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Organum: The Beginnings of Polyphony: 1000 - 1250

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Organum: The Beginnings of Polyphony: 1000 - 1250. Organum. Organum = earliest form of polyphony Polyphony = the simultaneous singing of two or more melodies. Probably originated in secular heterophony (melody sung at octave then in thirds)

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slide1

Organum:

The Beginnings of Polyphony:

1000 - 1250

organum
Organum
  • Organum = earliest form of polyphony
  • Polyphony = the simultaneous singing of two or more melodies.
  • Probably originated in secular heterophony (melody sung at octave then in thirds)
  • The chants and organum were sometime accompanied by instruments such as flutes, early violins and organs
  • The Gregorian Chant (tenor) was doubled at an interval of a fourth below (a second singer sung a melody parallel but four notes below the original singer).
  • Geographic centre = Paris and Northern France

Source: History of Western Music, Miller and Cockrell

Rose Window, Chartres Cathedral

the eleventh century
The Eleventh Century
  • The beginning of modern cities;
  • Norman conquest of England (1066);
  • Developments in recovery of Spain from North African Muslims;
  • First Crusade;
  • First translations of Greek and Arabic into N. European languages;
  • Origins of first universities;
  • Romanesque architecture;
  • Growth of Vernacular literature

Source: Grout, 69

parallel organum
Parallel Organum
  • Syllabic
  • Most common interval = 4th
  • Voices could be doubled at the octave to create three or four part music
  • See how the two melodies below are parallel to each other and that there is a constant spacing of four notes between the upper and lower voice)

Notre Dame 1163- 1250

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Modified Parallel Organum

  • Modified organum = voices start in unison, them move to 4th, then back to unison

http://www.groenewald.nl/chartres/schola%20cantorum2.htm

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Free Organum

  • 11th Century
  • Contrary motion added to parts
  • Melodic independence
  • Chant line called ‘tenor’ from Latin tenere, to hold
  • Parts moved in note-against-note style (‘counterpoint’)
  • The melodic independence required more accurate notation
  • The stave was gradually introduced;
  • The neumes were replaced with squares more like are modern notes

http://www.groenewald.nl/chartres/schola%20cantorum2.htm

Organum: Alleluia Justus ut Palma, c.1100

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Melismatic Organum

  • Tenor part (Gregorian chant) sung in long sustained notes, possibly played on an instrument
  • Higher voice sings in faster-moving note values
  • Rhythmic independence of voices

North Transept Rose Window Notre Dame Cathedral

Leonin, Organum duplum, c.1180

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