Wednesday, April 13, 2005

ya like chant?

so i decided to blog on something i'm listening to for a quiz tomorrow in music history. this piece has an anonymous composer, but that's okay! it is the first piece that we have listened to from the norton anthology that delves into polyphony. it's called "organum: alleluia justus ut palma."
basically, the organum uses both contrary and parallel motion from one interval to the next. at the beginning of each phrase, there is usually contrary motion from octaves or unisons to fourths or fifths...polyphony in those days consisted mainly of those intervals, however i did read that the use of sixths was an effective cadential device. interesting, eh? anyway, at the end of each phrase, the fourths and fifths proceeds to octave or unison. what's neat about this piece is that there were special singers designated to sing the chorus, which included polyphony, while the congregation and mediocre singers sang the other monophonic songs.
it is way past my bedtime...

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