January Themes

The theme this month is Medieval Music! Music history and music composition will focus on the ideas that make medieval music what it once was – the longest running era of classical music. It’s also the first documented era of music and a great way to start January.

The five characteristics of medieval music are monophony, music notation, instruments, troubadours and trouvères, and rhythm/modes. Some of those are new words for me and maybe you, too. Monophony refers to one melody line, often vocals sung with or without accompaniment. Music notation, far from what we read as music today, was to show where to have the vocal melody rise or fall. Instruments included a flute (with holes, not keys), recorder, lute, dulcimer, and lyra. Troubadours are traveling musicians and trouvères are poet-musicians. Medieval music was not organized as modern music; instead, the time period used rhythmic patterns called modal scales – and there were eight of them.

As always, for our youngest students we offer new seasonal coloring pages and other age-appropriate activities.

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