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Music in the Renaissance
Fiorentino, Angel with Lute (ca. 1522)
Rebirth
Classical (Greco-Roman) ideas rediscovered
Music begins to be seen as a fine art
Music (and all art) becomes more ...
Renaissance Sacred Music
Botticelli, Adoration of the Magi
The Renaissance Motet
Choral music
Generally three or four voices
Latin text, sacred subject
Texts usually from Old Testam...
Josquin des Prez (c1455-1521)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josquin_Desprez
http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/josquin.html
htt...
Josquin des Prez
Born northern France/Belgium border area
Probably began career as choirboy (1460)
Held posts in France an...
Josquin des Prez
Composed all the genres of his era
Known especially for his motets
Use of contrasting textures – sectiona...
Listening Example:
Title: Ave Maria
Composer Josquin des Prez
Genre Motet
Notes on Ave maria…
4-voices (SATB)
A cappella performance (no instruments)
Contrasting textures and settings
 Imitation
...
Council of Trent (1545-1563)
Part of the Counter-Reformation
Regulated of all aspects of church discipline
Objected to tre...
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
(c.1525-1594)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Palestrina
http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de...
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Born near and spent most of career in Rome
Held positions in many Vatican chapels
 Singe...
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Palestrina’s style seen as the culmination of
Renaissance composition
Avoidance of disson...
Listening Example
Title Gloria from Missa Papae Marcelli
Composer Palestrina
Genre Mass
Notes on Gloria from Missa Papae
Marcelli
A cappella performance (no instruments)
Brief opening chant
Homophonic texture
S...
Listening Example
Title Agnus Dei from Missa Papae Marcelli
Composer Palestrina
Genre Mass
Notes on Agnus Dei from Missa
Papae Marcelli
A cappella performance (no instruments)
Polyphonic texture - Imitation
Palest...
Renaissance Secular Music
Raphael
The Nymph Galatea
c.1512-1514
Popular Music Advances
Advent of the printing press
Rise of middle class
 New market for music, esp. printed music
 Many...
Madrigal
New genre becomes internationally popular
 Begins in Italy and spreads through Europe
 Remains popular in Engla...
Word Painting
A musical gesture that directly expresses the
meaning of words in the text
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Transitional figure:
Renaissance to Baroque
Worked in Mantua then
Venice
Last 30 years spen...
Listening Example
Title Ecco mormorar l’onde
Composer Monteverdi
Genre Italian madrigal
Notes on Ecco mormorar l’onde
A cappella performance (no instruments)
Homophonic texture overall
Word painting
 The melod...
English Madrigals
English poets adopted the Italian sonnet
English composers adopted the madrigal
Nicolas Yonge’s Musica T...
Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623)
Born near Elsted, Sussex (England)
Begins as organist - Winchester College
Career as choirmaste...
Listening Example
Title: As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending
Composer: Thomas Weelkes
Genre: English Madrigal
Notes on As Vesta Was…
Composed as part of tribute to Queen
Elizabeth I (The Triumphs of Oriana)
Odd text serves as fodder...
Dance Music
Publishers issued collections of dance music
aimed at the middle class
Shawms, sackbuts, and drums were most
c...
Listening Example
Title: Pavane
Composer: Anonymous
Genre: Renaissance Dance
Notes on Pavane
Slow tempo
Serious or stately character
Duple meter
Listening Example
Title: Galliard
Composer: Anonymous
Genre: Renaissance Dance
Notes on Galliard
Fast tempo
Fun, lively character
Triple meter
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Music in the Renaissance

CC BY, Elliot Jones Santa Ana College

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Music in the Renaissance

  1. 1. Music in the Renaissance Fiorentino, Angel with Lute (ca. 1522)
  2. 2. Rebirth Classical (Greco-Roman) ideas rediscovered Music begins to be seen as a fine art Music (and all art) becomes more expressive Rise of humanism  Recognizing unique contributions of individuals  Composers no longer anonymous  Greater appreciation of aesthetic qualities of art
  3. 3. Renaissance Sacred Music Botticelli, Adoration of the Magi
  4. 4. The Renaissance Motet Choral music Generally three or four voices Latin text, sacred subject Texts usually from Old Testament  Often from Psalms or Lamentations  Expressive texts call for expressive music Usually performed a cappella (no accomp.)
  5. 5. Josquin des Prez (c1455-1521) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josquin_Desprez http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/josquin.html http://www.hoasm.org/IVA/DesPrez.html
  6. 6. Josquin des Prez Born northern France/Belgium border area Probably began career as choirboy (1460) Held posts in France and Italy Sang in choir of Sistine Chapel  Singers carved their names on the wall  “JOSQUINJ” was probably his own “graffito” Honored by contemporaries as a genius  Martin Luther, Rabelais, Bartoli
  7. 7. Josquin des Prez Composed all the genres of his era Known especially for his motets Use of contrasting textures – sectional Combined different styles into a new sound  Franco-flemish complexity  Italian lyricism  Leading figure in new international sound  This new style later perfected by Palestrina
  8. 8. Listening Example: Title: Ave Maria Composer Josquin des Prez Genre Motet
  9. 9. Notes on Ave maria… 4-voices (SATB) A cappella performance (no instruments) Contrasting textures and settings  Imitation  Paired imitation (TB imitating SA)  Homophony Expressively personal final text Changing meters
  10. 10. Council of Trent (1545-1563) Part of the Counter-Reformation Regulated of all aspects of church discipline Objected to trends in church music  Elaborate counterpoint obscures text  Too much embellishment of chant melodies  Use of instruments in services  Incorporation of popular songs into music  Secular spirit invading sacred music  Irreverent attitude of church musicians
  11. 11. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-1594) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Palestrina http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/palestrina.html
  12. 12. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Born near and spent most of career in Rome Held positions in many Vatican chapels  Singer in the Sistine Chapel  Maestro compositore St. Peter’s Basilica Lost many family members to the plague Very conscious of counter-reformation Known as “savior of church music”
  13. 13. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Palestrina’s style seen as the culmination of Renaissance composition Avoidance of dissonance Balance of the voices Seamless sound – rhythmically smooth Codified by Johannes Fux Still studied today as model of counterpoint
  14. 14. Listening Example Title Gloria from Missa Papae Marcelli Composer Palestrina Genre Mass
  15. 15. Notes on Gloria from Missa Papae Marcelli A cappella performance (no instruments) Brief opening chant Homophonic texture Smooth (conjunct) melody Regular rhythms Note the serene, celestial quality
  16. 16. Listening Example Title Agnus Dei from Missa Papae Marcelli Composer Palestrina Genre Mass
  17. 17. Notes on Agnus Dei from Missa Papae Marcelli A cappella performance (no instruments) Polyphonic texture - Imitation Palestrina writes the imitation in a way that listeners can still understand the text Palestrina’s style still evident  Smooth (conjunct) melody and regular rhythms  Serene, celestial quality
  18. 18. Renaissance Secular Music Raphael The Nymph Galatea c.1512-1514
  19. 19. Popular Music Advances Advent of the printing press Rise of middle class  New market for music, esp. printed music  Many were amateur musicians themselves  Music in the vernacular (language of the people – not Latin)
  20. 20. Madrigal New genre becomes internationally popular  Begins in Italy and spreads through Europe  Remains popular in England even after the genre falls out of favor in Italy Typically 4-5 solo singers, mixed voices Secular poem, often on subject of love Music expresses the emotion of the text Word painting
  21. 21. Word Painting A musical gesture that directly expresses the meaning of words in the text
  22. 22. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Transitional figure: Renaissance to Baroque Worked in Mantua then Venice Last 30 years spent at St. Mark’s Cathedral Published 8 books of madrigals We’ll study Monteverdi’s Baroque opera
  23. 23. Listening Example Title Ecco mormorar l’onde Composer Monteverdi Genre Italian madrigal
  24. 24. Notes on Ecco mormorar l’onde A cappella performance (no instruments) Homophonic texture overall Word painting  The melody moves up and down quickly on “tremolar le fronde” (trembling branches)  Nimble counterpoint when text describes birds singing is meant to suggest actual birdsong
  25. 25. English Madrigals English poets adopted the Italian sonnet English composers adopted the madrigal Nicolas Yonge’s Musica Transalpina (1588) Texts were “Englished” (translated) Later composers wrote their own madrigals A distinctly English style evolved This is the era of Shakespeare
  26. 26. Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623) Born near Elsted, Sussex (England) Begins as organist - Winchester College Career as choirmaster at Chichester Cathedral Composes four volumes of madrigals Trouble with alcohol Spends time in London near end of life
  27. 27. Listening Example Title: As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending Composer: Thomas Weelkes Genre: English Madrigal
  28. 28. Notes on As Vesta Was… Composed as part of tribute to Queen Elizabeth I (The Triumphs of Oriana) Odd text serves as fodder for word painting  Descending lines as Vesta descends Latmos  Ascending lines as Oriana climbs the hill  Solo lines for Diana (virgin goddess) Note the lighthearted quality 6-voices
  29. 29. Dance Music Publishers issued collections of dance music aimed at the middle class Shawms, sackbuts, and drums were most commonly used for dance music Pavane was most popular dance of mid-16th century Usually followed by Galliard for contrast
  30. 30. Listening Example Title: Pavane Composer: Anonymous Genre: Renaissance Dance
  31. 31. Notes on Pavane Slow tempo Serious or stately character Duple meter
  32. 32. Listening Example Title: Galliard Composer: Anonymous Genre: Renaissance Dance
  33. 33. Notes on Galliard Fast tempo Fun, lively character Triple meter

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