes.


The tradition of lyric and song writing in Germany which flourished in the 12th century and continued into the 14th century.


The period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


A Medieval and early Renaissance musical form, based on the contemporary popular poetic rondeau form. It is distinct from the 18th century rondo, though the terms are likely related.


The evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours.

Psalm Tones

A melodic formula to which the verses of the Psalms and certain other texts are sung.

Reciting Tones

A repeated musical pitch around which the other pitches of the chant gravitate, or by extension, the entire melodic formula that centers on one or two such pitches.

Guidonian Hand

A mnemonic device used to assist singers in learning to sight-sing.

Graduale Romanum

An official liturgical book of the Roman Rite containing chants, including the Gradual but many more as well, for use at Mass.


A lament or dirge, a song or poem expressing grief or mourning.

Courtly Love

A medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration.


Part of the proper of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations, which is used instead of the Alleluia during Lenten or pre-Lenten seasons, in a Requiem Mass, and on a few other penitential occasions, when the joyousness of an Alleluia is deemed inappropriate.


The immediate restatement of a motif or longer melodic (or harmonic) passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice.


A type of sacred, but non-liturgical vocal composition for one or more voices.


The first responsorial psalm in a service.

Landini Cadence

A type of cadence, a technique in music composition, named after Francesco Landini (1325-1397), a blind Florentine organist, in honor of his extensive use of the technique. The technique was used extensively in the 14th and early 15th century.

Heighted Neumes

Neumes were carefully placed at different heights in relation to each other.


Vibrating stringed instrument.


Vibrating instrument without strings.


A single melody is shared between two (or occasionally more) voices such that alternately one voice sounds while the other rests.

Ars Nova

a musical style which flourished in France and the Burgundian Low Countries in the Late Middle Ages: more particularly, in the period between the preparation of the Roman de Fauvel (1310 - 1314) and the death of the composer Guillaume de Machaut in 1377 (whose poems were a large inspiration for Johannes Ciconia) .

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