Medieval Music History and its Performance I (800-1150)

6 sessions - Self-paced | Next offering in Fall Term 2021

Course Description

The music of the medieval West was comprised of a wide variety of music types, forms, styles, and textures. This includes liturgical chant, polyphony, secular and religious monophonic music, and instrumental forms. Music was above all functional and integral to medieval culture: its growth, development, dissemination, and preservation supported and responded to specific social and cultural needs and relations.

Medieval music was composed to be performed, and its articulation was conducted following the combination of specific conventional practices with adaptable procedures (directly generated by change of environment, audience, and purpose). Because of the high functionality and absolute performative character of medieval music, a thorough study of history requires the placement of social interactions and performance practices at the center of its discussion.

In this theoretical-practical course, participants will:


Study the central repertoires and styles created between 800-1150 in Western Europe


Discuss their primary social and cultural contexts


Analyze their different compositional developments


Learn to read their different music notations


Explore and apply the conventional performance practices of each repertoire

Dr. Mauricio MolinaInstructor:
Dr. Mauricio Molina



Open September 27 - December 27, 2021
6 sessions – Self-paced




Non-credit: 260€
1.5 credit ECTS: 310€


English - Spanish


Session 1 | Liturgical Chant: Notation, Theory, and Performance

Session 2 | Chant in its Context: Singing the Office and the Mass

Session 3 | Enriching the Chant Repertoire: The Composition of Tropes and Sequences

Session 4 | Enters Polyphony: Elaborating the Monophonic Melody

Session 5 | The Blossoming of the Monophonic and Polyphonic Latin Song (Versus/Conductus)

Session 6 | The Rise of the Secular Song in Vernacular Languages

Teaching Methodology

This course will be comprised of:

    • 6 tutorial videos of 15 minutes each (total 1.5 hours)
    • 6 recorded lectures of 1 hour each (total 6 hours)
    • 3 live Q&A sessions of 1hour and 15 minutes each conducted biweekly through the first six weeks of the course and will be recorded so that students can access them at any time (total 3 hours and 45 minutes)
    • Downloadable materials and links to additional resources

Schedules and assignments:

    • The course is self-paced. The majority of lessons will be posted on the first day of the term and students can work at their own pace until the platform is closed for the semester, with access to the pre-recorded video lessons, accompanying materials, and the course forums
    • The student workload to review the materials and complete the assignments is approximately 6.25 hours per session
    • There will be some suggested deadlines to submit assignments
    • Homework will be accepted until a week before the end of the term
    • Students taking the course for credit must complete all assignments and class requirements

Technical Requirements

    • Broadband Internet connection / WIFI

    • External or internal webcam
    • External or internal microphone
    • Speakers or headphones
    • Possibility of printing downloaded materials
    • Possibility of scanning your assignments
    • Possibility of auto-recording (audio and video)

Enroll Now

Places are limited for each section, so sign up early.

The International Course of Medieval Music Besalú offers singers and instrumentalists the possibility of studying the repertoires of monodic and polyphonic music composed between the 11th and 13th centuries.

With the support of: