Medieval can be both similar, but at the
Medieval chants and Twentieth Century rap are both musical forms that havemany similarities and differences.
There are many aspects to these two musical forms. These aspects include creation, development and history. In both their purpose andaudience, chants and rap can be both similar, but at the same time, completely different. The way that they are performed and set up, or structured, is where the most evidentThe Medieval chant, also known as the Gregorian chant, has been credited toPope Gregory I. Medieval chants originated around the year 600 A.
D. The purposebehind the creation of chant was to fight the political, and somewhat social, stress andtension among the Bishops and in turn, converting the congregation back to worshippingGod. The chant was considered a very strict and functional type of music that wassacred, or used only for religious worshiping purposes. In contrast, rap, whose rootsoriginated out of the Africa American oral traditions and slave field songs were wrotemainly from the views, thoughts and concerns of the singer/writer.
The creation of rapwas never, and has yet to be, attributed to any one certain individual. Rap, also known aship-hop, evolved from out of the urban slang on the streets. It was also found to be themain attraction at many DJ mixing competitions in teen clubs and hangouts. Somewherealong the way, of the road of rap that was being traveled and explored by so many, cametwo men by the name of DJ Hollywood and DJ Herc.
These two men would eventuallybecome known as the Founding Fathers of Rap. Yet, in 1979, The Sugar Hill Gangreleased the first rap song to let rap do for their decade, what the Charleston did for theThe entire purpose of the Medieval chant was to completely focus on God andonly on God. One was to forget or drop everything and step outside of the real world andenter a perfect world full of serious praise and worship. Where as rap was used primarilyfor entertainment and set the perfect scene for a teen party or dance competition. But asquickly as it evolved the first time around, it would soon evolve again. Now, suddenlyrap became a sure way for blacks, especially young teens, to express their frustrations,rage and sometimes, even social concerns. No matter who is performing the chant, it islike most others, unchanging.
All the while, rap was becoming harder and harder topin-point to any certain subject. The subjects became a reflection of the rapper and theirsurroundings to the point where even Christians would soon become followers. In theMedieval Period, there was hardly any division between sacred and secular music.
Eventhough the chants were known by all the people, there were still not considered the musicof the people because of the lack of division put forth. In this same way, rap and chantsare very similar. Both, rap and chant, were wrote for the common man and always sent astrong message.
Chants were mostly about giving your all to God and worshipping him. Rap, however, had a huge variety of messages. Some very strong and powerful, whileothers were more relaxed and just for fun. There were many rules to chant that had to befollowed. Rap, having no rules, was thought, from some, to be a rebellion. The sameway that Rock used to be thought of by most teen’s parents. In all these comparisons, the one major difference shows up in performance.
Chants had no harmony or melody. The notes never concided with that of the syllablesof the words sung in a chant. The very opposite is true of rap. A chant is one messagesung through once, where as, rap has many messages and repeats itself a numerousamount of times.
Medieval chants are smooth or legato. While rap is very choppy orstaccato. Chants, being sacred, are performed with no instruments, but rap, beingsecular, uses many instruments to make the already choppy and disconnected rhythmseem fuller. The one basic similarity between the two in performance seemed to be thatthe voice was used as the main source of an instrument for both rap and chant. In my own opinion, the styles seemed to clash more, or have more differencesthan similarities.
Chants were, and are, directed toward the purpose of worshiping God,while rap’s purpose was to expand on the singer’s situation. Chants seem to appeal toone’s spiritual life and even though we now have Christian rapper’s, rap still seems todeal with issues of everyday life. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. I’m justglad that not everyone was a follower in music.
I’m glad that someone stepped up anddecided that there could be and would be many different types of music. If, back inMedieval times, someone hadn’t have broaden their horizons and started secular music,where would be today, musically speaking? Bibliography: