Establishment of St. Martial School - Limoges, France

The establishment of St. Martial school marked a turning point in medieval music; it’s creation depicted the transition from purely monophonic music to polyphonic. The introduction of polyphony arose in tandem with developments in art, science, and philosophy; one could even argue that the advancements in the latter subjects catalyzed the evolution observed in music. St. Martial school is widely recognized for its teaching of organum, an early form of polyphony, and was influential in the formation of the Notre Dame school of polyphony in 1160. Contrary to the name, the Notre Dame school was not a physical institution, but a group of composers that experimented with organum and developed polyphony, the most notable composers being Leonin and Perotin.




The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Organum.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 12 Nov. 2010,


“Saint Martial school.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2018,


Image Source: Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, via Wikimedia Commons

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. 1100