From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"As old as the tension between art music and vulgar music is, it became radical only in high capitalism. In earlier epochs, art music was able to regenerate its material from time to time and enlarge its sphere by recourse to vulgar music. This is seen in medieval polyphony, which drew upon folk songs for its cantus firmi, and also in Mozart, when he combined peep-show cosmology with opera seria and Singspiel."--"On the Social Situation of Music" (1932) by Theodor Adorno
The term medieval music encompasses European music written during the Middle Ages. This era begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and ends in approximately the middle of the fifteenth century. Establishing the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the Renaissance is admittedly arbitrary; 1400 is used here.