Comparing Three Chants
Comparing Three Chants

Comparing Three Chants

This is the assignment I will put up the links to YouTube at the end
You have been emailed 3 different chants of the middle ages, composed by:
Anonymous, Hildegard von Bingen, and Leonin (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris).
All are examples of sacred chant written between the 11th and 12th centuries.
You are to write a compare/contrast “critique” of these 3 different chants. I would recommend the following organization:
1. Similarities of all 3 chants, noting any slight uniqueness within those similarities.
2. Differences between the 3 chants.
3. Unique qualities —something(s) that captures your attention —in each of the 3 chants
4. IF you had to choose your personal favorite, which chant would you choose, and why?
Please consider using the vocabulary listed below, and embedding these vocabulary terms as you write your critique. I have even included the vocabulary
definitions to help you.
There is no required length for this assignment. It will be as long as you think it needs to be to address the questions listed above. I’m not looking for a
dissertation, but rather a clear writing style, well organized that addresses basic answers to the first 3 questions.
For question #4, you need only answer in a couple of sentences.
monophonic: single line of music, no chords or harmony; “one-dimensional” sound.
• polyphonic: two or more lines of music that work together but also have their own integrity.
• organum: a plainchant melody with at least one line of music added, often following the first
melody with the exact same rise and fall but starting on a different pitch. (eg: organum at the 4th or 5th, for example)
• conjunct: notes that proceed in step-wise movement (up or down)
• disjunct: notes that proceed by leap (not step-wise) movement (up or down)
• range: the expansive degree of highness and lowness of a melody (“wide range” = very high
to very low; “narrow range” = not much movement between highs and lows.
• metered: where the music has a steady beat, in groups of 5, 4, 3, 7, 8, etc.
• non-metered: where the music seems to follow the flow & cadence of the words (like in speech), rather than have an obvious beat-counting pattern.

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