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MUS201 Introduction to Western Music

Online Resources

Click a link for a sample article of the following topics, but you can look at the subjects under the article information and click any that are close to what you're looking for in your research. Also, go to the tab (to the left) called Music Information Search to find links and instructions to help you find more articles.


Antiquity: Music in Ancient Greece and Early Christian Rome (Ancient Mediterranean Culture)

The Music of the Time NO 10: The Lost Classics: Though originally set to music, we almost always encounter the Ancient Greek epics as mute texts. But now their songs can be heard again.

Greek Music: Reference: the music of the ancient and modern inhabitants of Greece.

The West Finds Its Voice: links between Western musical tradition and early Christian worship and musicMusic among Christians in the late Roman Empire

Concerning Hymns: various forms of Christian hymns, including the earliest Christian hymn, hymns in Easter rites, and the first metrical hymns.

Musical Thought and Practice in the Early Christian Church

Cantor: The office of cantor, at first an honorary one, originated in the Jewish synagogues, in which from early times it was the custom to appoint a lay member to represent the congregation in prayer. 

The Sacred: observations on the changes in Catholic life and practice, how art may fail to bring man to God, and the true work of art according to Pope Pius XII. Author also mentions the reason why the early church was wary of art and things that people should do to come to God and to holiness.

The Middle Ages and Renaissance:

Important Composers and Figures

  • Charlemagne (progressive monarch 742-814), contributions to education, etc.
    • Notker Balbulur: Notker's life of Charlemagne preserves much of the matter of the Charlemagne legend. 
  • Leonin and Perotin from the Notre Dame School
    • Motet: name for the outstanding type of musical composition of the 13th century and for a different type that originated in the Renaissance.
  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • Guillaume de Machaut
  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • Claudio Monteverdi
    • Sixth Heaven: Reviews a compact disc featuring Claudio Monteverdi's choral music titled `Il Sesto Libro de Madrigali,' performed by the Concerto Italiano under the baton of Rinaldo Alessandrini.


  • Life and Culture during the Middle Ages
  • Historical and Cultural Events during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
  • Musical Notation: Origin and Development (Guido de'Arezzo)
    • Musings: Two Sides of Music Notation: an outline of music history, an overview of the medieval music mutation, the development of methods for pitch and rhythm notation, the interpretation of music, the intact origins of popular music improvisation, and the development of modern sound recording techniques.
  • Troubadours and Trouvéres
  • Life and Music in the Medieval Monastery
  • The Crusades and The Musical Instruments They Brought to Europe from Middle East
    • The Music War:  association of music with warfare. Function of music in war; Type of musical instruments used by Greek and Roman armies; Significance of music during the Middle Ages.
  • Humanism


  • Plainchant, sometimes called Christian Plainchant or Medieval Chant
    • Plainsong: unharmonized chant of the medieval Christian liturgies in Europe and the Middle East; usually synonymous with Gregorian chant, the liturgical music of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Gregorian Chant
    • Chants Encounters: the emergence of the influence of chant which was used before to pray, the history of Gregorian works for organ, and information about the grandfather of late 20th-century chant who is Gerald Near.
  • Organum and the Development of Polyphony
    • Polyphonymusic whose texture is formed by the interweaving of several melodic lines. 
  • The Mass
  • Medieval and Renaissance Dance Music
    • Under the Angle: memory, history, and dance in nineteenth-century Midievalism.