The Renaissance Era - Kettering City School District

 Leonardo
da Vinci (1452-1519),
 Fall of Constantinople (1453)
 Gutenberg Bible printed (1456) printing
 Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543), Polish
 Michelangelo (1475-1564) painter,
 Martin Luther (1483-1546) religious
 Columbus
discovers the New World
 First music book printed in Italy (1501)
 Council of Trent begins (1545)
 Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England
 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
 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
 The
focus on human fulfillment rather
than the hereafter; a new way of thinking
centered on human issues and the
 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
 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
 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
 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
 All 5 movements are part of the Ordinary or
fixed portion.
 Movements for special occasions (Proper)
were added in between the Ordinary-see
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
polyphonic texture (four voices)
• Renaissance motet had a single Latin text
• Majority of motets had a Marian (Virgin Mary)
• Typically motets were written for 3, 4, or more
• Sometimes motets were based on a cantus firmus
 Josquin des Prez of Northern France was
considered one of the greatest Renaissance motet
• 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
 Composed sacred and secular music.
Protestant revolt led by Martin Luther (1483–1546):
• Catholic response: Counter-Reformation (1530s–
 Council of Trent attendees sought to reform Catholic
 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
 Professional
musicians entertained in courts
and at civic functions.
 Merchant
class amateurs played and sang at
 Most
popular instruments: lute, keyboard
A well-bred young woman was expected to
have studied music.
 Some women achieved great fame as
professional singers.
Main Music genres: chanson and
 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
 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,
 Instrumentation was unspecified.
 The occasion dictated the ensemble:
(indoor or outdoor).
 Pavane: stately
court dance.
 Saltarello: quicker
 Galliard: more
Italian jumping dance.
vigorous French version of
 Allemande: German
 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
 Includes "loaded" words: weeping,
sighing, trembling, dying, etc.
 Music: sets
text expressively.
 Instruments double or substitute for the
 Three phases of the madrigal:
First phase (c. 1525–1550)
 Entertaining for the performers (often
 Second
phase (c. 1550–1580):
 Art form in which music and words were clearly
 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
 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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