The Renaissance may be describe
as an age of Curiosity and individualism, Exploration and Adventure, The rebirth of human creativity.
-The Renaissance is the time of
the Humanism. The intellectual movement called humanism focused on human life and its accomplishments. The humanists were
captivated by cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The humanist treated the Virgin Mary as a beautiful woman.
Many prominent Renaissance composers,
who held important posts all over Europe, came from Flanders.
Due to the lost of power of the
church and the new humanistic ideas, musical activity gradually shifted from the church to the court. Education was considered
a status symbol by aristocrats and the upper middle class. Also, every educated person was expected to be trained in music.
Musically, the Renaissance period
is sometimes called the golden age of a capella choral music because the
music did not need instrumental accompaniment. The texture of the Renaissance music is chiefly polyphonic. Renaissance composers
often used word painting, a musical representation of specific poetic
Certain elements made Renaissance
music sounds fuller than medieval music:
-Composers considered the harmonic effect of
chords rather than superimposing one melody above another.
-Typical choral pieces have four, five, or six
voices parts of nearly equal melodic interest.
-The bass register is used for the first time.
-Renaissance melodies are usually
refers to unaccompanied choral music.
two main Forms of sacred Renaissance Music are the mass and the motet
The Motet is a polyphonic choral work
set to a sacred Latin text other than the ordinary of the mass.
-He spent most of his life in Italy
was a contemporary of Christopher Columbus.
-Josquins composition strongly influenced other
composers, and were enthusiastically praised by music lovers.
-Josquins compositions include masses, motets,
and secular vocal pieces.
-In his works , like for example Ave MariaVirgo
Serena, Desprez uses polyphonic imitation, a technique typical of the period.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina:
-His career centered in Rome
-His music includes 104 masses and some 450 other
His Pope Marcellus Mass sounds fuller than Josquins
Ave Maria because it is set for six voices instead of four.
The Council of Trent attacked
the church music of the Renaissance because it used secular tunes, noisy instruments, and theatrical singing. As a result
of the deliberations of the Council of Trent, an attempt was made to purify Catholic Church music.
secular vocal music was written for groups of solo voices and for solo voice with instrumental accompaniment.
contained more rapid changes of mood than sacred music.
of dance music published during the sixteenth century has survived.
-Is a vocal composition that combines homophonic
and polyphonic textures.
-The madrigal is a piece for several voices set
to a short poem, usually about love.
-The Renaissance Madrigal began around 1520 in
from the motet in that it uses a vernacular rather than latin text.
It also differs
from the motet in its often use of word painting and unusual harmonies.
of the English Madrigal can be traced to 1588 and considered a result of the publication in London of a volume of translated
anthology The Triumphes of Oriana was written in honor of Queen Elizabeth I
As Vesta Was Descending is notable for its word painting.
-Much of the instrumental music composed during
the Renaissance was intended for dancing.
-Lute: A versatile plucked string instrument
with a body shaped like half a pear, was popular during the Renaissance.
-Terpsichore: A collection of over 300
dance tunes, arranged for instrumental ensemble by Michael Praetorius
-Passamezzo: Is a stately dance in duple
meter, similar to the Pavane