The Renaissance Era - Kettering City School District

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1450-1600
 Leonardo
da Vinci (1452-1519),
painter/scientist.
 Fall of Constantinople (1453)
 Gutenberg Bible printed (1456) printing
press.
 Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543), Polish
astronomer.
 Michelangelo (1475-1564) painter,
sculptor
 Martin Luther (1483-1546) religious
reformer.
 Columbus
discovers the New World
(1492)
 First music book printed in Italy (1501)
 Council of Trent begins (1545)
 Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England
(1558)
 William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
 Musica Transalpina published (1588)
 The
Renaissance was an era of
exploration, scientific inquiry, artistic
awakening, and secularization.
 Artists and writers found inspiration in
the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.
 Renaissance musicians were employed in
churches, cities, and courts; or in the
trades of instrument building and music
printing.
 The
name is misleading because it
suggests a sudden rebirth of learning
and art after a “stagnate” Middle Ages.
However it is a continuation.
 It marks the passing of European society
from a predominately religious
orientation to a more secular one, and
from an age of unquestioning faith and
mysticism to one of reason and scientific
inquiry.
 The
focus on human fulfillment rather
than the hereafter; a new way of thinking
centered on human issues and the
individual.
 People gained confidence in their ability
to solve their own problems rather than
rely exclusively on tradition or religion.
•
•
This “awakening” was called Humanism
and was inspired by ancient cultures of
Greece and Rome.
Renaissance society embraced the ideas
of ancient writers and philosophers, such
as Plato and Virgil.
 The
revival of ancient writings mentioned
earlier along with the introduction of
printing (1455- Gutenberg), had its
counterpart in architecture, painting and
sculpture.
 Lavish palaces and spacious villas were
built according to harmonious
proportions of the classical style.
 The
development of the compass made
possible the voyages of discovery that
opened up new worlds and demolished
old superstitions.
 Explorers were in search of a new trade
route to the riches of China and the
Indies, instead they stumbled upon North
and South America.
 Nature
entered painting as did a
preoccupation with the laws of
perspective and composition.
 Medieval painting had presented life
through symbolism; the Renaissance
preferred realism.
 Were
supported by the chief institutions
of their society-church, city, and state, as
well as royal and aristocratic courts.
 They found employment as choirmasters,
singers, organists, instrumentalists,
copyists, composers, teachers,
instrument builders, and music printers.
 Vocal
forms of Renaissance music were
marked by smoothly gliding melodies
conceived especially for the voice.
 The 16th century has become known as
the golden age of a cappella style.
 Polyphony in this genre was based on the
principle of imitation.
 Most church music was written for a
cappella performance. Why?
 Secular
music, however, was divided
between purely vocal works and those in
which the singers were supported by
instruments.
 The Renaissance also saw a growth of
solo instrumental music, especially for
the lute and keyboard.
 Harmony came into play during the
Renaissance as composers leaned toward
fuller chords.
 They
turned away from the open fifths
and octaves to more “pleasing” thirds
and sixths.
 Word Painting- (making music reflect the
meaning of the words)- was definitely
favored in secular music.
 Dissonance was used to describe or
highlight the word “death”, while an
ascending line was used to portray
“heaven” or the stars.
 Polyphonic
writing offered the composer
many possibilities such as the use of a
cantus firmus.
 The preeminent composers of the early
Renaissance were from northern Europe,
present day Belgium and northern
France.
 In later Renaissance we will see the
emergence of Italian composers in both
the sacred and secular realms of music.
 Mass
sung in Latin, not vernacular
(language of the country)
 Composers focused their polyphonic
mass settings on the Mass Ordinary:
 Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
 Kyrie- is a prayer for mercy. Follows an AB-A form that consists on 9 invocations
 Gloria-
(Glory be to God on high), a
joyful hymn of praise.
 Credo- (I believe in one God, the Father
Almighty), this is the confession of faith
and the longest of the Mass texts.
 Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), a song of
praise which concludes with the
“Hosanna in the highest”
 Agnus
Dei (Lamb of God, Who takes away
the sins of the world), sung 3 times.
 Twice it concludes with “miserere nobis”
(have mercy on us) and on the 3rd time with
the prayer “dona nobis pacem” (grant us
peace).
 All 5 movements are part of the Ordinary or
fixed portion.
 Movements for special occasions (Proper)
were added in between the Ordinary-see
p.102
Early polyphonic settings of the Mass were based
on fragments of Gregorian chant (cantus firmus)
 It provided composers with a fixed element that
they could embellish, using all the resources of
their artistry, and when set in all the movements, it
helped unify the Mass.
• Requiem: Mass for the Dead

 Sung at funerals and memorial services
 Opening verse: "Requiem aeternam dona eis,
Domine" (Grant them eternal rest, O Lord)
 Part
of the Burgundian School (FrancoFlemish).
 Music less complex than that of Ars nova
 Many of his works are built on a cantus firmus
 L'homme
armé Mass, Kyrie
Popular secular tune is the cantus firmus (found in
the tenor voice)
 First part of the Mass Ordinary

 Non-imitative
 Ternary
form
polyphonic texture (four voices)
• Renaissance motet had a single Latin text
• Majority of motets had a Marian (Virgin Mary)
theme
• Typically motets were written for 3, 4, or more
voices
• Sometimes motets were based on a cantus firmus
 Josquin des Prez of Northern France was
considered one of the greatest Renaissance motet
composers.
• Franco-Flemish composer, made career in Italy
 Milan: Court of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
 Ferrara: Court of Ercole d'Este
 Rome: papal choir
Humanism evident in his music (emotion over
intellect).
 Composed sacred and secular music.


Protestant revolt led by Martin Luther (1483–1546):
Reformation
• Catholic response: Counter-Reformation (1530s–
1590s)
 Council of Trent attendees sought to reform Catholic
Church
 Concerns of Council of Trent





Corruption of chant by embellishment
Use of certain instruments in religious services
Incorporation of popular music in Masses
Secularism of music
Irreverent attitude of church musicians
 Committee recommended a pure vocal style that
respected the integrity of the sacred texts
 Italian
composer, organist, choirmaster.
 Director
of the Sistine Chapel Choir (Pope
Julius III).
 Wrote mostly sacred music.


Pope Marcellus Mass met the new strict demands of the
Council of Trent.
Probably performed a cappella
 Written






for 6 voice parts:
Soprano (sung by boys or male falsettos)
Alto (sung by male altos or countertenors)
Tenor I
Tenor II
Bass I
Bass II
In the Renaissance Era



The Renaissance saw a rise in amateur
music-making and in secular music
(French chansons and the Italian and
English madrigals).
Instrumental dance music was played by
professional and amateur musicians, who
often added embellishments.
 The
madrigal originated in Italy as a form
of aristocratic entertainment.


Monteverdi was a master of the Italian
madrigal and of expressive devices such
as word painting.
The English madrigal was often simpler
and lighter in style than its Italian
counterpart.
 Professional
musicians entertained in courts
and at civic functions.
 Merchant
home.
class amateurs played and sang at
 Most
popular instruments: lute, keyboard
instruments.
A well-bred young woman was expected to
have studied music.
 Some women achieved great fame as
professional singers.


Main Music genres: chanson and
madrigal
 Major
literary influences:
 Francesco Petrarch (1304–1373) “Father
of Humanism”
 Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585) “Prince
of Poets”
 Favored
vocal genre in Burgundy and
France in the 15th century.
 Usually
for 3 or 4 voices.
 Set to courtly love verses.
 Freer poetic structures (without set
repetition patterns).
 Premier composers: Guillaume Du Fay,
and Josquin des Prez.
Written during the last year of the composer's
life.
 Four-voice texture.
 Language of courtly love.
 Pain and suffering of leaving one's beloved.
 Uses an archaic sounding church mode (E)
 Varied texture: homorhythm, imitation.
 Expressive text setting, using word painting.

 16th
century was a period of growth for
instrumental music.
 Published music was readily available.
 Publishing centers: Venice, Paris,
Antwerp.
 Instrumentation was unspecified.
 The occasion dictated the ensemble:
(indoor or outdoor).
 Pavane: stately
court dance.
 Saltarello: quicker
 Galliard: more
saltarello.
Italian jumping dance.
vigorous French version of
 Allemande: German
time.
 Ronde: less
dance in moderate duple
courtly round dance, danced in a
circle outdoors.
 Chief
form of Renaissance secular music.
 Song
form flourished at the Italian courts.
 Text: short
poem of lyric or reflective
nature.
 Includes "loaded" words: weeping,
sighing, trembling, dying, etc.
 Music: sets
text expressively.
 Instruments double or substitute for the
voices.
 Three phases of the madrigal:
First phase (c. 1525–1550)
 Entertaining for the performers (often
amateurs).

 Second
phase (c. 1550–1580):
 Art form in which music and words were clearly
linked.
 Third
phase (c. 1580–1620):
 Exhibited chromatic harmony.
 Dramatic declamation and vocal virtuosity.
 Vividly described emotion.
 Extended beyond the Renaissance into the
Baroque Era.
 Composers
in England further
developed the Italian madrigal.
 English
madrigalists included:
 Thomas Morley, Thomas Weelkes, John
Farmer.
 First
collection of Italian madrigals published
in England entitled.
 Musica
transalpina (Music from beyond the
Alps) 1588.
 English
madrigals were often simpler and
lighter in style than Italian.
 New
English madrigals were soon cultivated,
some with refrain syllables ("fa la la").
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