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Composer Study Notes from Mrs. Dunning

Composer Study For All Forms [Links for easy access: LCC Medieval Playlist and Medieval Listening List and Things of Note ] In our journey to form our souls for Christ, just as we feed mind and heart with good and noble ideas by reading the best books, so also do we feast on the most beautiful works of visual art and music that man has created. We play great music for our children, giving them direct contact with the masters of western classical music, trusting that they have great capacity for enjoying this beauty and developing the wide relations of which Miss Mason speaks. Most terms we will listen to selections from one composer, to become familiar with his or her work. However, for this Martinmas Term we will take a survey of medieval music in general, partly because in this period most composers did not sign their compositions, especially liturgical but also secular pieces, leaving us with many anonymous works. Further, it is hard to choose just one to represent this long period of history. To begin our medieval survey we’ll start with Gregorian Chant with which many of you are probably already somewhat familiar. This album "Chant Wars", by an excellent and scholarly ensemble, Sequentia, is an interesting collection of Gregorian Chant in various and competing styles. Who knew! From Sequentia's program archives, "The theme of Chant Wars is the legendary 9th-century confrontation between the cantors of the Carolingian emperors and the various regional European chant traditions they sought to replace with their own musical repertoires and vocal styles." Can you hear a difference in style between tracks? If you are curious to know more about this "legendary confrontation", see The Carolingian 'Globalisation 'of Medieval Plainchant and Gregorian Chant. Of humorous note, the author of the second article begins by stating, "It might seem strange that music as seemingly innocuous as that used in Christian worship should become a site for conflict...", clearly revealing that he's never been to church. If you aren't interested in such details, then I hope you'll just enjoy listening while you read Boethius or wash the dishes.

I'll have more for you as the term goes on, sometimes just something to listen to, perhaps with a brief nota bene, but as I find interesting articles or videos I’ll add those to the notes. All will be available on the Spotify playlist LCC Medieval: Martinmas Term 2023 and this work in progress, Medieval Listening List and Things of Note, so just check these each week for the next installment. General Notes on what Composer Study is: Miss Mason's students in all forms had “composer study” as part of their curriculum. For the younger forms, simply listening and perhaps hearing a little biographical information sufficed; the older forms listened and studied the various periods of music history.

We suggest finding a time that works for your family—dinner time being the most obvious, but, be creative (laundry folding time is a good one too; driving to church, or to practices; etc). Have the play list ready. Plan a time for at least 10 minutes of family listening. Encourage your students to listen to this curated list at other times as well.


Enjoy this musical feast!




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3 Comments


Guest
Sep 30, 2023

Thank you, and apologies that I am reading this 3 weeks late.

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Guest
Sep 10, 2023

Thank you so much!!

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emconner7
emconner7
Sep 07, 2023

Thank you, Mrs. Dunning!

I will be forwarding your playlists and links to Mr. Conner (so that the listening will actually happen in the Conner household). We appreciate all your work pulling this together.

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