Middle Ages for Kids
Medieval Music and Dance
MEDIEVAL MUSIC: There were two main types of music - secular and religious. Secular music was made up of folk songs and ballads, many of which were sung by wandering musicians called troubadours. These were mostly song about love or great valor in battle. The secular musicians sang and accompanied themselves with all kinds of instuments. Religious music was performed without instrument accompaniment. It was sung or chanted by monks. This music is called plainchant or Gregorian chant.
MEDIEVAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: The lute was a popular instrument used by medieval musicians. Percussion instruments, drums, cymbals, bells were important. Organs were used in many churches. There were also some wind instruments, horns and flutes. Some of these instruments are the Hurdy-Gurdy, Zither, Recorder, Babypipes, Cornamuse, Bladderpipe, Doleimer, Zink, and the Serpent.
MEDIEVAL DANCE: People danced to secular music. Dancers rarely touched each other. There were court dances and country dances. The Egg Dance, for example, a country dance, was a dance done in a marked off section, with raw eggs scattered in it. The goal was to dance without breaking eggs. The Morris Dance is still done by dancers today. It is the dance around a may pole. Most of the dances had a set pattern of steps, jumps, or kicks, that you had to learn.