Hildegarde von Bingen was a German writer from the 12th Century. She was also a christian mystic who claimed to have had many visions, and as a result had many followers. Hildegarde wrote many compositions for liturgical use, and is most famous for her musical drama Ordm Vitutum
Scivias is Hildegardes first work which resulted from her visions. The work is in three parts which narrates the visions she had about creation, redemption and salvation. The three parts represent the Trinity. The work uses Latin for the text. There are fourteen songs within the work, each being an antiphon or responsory.
Musically, all parts are sung in plainchant. Hildegard often uses an opening fifth interval at the beginning of her melodies, which are often florid. Early music scholars suggest that Hildegarde uses motivic variation as a primary compositional technique. Hildegardes music can ultimately be called monophonic, melismatic and sylabbic. The ranges of the chants tend to be larger than those of similar time period.
The work is significant to the history music and literature. Hildegarde participated a great deal in the medieval practices of the day; writing letters, preaching, and writing poetry. Her participation as a women, made her becoming a theologian with may followers.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/primary/scivias.html (accessed Jan 23, 2014).
Burkholder, J. Peter, and Claude V. Palisca. Norton anthology of western music. 6th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2010. Print