Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University
EARLY MEDIEVAL MUSICOLOGY
In the liberal arts, the trivium was concerned with language
(grammar, rhetoric, dialectic), the quadrivium with the
mathematical arts (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy). And music was
included with the latter.
Boethius (c. 480-525) collected and recorded ideas about music in his day
in De Institutione musica (The Fundamentals of Music).
Music is divided into three types:
Boethius also classified three types of musicians: those who perform,
those who compose, and those who critique songs and performances. At this
time and earlier, the theorist/critic was seen to be the true musician;
the practising musician was not as respected.
- musica mundane -- the music of the spheres and cosmic harmony
among the stars, planets, seasons, elements, etc. The music of the
spheres is unheard because of the lack of sensitivity in human ears.
Interestingly, some years ago, scientists discovered that a black hole in
the universe was emitting a sound -- a particular note.
- musica humana -- the union of body and soul. The beauty of
anatomical harmony plus the relationships to the soul is analogous to
musical order and symmetry.
- musica instrumentalis -- audible music including that of the
voice as an "instrument."