- Sacred Music
- Secular Music
- Music Printing
During the Middle Ages, there were three classes of people. The first class
was the nobility: kings, princes, and wealthy landowners. They owned
land and from these people came our legends of knights in shining armour.
The second class consisted of the clergy: priests who worked in the church
and monks who lived in monasteries. The rest of the people, poor
farmers and peasants, made up the third class. The average peasant
lived to be 30 years of age and ate little more than black bread and turnips.
The first great centres of music were in the churches.
During the Middle Ages, until
1100, the vast majority of music was monophonic, meaning
a single line without accompaniment. As life became better and more
civilized in the Middle Ages people began to focus more on themselves and
less on God and religion. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, polyphony
began to be used in music. This was the use of more than one melodic
line at the same time.
Two of the greatest composers
of the new polyphonic music were Leonin and Perotin
at the Notre-Dame in Paris. Later important composers included Guillaume