We are currently watching/listening to one entitled "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition" which includes sections on music history. The lecture covered some information on what shifted musically between the 14th and 15th centuries and produced the change in music from the Middles Ages Plainchant to Renaissance Secular music.
The fundamental conclusion:
There was a collective faith crisis involving eroding belief in the Catholic Church that was responsible for the shift.
Contributions to the Faith Transition include:
- Printing Press - encouraged both the printing of music for choirs, the scriptures (and philosophical writings) from Latin and Greek
- The shift of the Vatican seat of power from Rome, Italy to France allowed multiple Popes to compete and caused a loss of confidence in which one was the "true" pope.
- Corrupt leadership - leaders living luxurious lifestyles.
- Scientific research and experiments did not back up what the church was teaching to the expected degree. The church took the authoritative approach, which didn't always end well.
- Black Death Plague - the church could not and did not solve the problem of the outbreak between 1348 and 1350. The loss of population (as high as 60% of the entire population in Europe) particularly wreaked social and economic havoc.
- Philosophical shift back to principles/theories such as Humanism.
- Shift from focus on God to a focus on the Capable Human - secular music, art focusing on capturing the beauty of human anatomy
- Protestant Reformation - part of the reformation effort was an attempt to take a second look at the relationships between God and Humanity, the relationships between Humans
My transition started because I learned for myself that my capacity to perceive and process all messages sent my way was a lot more limited than I believed before. Yes, there are historical issues - but there are always historical issues. Usually there are social issues - mostly because humans (including me) are gonna human and see things differently.
But I found it surprising and comforting that my shift back to a more humanist (both from a personal and societal) perspective is historically what happened globally.