Chapter 17 music at the court of burgandyPresentation Transcript
CHAPTER 17MusiC AT THE CouRT of BuRgundy
Western Europe in the fifteenth century The face of Europe, at least with respect to what constituted a country, looked considerably different from modern Europe.
BURGUNDIAN LANDS• The dukes of Burgundy of the house of Valois were four powerful princes, cousins to the kings of France, who reigned in The Burgundian succession from 1364 until lands in 1477 1477.• By 1477 they had carved out a small kingdom in all but name, one that included not only the duchy of Burgundy in eastern France but also almost all of the Low Countries. (modern Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands).• The most important composers associated with their court were Guillaume Dufay and Gilles Binchois.
BINCHOIS’S CHANSONS• Although Gilles Binchois (c1400-1460) wrote sacred Masses and motets, he excelled in the genre of the polyphonic French chanson – which at this time were still written in one of the three formes fixes (ballade, rondeau, or virelai).• Each of Binchois’s nearly sixty chansons are a small gem of lyricism.• His ballade Dueil angoisseus (Anguished mourning), sets a melancholy poem by Christine de Pisan (c1364- c1430) – an important female poet attached to the court of Burgundy.
The beginning of Binchois’s ballade Dueil angoisseus • The musical interest in Binchois’s chansons is primarily in the lyrical, carefully-crafted upper voice. • AAB form. • Simpler rhythms used throughout.
BURGUNDIAN CADENCE• Dufay, Binchois, and their colleagues cultivated a type of cadence in three-voice writing that allowed them to have a low bass line – yet also fill in the fifth degree of a final chord at a cadence.• This procedure is called the Burgundian cadence (octave-leap cadence) – in which the contratenor (bassus) line leaps an octave at the end of important sections of the song.
A Burgundian cadence found at the endof Binchois’s ballade Dueil angoisseus* Hints of dominant-tonic (V-I) in this cadence, which are first hints of functional harmony as we know it.
GUILLAUME DUFAY’S LAMENTATION• On 29 May 1453 the Christian world suffered a grievous loss when the Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Christians and captured their capital, Constantinople (today Istanbul, Turkey).• To commemorate the loss, Guillaume Dufay composed four lamentations, only one of which survives today.• Such a lamentation was sung at a lavish banquet, called by contemporaries the Feast of the Pheasant, hosted by Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy – intended to rally support for a crusade against the so-called infidels. Dufay’s Lamentatio sanctae Matris Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Lament for the Holy Mother church of Constantinople).
• A section of Dufay’s Lamentatio, a motet-chanson – which is something of a hybrid of the two genres.• The tenor voice sings a portion of a Gregorian chant in Latin, much as in a Latin motet, while the cantus sings a French text, as in the chanson.
THE ARMED MAN TUNE• Guillaume Dufay and many other composers of the Renaissance constructed polyphony Masses upon a spritely melody called L’Homme armé tune.• No other melody has been borrowed as often for religious purposes.• Most Armed Man Masses were written by Burgundian composers.• The text, although in French, possess religious symbolism – for a calls to every good Christian, be he/she a crusader going off to ward or the good Christian soldier fighting against the snares of the devil in the everyday battle of life.
The Armed Man tune has a ternary form ABA
A translation of the text of the Armed Man tuneThe armed man, the armed man, should be feared. AEverywhere the cry has gone out,Everyone should arm himself BWith a breastplate of iron.The armed man, the armed man, should be feared. A
• Sometime during the late 1450s, Guillaume Dufay composed a four-voice polyphonic Mass using the Armed Man tune as the structural basis.• He took the tune and placed it in the tenor, where the melody sounded forth in each and every movement.• In so doing Dufay created a cantus firmus Mass - a cyclic Mass in which the five moments of the Ordinary are unified by menas of a single cantus firmus (a Latin adjective meaning “firm” or “well-established”).
The beginning of the Kyrie of Dufay’s MissaL”Homme armé (c1460) with the Armed Man tune in the tenor