Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages saw society becoming more refined and elegant due to the influence from various foreign cultures.

Music was extremely important to the people who lived during the Medieval era, especially in the royal courts of the Middle Ages. This was age of the Knights whose ladies were revered and it became important to join in the requirements of courtly love. It was important for a knight not only to be able fight but also to be able to play the musical instruments of the Middle Ages and to dance. The Musical instruments would also be used by the Medieval musicians: the Minstrels or Troubadours. The oldest Medieval musical instrument was the human voice! The spread of Christianity in the Dark Ages and the early Medieval period led to the popularity of hymns and secular songs. The earliest Church organ dates back to to the 8th Century. Many of the musical instruments of the Middle Ages were the forerunners to our modern musical instruments.

Categories of Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
There were many Musical Instruments which were played in the Middle Ages which can be described as part of the following categories:

  • Wind Musical Instruments - instruments which were blown like trumpets or bagpipes
  • Stringed Musical Instruments - instruments which were played with a bow or plucked
  • Percussion Musical Instruments - various forms of drums and bells were used during the Middle Ages

Stringed Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
There were many Stringed Musical Instruments played during the Middle Ages including the following :

  • The Harp - The harp was a favorite instrument of the troubadours and minstrels and was about 30 inches in length
  • The Fiddle - There were a variety of Medieval Fiddles which were played with a bow or plucked and usually held under the chin or in the crook of the arm. Easily portable and one of the most popular street musical instruments
  • The Rebec - The rebec was an instrument with a round pear-shaped body much like an early violin
  • The Psaltery - The Psaltery was a musical instrument of the Middle Ages which was a cross between a harp and a guitar
  • The Dulcimer - The Dulcimer was played by striking the strings with small hammers
  • The Hurdy-gurdy - the hurdy-gurdy was introduced to England during the 12th century - the bow was replaced by strings attached to a wheel which was cranked by a handle
  • The Viol - Viols were played with a bow and held on the lap or between the legs

Wind Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
There were many Wind Musical Instruments played during the Middle Ages including the following :

  • The Flute - Similar to our modern flutes. This type of Musical instruments played by flute-minstrels of the Middle Ages
  • The Trumpet - Long instrument made of metal, often in four parts - often associated with fanfares and pageants
  • The Pipe - The pipe was an extremely basic instrument usually having only three melody holes
  • The Shawn - The shawn was a reed instrument with vent holes
  • Recorder - The recorder was also an extremely basic instrument with melody holes
  • The Bagpipe - The Bagpipe was an ancient instrument, used by the poorest people and was made using a goat or sheep skin and a reed pipe
  • The Crumhorn - The crumhorm (Curved Horn) was introduced in the 1400's as a double reed musical instrument
  • The Gemshorn - The gemshorn was made of an ox horn and played as a flute-like musical instrument
  • The Lizard - The lizard was a descriptive term for an s-shaped horn

Percussion Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
There were many Percussion Musical Instruments played during the Middle Ages including the following :

  • The Drum - Drums were made initially from a hollow tree trunk, clay or metal and covered by skins of water animals - also called tambours
  • The Cymbal - Thin round concave metal plates
  • The Triangle - The triangle was a musical instrument introduced during the 14th century
  • The Tambourine - This Musical instrument was traditionally used by a woman

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages
Each section of this Middle Ages website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about these great people and events in bygone Medieval times including Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Middle Ages!

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages

  • Influences on Music in the Middle Ages
  • Middle Ages Musical Instruments
  • Middle Ages Entertainment
  • Middle Ages Troubadours and Minstrels
  • Style of Music
  • The Rebec , psaltery and dulcimer
  • The shawn, gemshorn and lizard
  • Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages

Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages - History of Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages - Information about Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages - Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages Facts - Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages Info - Medieval - Mideval - Middle Ages era - Middle Ages Life - Middle Ages Times - Life - Medieval - Mideval - Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages History - Information about Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages - Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages Facts - Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages Info - Middle Ages era - Medieval - Mideval - Middle Ages Life - Middle Ages Times - Life - Medieval - Mideval - Written By Linda Alchin

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