Sunday, July 01, 2012

Perotin

So I am rooming with a facinating fellow named Dr. Patrick Clark.  Patrick is a composer, who won the Sinquefield Prize for new musical composition work.  He is teaching a course at the YES Academy on music composition.  Basically, he is teaching Iraqi musicians the essence of Western classical composition, and how to conceive of such composition in regards to both Western Classical and Kurdish and Arabic music. 

Patrick was discussing his first day of class, and he started playing some chants that were beautiful.  He told me some of the fascinating back story behind the music and its composer Perotin.

Born around 12th century, a French composer named Perotin (the Great)  was one of the first polyphonists (nothing to do with wives).  Prior to to his work, the church had outlawed more than one distinct voiceto be heard at the same time while singing.  Along comes the composer Peritan and creates a polyphonous musical revolution.  He put multiple notes together on the page and in the choir at an age when it was one note at a time. Basically, he rocked the musical world by combining sounds the church said couldn't be done in good conscience.     

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