Middle ages & renaissance | English homework help


“Music didn’t get here by itself.” – Bob Dylan

The music you listen to today evolved from the music that came before. Simple idea, but how do we hear this influence? How does music connect to previous eras? 

Music is shaped by society and innovation, and understanding both will help you pinpoint what era a song was composed, as well as see how that influences today’s music.


Click on discussion board Topic from class, then click “Start a New Thread” to post your content and embed video/mp4. Standard formatting & MLA not necessary on this discussion board, but include links to any audio clips or other sources used to compile your information. Please proofread content so that you don’t lose points or detract from your brilliant thoughts. Consult Discussion Board – Guidelines for more details (250-300 word count, etc.). See Grading Rubric.

Subject: Include a title for your post that relates to the focus of your information, include your last name in parenthesis:

     “Thunderstruck” by 2Cellos (Gernhart)


  • Paragraph 1: Report – Briefly summarize the highlights of the era(s) (what’s happening in society), and the music elements or innovations of that era (as covered in the assigned unit). 
  • Paragraph 2: Make Connections – Consider how the influence of music elements & innovations of past eras can be heard in more recent music (since 1950-Present; See chart for ideas for each era). 
    • Choose a song that incorporates an innovation of that era and describe what music elements we should listen for that connect the popular song to that past era. See Eras chart.
    • Use music you are familiar with or search the internet for ideas. You are the guide and ‘expert’ for why this music connects to a previous era. It is acceptable to look up information about this song to deepen your content information.
    • Why did you choose that song for this topic? What music elements, innovations or theme connect it to the past era? Is there a backstory to the song that enhances the content? 
  • Part 3: Add MusicEmbed a video or upload mp3 of the song you’ve referenced. 
    • Include identifying information (like a caption) below video listing the title, artist/composer, genre, approximate year released (not everyone may be familiar with your song)
    • If song is not in English, please provide a brief synopsis (translation) of what the song is about.
    • Focus the content: Either edit your video so we know specifically what to listen for, or include a time cue (i.e. list where specifically we can hear what you are talking about; this example should help you make your point about why the song connects to music elements of the past). 
    • DO NOT POST A LINK TO A SONG or ATTACH A FILE! Because of ads on YouTube and how quickly videos can disappear, it is recommended that you download the video example to your computer first, edit the video to focus content, then embed the ad-free video to the discussion board. 
  • Part 4: Respond – Read other student’s posts & respond thoughtfully to 2 by the end date. Post and respond on different days, and follow-up on your thread if someone asks a question.

Warning: While this is an open forum designed to broaden the scope of this class, please do not post any sexually explicit or questionable material that is not appropriate for the academic environment. A wide variety of music is encouraged, but if you’re unsure, ask the instructor before posting. General rule: if you wouldn’t play it for your grandmother, don’t post it. 😉


Following the forum guidelines above,

  • ¶1: Briefly summarize the Middle Ages and Renaissance eras, interpreting what was happening in society and music.
  • ¶2: Analyzing the techniques & innovations from each era, consider more recent music (written in the last century) and how the influence of the previous era’s innovation/music element can be found in modern music (techniques still used today). Examples should include one song connecting to the Middle Ages, and one connecting to Renaissance elements, based on what was emphasized in class. 
  • Music sample: Embed your music sample so your audience can listen to it while we read your analysis.
    • Do NOT paste a link; Do NOT attach a file! EMBED your files!
    • Include a cue/time stamp so the listener knows exactly where to hear what you are talking about in the music. 
    • To avoid ads or videos that suddenly vanish, download video clip (https://www.4kdownload.com/ FREE!) to your computer, then embed in the discussion post.

In the subject line, include the connecting song title or artist/composer name with your name in parenthesis:

  • MA/Renaissance techniques in Halo and Imagine Dragons (Gernhart)



Possible Connections, Examples

Middle Ages


Current religions who use chants (Christian, Muslim, Indian tribes, etc.), Popular music, video game or movies that use chants or chant-like effects. Consider crowds in sports stadiums. Medieval chants are still alive and well!


Text Painting

Think about songs where the music is intended to sound like what the words are communicating (i.e. Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”: the word “low” is sung on a low note). 


  • Middles Ages: Lakota Sioux chant as part of a wacipi (pow wow). The single unison melody line is sung by the group with a focused message and purpose. 
  • Renaissance: The chorus of “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons is an example of text painting. The song repeats the word “thunder” and accents the beginning of the word to make it sound like a thunder storm. The rhythm is repeated in an echo, resembling rumbling thunder.
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