Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


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.

Medieval Index