- THEory of the Middle Ages. At present, this
database comprises hypertext transcriptions of 18 manuscript copies of 14 Latin theoretical treatises
related to musica mensurabilis of the thirteenth century. THEMA was created by Sandra Pinegar
with the generous support of a Whiting Fellowship 1990-91.
Chord structure in medieval music
- Much of Early Music history can be viewed as a series of changes to cadential formulas & combinations.
For instance, the earliest Western polyphony generally cadences on the unison. Shortly afterward (by
epochal standards, anyway) composers start cadencing on octaves & fifth combinations. Eventually this
gives way to more frequent use of the third, and then to fully third-based cadences in the high Renaissance.
13th century cadences
- Thirteenth-Century Polyphony:
A Quick Guide to Combinations and Cadences.
European music of the 13th century presents a rich variety of vertical sonorities and cadences for three or
four voices. One's enjoyment and understanding of this music - as a listener or performer - depends to a
great extent upon becoming attuned to this dimension of the experience.
Pythagorean Tuning and Medieval Polyphony
- n the West, as the name suggests, Pythagorean tuning was credited to the ancient Greek philosopher
Pythagoras, known (like many of the pre-Socratics) mainly through quotations and anecdotes in later
writers. Interestingly, it is documented in guides to organ building from the post-Carolingean era (9th-10th
centuries), also a period when polyphony was beginning to be recorded.