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Instrumental Music in the 13th and 14th Centuries

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  1. Instrumental music
  2. Instrumental musical forms
  3. Ensemble and solo instruments
  4. Settings

Music has always been an essential part of religious, civic and political life around the world. The interchanging of ideas around the world led to major changes in the composition styles, methods of dissemination, musical genres and the growth and development of musical instruments. During the 13th and the 14 century, more instrumental music was being written around the world. This was an indication that singers and audiences were beginning to appreciate the music without voices. The trend also showed rising musical literacy among instrumentalists around the globe. The 14th century witnessed the development and introduction of new instrumentals and genres of music.

[...] Composers of instrumental music in the 13th and the 14thcenter were experiencing more rhythmic freedom (Kathleen 34). This is attributed to the acceptance of the duple rhythmic patterns. The duple rhythmic patterns were initially developed by Phillipe de Vitry (Gordon 22). The harmonic structures were also experiencing a lot of changes with the passages of sixths and third starting to emerge. Before this period, the intervals had been perfect fifths, fourth and octaves. This however changed in the later 13th and the 14t century in which melodic lines and tunes become more flexible. [...]


[...] The instrumentalmusic in the 14thcentury was more stablecompared to the late 13th century. The music was morestructured and unified because of the musicalinventions and the ingenuity that was being experienced across the globe. With the growth of cities and changes in political structures across Europe, the middle class was experiencing more power than they had never experienced benefit. Instrumental music was also becoming more popular and prevalent. Music literature movedfrom the confines of religious vocal music to a more humanistic view that supported new types of music including instrumental music. [...]


[...] The pairs consisted of instrumental music pieces with contrasting musical tempo and metre. The pieceswereunified in such a way that a common melody was created. The common instrumental music dancepairs were made up of galliard, paaven, allem, tourdion, and courante (Kathleen 54).Throughout the 14th century, preludes remained the major form of organinstrumentalmusic. They were joined by categories that were popularlyreferred to as the free forms. The 13th and 14thcenturyinstrumental music also used pre- existingmelodic to create new compositions. However, theydiffered from the firmus compositions because they melodies were much shorted and repeated several times; every time with a completelydifferentaccompanying part. [...]


[...] The instrumentalmusic was also played in chant settings. This involved playing the music as vesets or organverses. In other cases, it was played ion nomine settings. The nomine setting was a common firmus theme in the 14th century (Kosovske 45). This setting saw the inclusion of the instrumentalmusic in religious and non- religioussettings.Instrumental music could also be included in dance settings. In suchsituations the variationtechniques could vary from one setting to the other. Differentartists and composers used differentvariationtechniques in the dance settings. [...]

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