Important Musical Considerations in the Renaissance Individualism and free of expression and rules Political and social stability enabled reason and free inquiry Music and art celebrated human achievement whilst glorifying God Humanism- Celebration of human achievement Use of Major and Minor modes• Polyphonic Imitation (a musical idea that is immediately echoed by another voice part or instrument)• Word-painting (using musical symbolism to represent the meaning of the text; most common in the madrigal)• The Invention of Music Printing (by the Italian printer, Petrucci, in 1501)• The Rise of Secular Music
Equity among the voices (SATB) Style dominated late 15th and 16th Century music. Geographical centre: North east France, Belgium and Holland/Netherlands. Wide range of textures; Polyphony to monophony and dodecaphony. The choral mass A cappella is the school’s greatest achievement. Retrograde: Melody sung backwards. Inversions Canon: The cannon made its first appearance during the 1300s in the popular Caccia of the Medieval era. It was abandoned at the turn of the next century and reappeared with new popularity during the latter part of the 1400s. The new canon employed some interesting techniques. Mass: A new form of mass emerged, called the cantus Firmus mass. Here, each successive section of the ordinary had the same melody. These Cantus Firmus were usually written in the plainsong style, but sometimes secular music was used. Most of the time, these masses were based on Cantus Firmus. Motet : The Franco-Flemish motet made use of sections written in duet style, choral style, fugal or imitative style, and imitative counterpoint . Secular Music: The chanson remained the dominant form of secular music, as it had been in the English style. The Franco-Flemish school made variations to it and made it less sectionalized. Lieder, a monophonic or polyphonic German secular work, gained popularity from the end of the 1400s to the end of the 1500s.
He was the most famous European composer between Guillaume Dufay and Palestrina, and is usually considered to be the central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. Wrote 100 Motets, 18 Masses and 70 other Chansons and Secular music Traveled around Europe, predominately around Italy and France. Widely considered by music scholars to be the first master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music that was emerging during his life.
Following the predominant practice of the time, the setting of Ave Maria is in A cappella First volume of motets that was printed in 1502 Written around 1476 and 1497.
To begin this motet, Josquin borrowed the opening phrase of a well-known sequence in honor of the Virgin, Ave Maria, Gratia Plena. He then ornamented the phrase and distributed equally to all four voices in imitative fashion: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. For the next three "Hails" (bars 16, 28, and 39) Josquin crafted his own melodic material, arranging it in pairs of imitating voices (soprano-alto, followed by tenor- bass). Josquin uses the four vocal lines in many other types of textures. The vocal writing is smooth and the harmonies are more consonant than works from the Middle Ages. Throughout this section of the motet, as well as in the rest of the piece not heard in this excerpt, Josquin skillfully varies the textures, using the contrast between two, three, or four voices to create distinct musical sections The opening uses polyphonic imitation, in which each voice sings the same melody in succession. In this style, the voices often continue to add secondary melodies to accompany the following voice entries. This technique of paired imitation was a favourite of Josquin. Perhaps to effect variety in the face of what has been a uniformly polyphonic texture in duple meter, Josquin switches at bar 48 to homophonic texture and triple meter, only to return to the original texture and meter, with more duets, for the final "Hail" (bar 57). This piece was and still one of his famous works as it portrays a lot of his style and technique in terms of polyphony, dynamic contrast, syncopated rhythms.
Books Lang, chapter 9 (The Renaissance), published in USA (1941), Music in western civilisation Donald Jay Grout & Claude V.P, Chapter 6, published in GB (1962), A history of western music Carl Parrish, Chapter 5 (Franconian notation), published in USA (1957), The notation of Medeval musicWebsites Geni 02/10/12 Great Composers of the Old Schools of Classical Music (XI - XIX Centuries) http://www.geni.com/projects/Great-Composers-of-the-Old-Schools-of-Classical-Music-XI-XIX- Centuries/9418 Author unknown 31/10/12 Atrium musicologium http://musicologicus.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/franco-flemish-school.htm Lilia Melani (Author) 30/10/12, Renaissance http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/ren.html