Dark Ages

During the Dark Ages the composers started to write music down, but we can’t translate the notes exactly. On top of that there were different styles from different places and music was written on parchment that wears out. As a result, there aren't any books that can teach us to transcribe this music exactly. The music was written as a reminder for the monks who already knew the pieces. By about 1000 or so, plain song and plain chant was even as a result as new notation. This new notation system could show phrasing, and ornamentation. In about 1200 people could sing the songs without knowing them beforehand. All of the music before this cannot be transcribed since it is so old.

Most of the composers at this time were men because they were taught at the church. Outside of the church there were very few composers. If a person composed, the church expected them to teach as well.

Goleards were people who followed a false saint and their music tended to be the internal trinity of male concerns: wine, women, and sitar.

Jongleurs were professional musicians who wondered from town to town, entertaining people and playing music. They were usually outcasts and were refused protection from the laws. These were the lowest class, as far as the church was considered they were damned.

Troubadour's were not professional musicians, they were just from wealthy families and had nothing to do with their time, but sit around and write songs and poetry.

Students who had education usually came from a wealthy family and for them life was not bad at this time because they had the money and time to pursue music.


Bellman, Joanthan. "September 3rd, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 3 Sep. 2003

Bellman, Joanthan. "September 5th, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 5 Sep. 2003