Posted: August 12th, 2013
Change is considered as inevitable in any form of society. It is necessary to introduce better means of doing things and execution of tasks. Essentially, it is a means of progressivism and development in a society seeking to conform to new socio-cultural norms. The medieval period was the onset of the advancements in various fields such as education, philosophy, art, science, religion, politics and other important social features.
Music has undergone one of the most profound changes over the centuries from the medieval period. Music from this period is referred to as color or medieval music. The term color is used as a means of identification of this form of music in terms of its chromatic quality, elaborate ornamentation and the structuring of the notes of the music from this era. Music has been used for a longtime for various purposes such as religious, symbolic and social aspects of the medieval societies (Powell, Magill, & Sacket, 1997).
Societies in these periods believed that music was a sacred means of communication with the gods, such as in the case of the Greek societies and other medieval empires like the Ottoman and Roman empires. Greeks believed that music was created by the god Apollo a musician from their Greek myths by the name Orpheus among other scared beings in the Greek society. Music is deeply rooted in the culture of a given society, its norms and other facets, which constitute the given society.
For instance, music is intertwined with the language spoken by a culture or community. It usually denotes the cultural values, norms and counter norms in a given community. Hence, it is a means of communication to a given society. Additionally, music forms an integral tool in the preservation of culture and passage of values from one generation to another. This is because music composed can be based on issues such as communal achievements in battle, social and communal values, cultural beliefs and heritage.
In the early medieval period, majority of the music was associable with religious purposes or sacred purposes. In some parts of Europe, Roman and Greek music was associable with paganism and thus opposed by the parts, which had taken allegiance to the Christian faith. In such societies, music was for Christian purposes as opposed to the two societies, Greece and Rome. Christian music in this period was separated from the societies during that period, as it did not accommodate other forms of music. Hence, due to its separatist approach it consequently faded as other forms of music were adopted by the medieval societies (Burrell, 1964).
The medieval period was significant in terms of changes in the various forms of societal aesthetics. Art underwent drastic changes as the societies sought enlightenment. Art from this period is considered as one of the greatest forms of art and an essential starting point in the growth of numerous art forms. The medieval period covers art such as early gothic art, Christian art, migration era art, Byzantine art, Insular art, Romanesque art and Pre-Romanesque. All the identified art forms were unique as they represented the individual cultures of certain communities. Art from this period took many forms such as sculptures, manuscripts that had been illuminated, mosaic art, metalwork art and stained glasses. These forms of art, when compared with later date art forms, have withstood perils of time and are still in existence, in the modern society.
In the 14th century, major stylistic changes took place in the forms of music, which were in existence. It was termed as new art or ars nova in Latin. This new style of music was introduced by prelate French composer by the name Philippe de Vitry (Powell, Magill, & Sacket, 1997). This form of music was a reflection to the adoption of new aesthetic and cultural values such as resourcefulness and ingenuity in the human race. Changes in terms of social structures, politics and economics, were the initiating factors of such changes in the field of music. This is because of the presence of focus on individuality and acceptance of new communal values. Isorhythmic styles of music were largely used during this period in terms of composition of the structures of this style of music (Kirkpatrick, 2002).
Politics were an enormous influence in terms of the various social structures and the aesthetic values of the societies in the mediaeval period. The medieval period led into the renaissance period, which was a significant period in terms of the changes in economic, political and social structures of the societies, which were in existence during the period. One of the greatest changes, which are still in existence, in the contemporary societies, was the adoption of taxes levied on people and their business. This was essential for the rulers in the renaissance period as they were able to sustain their lavish lifestyles, grow and maintain large military forces (Powell, Magill, & Sacket, 1997).
Expansion of military forces was essential given the presence of hostilities between the various empires in Europe, in their efforts to increase the size of their empires by conquering lesser empires. Before the renaissance period, trade was in the sea but later progressed into the mainland through rivers, which provided fast and easy access into rough inland terrains. This was a significant step towards the achievement of civilization. These aided interactions between societies as well as providing the large empires involved in trade such as the Roman Empire with an opportunity to evaluate the potency of expanding in their empires.
Trade was a crucial development between the 14th and 18th century as it resulted in the interactions between societies and their empires (Powell, Magill, & Sacket, 1997). It gave rise to the exploration of new countries for eventual expansion of their empires. For instance, the English and Spanish monarchs are among key empires, which were avid explorers and traders in the global seas. World exploration was fueled by the growing demand by the populace of the respective empires. Hence, there was a need to find new land to show the might possessed by the military as well as new land for farming and finding raw materials.
Initially, at the beginning of the 14th century the main activity in terms of economics was agriculture and low scale trade. However, this was expanded as empires and societies began to trade along the sea routes. This facilitated the shift from agriculture as the main economic activity into commerce as the main economic activity. This resulted in the presence of competition between empires, which sought to ensure the defeat of others from an economic perspective. This was one of the instigating factors in the various wars, which took between the 14th and 18th century. Wars resulted in the consolidation of power by empires, which sought sustenance subsequently resulting in the formation of new power and governance structures.
The Roman Catholic is a profound figure in terms of its influence on society. It had a significant role in the society in that its influence spanned from religious, political, economic and social perspectives. The Catholic Church influenced the political scene in the Roman Empire, as it was part of the government in terms of making decisions and determination of political actions. The Roman Empire imposed religion as ordered by the church to establish Christianity as the only religion in modern day Italy. The influence of the Catholic Church was wide-felt across Europe. Religion was unifying as well as a divisive factor in the periods spanning from 14th to18th century (Burrell, 1964). Europe, Asia and the Arab world were divided because of the presence of both religious and cultural norms. Some parts of Europe, especially the western and central parts of Europe were unified by Christianity and their firm belief in their faith. Hence, unions and treaties ere based on the belief in identical religion. Such is the basis for the various interactions between the large empires such as the English, Spanish, French and Roman Empires, which were exponentially influential on the world politics.
Science was influenced significantly through the period from 14th to 18th centuries. It essentially grew due to the progress associated with the societal, political, and economic structures in the periods. It grew because of the establishment of rigid institutions, which provided for the various discourses in the field of science. Essentially the stability, which resulted after the various battles and wars between empires, enabled the growth of the field of science.
The interactions between the various societies enabled the growth of science in that it resulted in the exchange of ideas and the hunger for more scientific developments. Various fields such as mathematics, psychology, religion and physics underwent significant developments. This was because of the quest for more knowledge and ideas that would provide solutions to the various societal issues. Such developments enabled the growth in the field of medicine to eradicate plagues, which had initially wiped out large populations. Science was also responsible for advancements in issues such as trade in that it enabled the development of means of movement of large goods and development of new goods for trade (Brady, Oberman, & Tracy, 1994).
In conclusion, the developments in the fields identified are responsible for the modern day advancements. Interactions between empires and their societies resulted in adoption of new norms, religion, cultures and values. Essentially developments from the periods of 14th century through to 18th century have had a lasting impact into the modern society. Hence, interactions played a significant role in the progress identified in fields such as religion, politics, economics, trade and aesthetics.
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