Music in the middle ages had many significant impacts on culture and the way of life for many peoples. Music was the way for generations of families to keep their long-standing traditions. In these time several new instruments and musical styles were being developed. Most of the music that was being played was in or affiliated with the church. .
Music has always played an important role in religious celebrations such as weddings and funerals. With the Catholic church's music having absorbed Greek, Jewish, and Syrian influences among others, the leaders of the church decided to organize and codify the thousands of pieces of music used in worship. (Daum 1) The pope from 590-604, Gregory I, is thought to have started the effort. Sources have also suggested he wrote and composed many of the melodies. This music was named "Gregorian Chant".
The music itself at this time was usually one line, unaccompanied melodies with very free rhythms. It was also sung in Latin. This kind of music was called "Plainchant". It was actually one of the few types of western music without a feeling of a beat or meter. The use of "Polyphony" started around 1000 a.d. Polyphony was using more than one line of melodies at a time. This almost gave a whole new texture to music. Later harmony became more sophisticated, using other notes in the chord.
Families also used music for stories. .