The web's largest reference for European Medieval and Renaissance. It includes specialized Early Music theory topics like counterpoint techniques, chord structure and Pythagorean tuning as well general topics like What is Early Music?, overview of repertoire and guides to recordings. It has links to information about concerts, performers, and sites to purchase CDs. There is a great deal of biographical information of composers from the period and information about recordings of their music.
Type of Material:
As a reference for students in Early Music history and theory.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Introduction to Early Music theory, history and repertoire.
Target Student Population:
University students, researchers and professional musicians interested in Early Music.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Solid music theory skills and good music history knowledge.
Information is accurate and very clear. It covers topics that are not commonly discussed like 13th century polyphony and Pythagorean tuning and at the same time offers easy to read introductions to Early Music (What is Early Music?, Overview of repertory, Answers to diverse questions)
The site is uneven because the focus is on the performance of the music today. It is not a complete history of the period but does offer a great deal of information.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Clear, concise information. There are pages in the site about specific composers and performers which could be useful in a history class. The recordings available is large and for early music performers this site would be of greatest interest.
This site does not try to impress users with graphics, multimedia, etc. But graphics and multimedia may me useful at times. For example, in the 13th century polyphony article intervals are shown using letters and numbers (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/harmony/multi.html#1) with a link to music notation graphics in a separate page. I believe the graphics would be much more effective than letters and numbers. Sounds would also help better understand the music theory concepts.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Very simple organization so navigation is very simple and easy.
The home page is like the tip of an iceberg: most of the materials are hidden and not visible from this home page (unless you click Site map). Although this certainly makes the site easier to navigate, it hides a lot of treasures. For example, click What is Early Music? In that article you will find links to many topics like: Medieval, Rennaisance and baroque periods, basso continuo, opera, stable harmony, plain chant, gregorian chant, Alfred Deller and more. So a lot of information remains partially hidden until you start to read in detail. If you click Site Map you will find very interesting articles like: When did modal music give way to the modern key system? What were the twelve modes? A Survey of Recorded French Harpsichord Music How were musicians trained?
Other Issues and Comments:
Interesting site for anyone invloved in the study or performance of early music.
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