The Development of Art and Music
Write a 1750 word paper answering; The term “classical” in Western culture refers to the two cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome which dominated Europe and large parts of Asia from their Eastern Mediterranean base. The art of this period is preserved in magnificent marble statues, mosaics such as those at Pompeii and some paintings.
Human figures were favorite subjects and there is a cleanness of line and a celebration of physicality in the art of this time. Mythology was often depicted, but also ordinary citizens and famous people of the age. Not very much is known about music, except that it was a part of most dramatic performances, from plays in the theatres to spectacles with gladiators in the Coliseum. This period ends with the fall of Rome in the fifth century and then everything is rather quiet through the period known as the “Dark Ages”.
The earliest evidence we have of dark ages and medieval music shows a close connection with religious activities, which is not surprising since the Church was the place where most intellectual activities and almost all reading and writing activities took place. Illustrated books show psalms and hymns, sometimes with basic musical notation, and a key innovator in this field was Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), who promoted the use of plainchant, monotone single voice or choir delivery of short uplifting texts across the increasing territories of Christianity. One of the most notable composers was Hildegard of Bingen ( 1098-1179) who wrote chants and “sequences” which were used in worship, again using voice as the main carrier of the melody but some more daring intervals than those common in the Gregorian chants. In art religious subjects dominated and the pictures of saints or Bible figures were designed to convey a narrative, for example by depicting objects which had symbolic significance, or which reminded the viewers, most of whom could not read, what the key elements of the story were.