Composer of the Day!

Today's Composer of the Day is Hildegard von Bingen.


Hildegard was a composer. She is, actually, the first composer with a known, extant biography.

She was also a priestess. She was also a poet, physician, philosopher, herbalist, and author. And basically did everything there was to do in the 12th century AD.

Notably, she was also a visionary. Literally. Like, she saw visions, and stuff. (It has been recently conjectured that the visions were due to migraines.)

In any event, she was a remarkable composer. She was very innovative, given that the sole medium at the time was monophonic plainchant. Her music is still performed today.

Her biography is remarkable. I recommend you read it.

Also, you should absolutely listen to her music.

Here is a score for you to look at.


Empiricus said...

Sexy mommy.

Aaron said...

The third in the series I've heard of, and the first whose music I own. Good, crazy stuff.

Empiricus said...

Sorry to be a spoil-sport. But one thing that might cast a little shadow on her special forward-looking-ness is the fact that there were multiple mediums going on at the time, not just plainchant. Check out Leonin's polyphonic organum, fl. ca. 1150. He was probably French.

Sator Arepo said...

Yes, I was almost sorry I wrote that. Actually, there is some debate over whether she wrote any multivoiced music; her proto-opera about St. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins (or something like that) may have contained polyphony. If I recall correctly, we aren't sure.

Aaron said...

I have a recording of that by Anonymous 4. I do not think it's polyphonic. It's still awesome, though.

She did stuff nobody else was doing, and (IIRC) basically nobody followed her lead. Kind of a dead end, historically speaking, but really pretty.