1. What are the Hurrian songs? Why are they important?
The Hurrian songs are a set of fragmentary relics as well as a nearly complete example of notated music from around 1400 BCE. They are important because it was the first piece of evidence that there was written musical pieces and these songs were played during important life events such that as marriages and royal family births.
2. What is the Natya Shastra? Why is it important?
The Natya Shastra is a written discourse on the performing arts, including music, dance, stage performances, and that alike. The importance of music to ancient India is best seen through Natya Shastra. It was also important because it gave quite detailed information on the types of instruments that were used at the time and forms of music that was popular.
3. Who were troubadours? What was their music like?
Troubadours were traveling poet-musicians who traveled from place to place, singing and performing for the upper class. Their music was generally monophonic and accompanied themselves with an instrument like the lyre or drums. 4. What are the modes in Western music? Describe at least one mode in Western music. There are seven different modes: Dorian, Ionian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian. Dorian mode in C begins and ends on D.
5. What is polyphonic music? How does it differ from monophonic music? Polyphonic music uses two or more independent melodies; whereas monophonic music has only one independent melody.
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Why did early humans develop music? What are some of the ways that they were thought to create music? Some scholars believe that music developed from natural sounds and rhythms and humans mimicked these sounds, as they are known to mimic the noises they hear. Therefore early music was likely simple sounds repeated for enjoyment and to create reactions from animals during hunting. Some of the ways they were thought to create music was through their own voices and created instruments. 2. Why is the study of prehistoric and ancient music important? What can we learn from it? The study of prehistoric and ancient music is important because it gives us insight and understanding of where we evolved from and how we advanced in music up until this very day, and we wouldn’t know just how well we advanced if we did not study prehistoric and ancient music. From this we can learn how the musical instruments in both time periods were used and what use they may have had. 3. What roles did music play in the life of prehistoric and ancient people? Are the roles similar to or different from the roles that it plays today? In the past music was not as big of a deal as it is today.
Some individuals may have used music for entertainment but the main use of music in prehistoric and ancient times was for religious reasons such that of ceremonies. The roles are different in that we use music for a multitude of reasons, whether it be to wake us up for school or aid us in sleeping; or even when we need something to cheer us up after a long and hard day or maybe something to calm us down after a heated argument. We use music today for our enjoyment as well as for our emotions.
4. What were the effects of musical notation on music, society, and composers? Music notation allows for multiple people to be able to learn to play an instrument without hearing it as well as having written documents of composers long after they have passed. It also allows a composer to create music without always having to remember it at the top of their head. 5. Describe medieval music’s relationship with the Catholic Church. How was the music influenced by the Church? The Catholic Church influenced medieval music during the Middle Ages through chanting and performances by monks but soon developed melodic sounds which were harmonized together. The Catholic Church did not use musical instruments and those who attended their performances liked the noise that was being produced by the church.
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