hildegard of bingen

Despite being one of the earliest identifiable composers in the history of Western music, there were no mentions of Hildegard of Bingen’s music in any reference book before 1979.

Accounts written of her in her own time cite her as “a visionary, a prophet, a pioneer who wrote books on biology, botnay, medicine, theology, and the arts.” She was appointed prioiress of the abbey she was a part of in 1136, which was when she started composing music. She had received very little music teaching beforehand, but she had grown up hearing the chants of the Church and set “her own vibrant, colorful verses to music to create antiphones, responses, sequences, and hymns.”

Listen to a selection of Hildegard’s compositions on Youtube.