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Basic Repertoire

Medieval Period

[Chant Manuscript]

(before 1450)

Music developed during the Gothic or Medieval period, including Gregorian Chant, was developed and refined over several centuries. This era covers the period 1000-1450. Music of the Medieval period is, for the most part, sacred, and characterized by the slow development of more rhythmic independence between voices in polyphonic textures. This arose from the monophonic style of Gregorian Chant and the more straight-forward multiple voice textures of organum.

Because ancient composers often did not affix their names to their compositions, many of the composers of this era are unknown to us, and, even if a name can be associate with a particular work, very little may be known about the specifics of that composer's life. However, a few major composers from this era are known to us, including Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, Perotin Magnus, and Guillaume de Machaut, among others.