2023-2024 / MUSI0022-2

History of music (the modal era)


30h Th, 3d FT Tr. Pr.

Number of credits

 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : musicology5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 


Philippe Vendrix

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course is divided into two sections: the first is devoted to defining the fundamental elements of Western musical language and to musicological approaches; the second covers part of the history of Western music, covering the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (from 600 to 1600).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the first section of the course, students will be able to identify the parameters that characterize a musical composition and its performance. They will be able, for example, to identify categories of musical instruments, types of voices, compositional textures (monodic versus polyphonic), the language of the text set to music, and so on.

At the end of the second section of the course, students will be able to define the main musical genres between 600 and 1600, describe the careers of musicians, the conditions in which they practiced their art (sacred music, secular music), and learn about some individual destinies.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A minimum of knowledge of the history of Europe is recommended.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course will be based on a combination of elements: notions taught in class and delivered in the form of power points, texts and articles posted on the ad hoc space, links to recordings and music videos. Enregsitrements will be commented on during the course, but students are strongly advised to continue their practice of listening to music.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

The necessary educational documents will be made available to students.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Written examination: based on the documents and references delivered during the course.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


What is music: general introduction



Setting benchmarks, from hearing to reading

The sound of music (1): vocal typologies

The sound of music (2): instrumental typologies

Notating and distributing music

Music and meaning: led forms

Being a musician



A look at Josquin's Nymphes des bois

Music and context: 600-1600

Music and devotion: from Christianity to reformation

Music, poetry and theater: from medieval lyricism to opera

Music and virtuosity




Association of one or more MOOCs