During the Middle Ages the music was a very important part of their culture. Saint Gregory is said to have written some choral works. He became the pope 590 AD to 604 AD. From this man, we get the name Gregorian chant. During this time a system of musical notation developed. .
In this time there were different ways of playing music. The Gregorian chant is monophonic, which is music written with only melodic line without accompaniment. Polyphony is music that is two or more melodic lines heard at the same time.
The music in the Middle ages could be Sacred or Secular. People in the Middle ages based a lot of the lives around the churches. A lot of the songs were plainsong, and was only one melody with words in Latin. Monks used plainsong for their church service called a mass. The monks used a four line slalf with square notes. The music heard was usually Gregorian Chants, and later in the middle ages the polyphony music was discovered. Secular music also had started to spread among the people. Usually the music the people listened to in the middle ages was based around their religion. Secular music was not. Minstrels were people that used non-secular music. They would travel and entertain the people of this time. The songs were in a regular used language, rather than Latin for plainsong. The songs were only one melody. The songs were usually more up beat and cheerful. Strings or percussion instruments sometimes accompanied the minstrels. Minstrels made a difference in peoples lives, so they became well respected. .
In this time period, new instruments were being discovered and used. There were many strings, but most are not used today. Here are some that are. One major type of instrument was the strings. One of the stringed instruments was the harp, which is still used today. Another type of instrument was a five stringed instrument called a vielle or the fiddle. This instrument is now called the viola.