“Renaissance," from Old French, meaning "rebirth," usually in a spiritual sense.The Renaissance period in western history was a cultural movement that began in Florence, Italy in approximately 1400 A.D. and gradually spread through most (but not all) of Europe.
The Renaissance marks the passing of European society from an exclusively religious orientation to a more secular one, and from an age of unquestioning faith and mysticism to one of belief in reason and scientific inquiry.
Types of Renaissance Music Vocal Music:As in the Medieval period, sacredvocal music (religious music that is sung) is still very prevalent in the Renaissance. But in addition to this, there is also a lot more non-sacred (non-religious) music.
In addition to sacred music such as motets and masses, there is a new form of non-sacred vocal music inthe Renaissance called the madrigal. Musical Example - Madrigal John Farmer (English, 1570- 1605)"Fair Phyllis I Saw Sitting All Alone" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYbN_2hqFoI (2 min.)
Musical Example – Madrigal #2 The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625; English) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfNmZ3LCrAY The silver swan, who living had no note, when Death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
Leaning her breast upon the reedy shore, thus sang her first and last, and sang no more: "Farewell, all joys!O Death, come close mine eyes! More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise."
Most Significant Musical Development During The Renaissance:The rise of instrumental music was themost significant musical development during the Renaissance. Music for groups of instruments was written to accompany vocal music such as motets, as dance music, and also as a pure form of art.
Important Renaissance Composers• Josquin des Prez (Flemish; 1455-1521)• Giovanni Palestrina (Italian; 1526-1594)• Orlando de Lassus - Flemish; 1530-1594)• William Byrd - (English; 1543-1623)• Tomás Luis de Victoria (Spanish; 1548-1611)• Giovanni Gabrieli - (Italian; 1553-1612)• Michael Pretorius (German; 1571-1621)• Orlando Gibbons - (English; 1583-1625)
After flourishing for 200 years,the Renaissance Period ended in approximately 1600 AD, with the advent of the Baroque Period of musical history.