A history of the development of modern music the invention of notation

General principles of Western staff notation The position of staff notation as the first notational system to be described in this article acknowledges its international acceptance in the 20th century. As an indirect result of colonization, of missionary activity, and of ethnomusicological research—not because of any innate superiority—it has become a common language among many musical cultures. Pitch and duration Staff notation, as it has developed, is essentially a graph. The five horizontal lines of a musical staff function like horizontal rulings of graph paper, bar lines like vertical rulings.

A history of the development of modern music the invention of notation

January 25, System of Notation by Letters The earliest system of Notation, attributed to Boethius, the Roman philosopher, seems to have been the placing of letters over the syllables, thus: During the period of history dominated by Pope Gregory the Great, a change was made in this system by which capital letters, small letters and double letters were used, an improvement, since only the first seven letters of the alphabet were employed, thus: This system seems to have been used chiefly for theoretic demonstration.

These two methods indicated the pitch sufficiently, but not the duration of the sounds. Neumes The next attempt was somewhat of a retrogression instead of an improvement. Signs called Neumes were placed over words. These signs consisted of points, lines, accents, hooks, curves, angles and a number of other characters placed more or less exactly over the syllables to which they were intended to be sung, in such manner as to show, relatively, by the distance above the text, how much the voice was to rise or fall.

They did not indicate absolute pitch or duration. The number of characters in use, according to manuscripts still preserved, varied from seven to forty. In later forms they appear in the notation used for the Plain Song melodies Gregorian which were recalled into general use by Pope Pius X, in Parallel Lines Another plan was to use a variable number of lines, writing the syllables in the spaces, thus: This clumsy contrivance indicated relative pitch well enough, but not the key or the duration.

The next step was to use lines which varied in number upon or between which the Neumes, which gradually changed to square notes, were written. The pitch was indicated by using a red line for F, and a yellow or green line for C. A further improvement was, to put the letters F or C and later G on one of the lines at the beginning; the modern clefs are simply modifications of these letters.

Characters to Indicate Duration The honor of suggesting characters to indicate duration is usually attributed to Franco of Cologne, an ecclesiastic who lived in the latter part of the 12th century; but as in the case of Gregory and Guido, we must believe that his name simply stands as representative of a period.

A history of the development of modern music the invention of notation

A system is rarely the work of one man, rather a development from the labor of many. Up to the end of the 13th century the notes in use were the Longa, Brevis, and Semibrevis, as well as the Duplex Longa, or Maxima. The smaller values, the Minima, and the Semiminima first occur about About the middle of the 15th century white notes were introduced in place of certain of the black, the latter color being reserved only for the smaller note values.

The signs underwent some change at this time. The Beginnings of Harmony Our information as to the beginning of Harmony is very vague and uncertain. As early as the Saxon times in England some rude kind of part singing, without written rules apparently, seems to have existed.

The first intimations we have of any scientific attempts are Faburden or Falsobordone and Diaphony or Organum. Faburden consisted of singing a melody while another voice sang a drone accompaniment below it; thus: Diaphony or Organum consisted of a succession of fourths or fifths and octaves, thus: It has been denied by some authorities that such a barbarous manner of singing ever existed; but two considerations have been lost sight of, in making this denial: First, the fourth, fifth and octave were esteemed the only consonances.

The performer while singing a melody accompanied himself on the lute, playing the same melody a fourth or fifth above. It can hardly be doubted that a style of performance that was esteemed in the 15th, was perfectly satisfactory to the ears of the 10th century.

Discant Another early attempt at harmonic effect was the singing of an extemporaneous part or parts with the melody, called Discanting. In course of time the Discant or Organum gradually crystallized into rules, and other intervals were accepted.

Strangely enough, dissonances seem to have been admitted with great freedom, and thirds and especially sixths, were avoided.

Early Musical Notation and the Church

The only dissonance that was not allowed was the minor second. The New Organum In the 11th century, a method of combining sounds, called the New Organum, was developed. This kind of Organum admitted thirds and sixths.

The following example will sufficiently illustrate this: Measured Music The next step in advance, and one that proved very important and far reaching in its results on the development of music, was the invention of a notation that indicated, although not very conveniently, the relative duration of sounds.

This is became possible to express two or more parts in a permanent form. The plan of this first attempt at a notation by means of which relative duration of notes might be expressed was very complicated.

Music written with these signs was called Measured Music Cantus Mensurabilis. The Record of Early Harmony There are references to the manner of using voices in combination in the writings of several men associated with the Christian Church in its early days.History of notation.

Notation, the way of writing down music, has developed over many years. Many types of early music, just like stories, were passed down the generations without being notated, hence they tended to evolve over time. Braille music is a complete, well developed, and internationally accepted musical notation system that has symbols and notational conventions quite independent of print music notation.

It is linear in nature, similar to a printed language and different from the two-dimensional nature of standard printed music notation.

Music notation serves as one example of an innovation that is both lauded and derided. 9 Treitler,“The Early History of Music Writing in the West,” 10 Apel, Gregorian Chant, 11 Ibid.

Following the invention of the diastematic neumes heightened over an. Measured Music The next step in advance, and one that proved very important and far reaching in its results on the development of music, was the invention of a notation that indicated, although not very conveniently, the relative duration of sounds.

Musical notation - Wikipedia

History of Music Pre-Renaissance Music: The Evolution of Instruments and Theory Prehistoric Music. The earliest forms of music were probably drum-based, percussion instruments being the most readily available at the time (i.e. rocks, sticks).

musical notation; music staff The oldest known canon is the 13th-century English round Sumer is icumen in (Summer Canon), written here in modern English music staff notation.

Blahedo Shorter note values were also introduced, and the old, longer ones became obsolete.

A history of the development of modern music the invention of notation
History of music - Wikipedia