Music History Assignments for 11.17.2017

Music History Assignments for 11.17.2017

Hello all, and thank you for your attentiveness in class last week. Please continue to pray for Mrs. Bush and her family as they are getting ready for the arrival of their new baby in a month or so, and that her health would continue to improve.

This week we ended the Medieval Period, focusing on the advancements in polyphony (multiple voices), especially what was coming from France. Recall that because the pope moved to Avignon, France and abandoned Rome for a time, much of the power, influence, and economic stability of Europe shifted from Italy to France. The papal court was a very big deal!

For context, some of the things happening in the world during the 14th century included:

  • multi-stage rockets developed in China
  • the Great Famine of 1315-1317, which led to malnutrition for at least two generations, which led to…..
  • The Black Death in 1347 in western Europe (it started first among the Tatars in what is now Russia, spread south into southern Asia, and was contracted by European merchants who, when they arrived back in Genoa, were all dead or dying from the disease) that resulted in a massive epidemic that killed approx. 1/3 of the European population
  • The Chinese rebellion finally ended Mongol rule
  • Peasant’s Revolt in France and then in England
  • establishment of the Ottoman Empire
  • 1397 the Medici bank is established in Florence

Important people in the 14th century

  • Geoffrey Chaucer writes the Canturbury Tales (still in Middle English, though the start of The Great Vowel Shift is starting to happen….look that up! It’s really neat!)
  • Robert the Bruce (and William Wallace) push back British invasions and solidify Scottish independence, at least for the time being
  • Edward III and the Black Prince in England

We listened to recordings of some of the instruments mentioned.

Portative Organ

Positive Organ




Please be prepared for a quiz next week. The password for the website is “Machaut.” Next week will begin the Renaissance Period, which to be honest, is one of my favorites.


Heather R. Nelson, PhD

Singing Voice Specialist

Voice Teacher