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C O U R S E 
Western Music History through Performance
Jonathan Coopersmith, Curtis Institute of Music
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Notes taken on December 15, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
one of the biggest issues with neumatic notation is that it doesn't show rhythm
there's a flow to a chant
some notes are held longer than others
sometimes it speeds up
sometimes it slows down
sometimes there are pauses
it was a learned art, you had to get the feel of knowing the standard way to employ these effects
chant in the Catholic Church was officially monophonic
a single line of music at a time
but it's likely that musicians in the Middle Ages experimented with polyphony
multiple lines of music at a time
probably improvised based off of the written chant
Schola Cantorum
school of singers
were given a specific written chant
most of the singers would sing the written chant
there would be a few people who would be able to improvise below or above the written line
these improvisations were the first experiments in polyphony
a simple held note below the musical line of the chant
Parallel Organum
from treatise in the 800s
singing in a parallel line to a given chant
e.g. a second person would sing the same chant up a perfect fifth, or up an octave
Similar Organum
two lines moving together in similar motion
followed the same contours of a music line, moving like a school of fish
Contrary Organum
one voice would go up while the other voice goes down
there were complicated rules that followed because there were only certain consonances and dissonances were allowed
all of this was improvised
so it took quite a musical mind to think of the right consonances and dissonances in real time
Notre Dame in 11th and 12th centuries
1250 a system of notation that would indicate rhythm
Johannes de Garlandia
French music theorist
for the first time in over 1000 years, standard rhythm was notated
"Synonoma magistri"
concerning measurable music
came up with various combinations of neumes linked together called ligatures
six rhythmic modes
basic unit of time was called a tempus
a tempus always got one beat
there always had to be groupings of three beats together
two kinds of notes: a long and a breve
obvious problems
only six rhythmic modes
doesn't give a lot of freedom
Franco of Cologne
composer and music theorist
created a new system of notation
"The Art of Measurable Music"
create note shapes that directly indicated rhythm
music was still grouped in threes called a perfection
each voice could not have unique shape and unique rhythmic pattern
the limitation was the music always had to be grouped in groups of three, or perfections