We have made it to the end of our theory book, and I’m very pleased with the progress you have made this year. The complex rhythms at the end of the book are still a challenge, and those are things that I would encourage you to continue to practice, particularly the last four pages of the rhythm book. I made some short videos going over units 49-52 in the rhythm book. You can find those here:
We also began talking about Middle Ages music, noting that the style of writing and singing was quite different than what we are used to today. Please finish reading page 42 in your theory book if you did not finish it in class on Friday, and look at the questions on page 43. For listening and watching, these four videos show different types of music from the Middle Ages.
Instrumental music (note how many of the instruments are the same type, but different sizes)
Plainsong using both monophony (one voice) and homophony (same voice)
Instrumental dance music (notice how the violin da gamba is played upright, like a cello)
O frondens virga by Hildegard von Bingen, one of the few women composers that we know her name (notice the voice is most often accompanied by a single instrument playing one note, called a drone)
My musical happy moment this week is an arrangement of “Nami Nami,” a traditional Egyptian lullaby. Many of the techniques used in this composition, like the use of a drone and the type of mode used, is very similar to Medieval European music like we listened to this week. Even the instruments are very similar!
Happy Easter! Remember in two weeks you will have a substitute teacher for the first half of class and I will join you as I’m able.