Pope Gregory I and the Dove

During the Middle Ages, music in the churches and monasteries consisted primarily of the singing of songs whose words were taken from the Scriptures that dealt with religious feasts or celebrations throughout the year. These feasts and celebrations constituted what is known as the liturgical year. The songs that were sung were known as Gregorian chants. The melodies of these songs were derived from the Greek, Hebrew, and Syrian music that formed the basis of the music for the new Christian or Roman Catholic church. For about 590 years, the melodies and their words were passed down from generation to generation Pope Gregory 1 orally. Continue reading “Pope Gregory I and the Dove”

Music in the Middle Ages

The period of history known as the Middle Ages began around the year A.D. 450 with the decline of the Roman Empire and spans 1000 years to around A.D. 1450. This was a time in history marked by barbaric wars, feudal disputes, and religious crusades. It was also a period of great faith. Christianity had been adopted by the Roman Empire as the church of state, and thereĀ­ fore, it had also been adopted by many of the countries in Europe as the major religion. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, there was a period of great cultural growth. Romanesque-style churches and monasteries and Gothic cathedrals were built, universities were founded, and cities and towns grew. Continue reading “Music in the Middle Ages”