Teaching Students About Medieval Instruments
When teaching students about music from different historical periods, it can be fascinating to explore the instruments that were used during that period. The medieval period, specifically, is a time when musical expression was at its height. From troubadours and courtly songs to Gregorian chants and religious music, these pieces required a wide variety of instruments for accompaniment.
Medieval instruments differ slightly from modern instruments in terms of their design and materials used. These instruments were often made from wood, bone, or animal gut, and carved by hand. There were no mass-produced instruments, so each instrument was created specifically for the musician. Some of the common instruments used in medieval times were:
1. Recorder – The recorder is a small, simple flute that was used frequently in Medieval courts and for church music. Recorders were often created to mimic the sound of birds.
2. Lute – This instrument was commonly used in courtly music for its versatile sound. The lute looks similar to a guitar, but uses a different tuning method.
3. Harp – The harp was a popular instrument in medieval times, and was often used to create the soothing sounds of religious music. These instruments can range in size from small lap sized harps to ones that were played as standing instruments.
4. Percussion Instruments – Medieval percussion instruments included drums and tambourines. These were used to create the beat in medieval dance music and were often played during court celebrations.
Teaching students about these medieval instruments can be done in a number of ways. One is to give historical background on each instrument and provide examples of their use in medieval times. Additionally, short clips and recordings of medieval music can help students appreciate the unique sounds of these instruments. Showcasing demonstrations of musical instruments and encouraging students to experiment with making sounds on them can also be highly effective.
When students are exposed to medieval instruments and music, they can develop a greater understanding and appreciation for the cultural and artistic practices during the time period. It can also help them see how music has evolved over time, and how it has been used to express a wide range of emotions and experiences. Therefore, integrating medieval music lessons into the classroom can be both fun and highly educational.