Music in the Renaissance period

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RENAISSANCEMUSICHow did music develop in this period?

IntroductionRenaissance began on the 15th Century, in Europe, where a massive social, cultural and religious change was going on at that time. Renaissance means rebirth, rebirth of music, society and rebirth of the culture. At this time, ancient Greeks and Romans were reborn.Humanism was an intellectual movement based on the idea that human beings are the centre of the Universe. This was very different from the theological perspective of medieval times. This idea along the changes in religion are important to understand musics evolution.

Martin Luther founded Protestant Reformation. He wanted to separate Protestants and Catholic Church. This brought several changes to music:Music was written in German, so everyone could understand it. Creation of chorale: music form based on songs with lyrics in German that were sung at the religious service. It became the most characteristic form of music in Protestantism.Another important form, were psalms. The anthem was the music form used in the Anglican Church in England and it was similar to the Catholic motet.

MusicThere were two stages of vocal music:Religious vocal music: Mass: Form of music based on the union of sacred texts that use eucharistic liturgies.Motet: Polyphonic composition without accompaniment.Secular vocal music:Most important form was the madrigal. It began in Italy, was normally sung a capella, but sometimes it held instruments as accompaniment.Other forms of secular music that developed in Europe were: Chanson (France), lied (Germany), romance, ensalada and villancico from Spain.Medieval music used the instruments to reinforce the voice. In the Renaissance, instruments began to be more important and compositions of purely instrumental music began to appear.Other types of instrumental compositions were the following:Those which developed from vocal music (tiento, canzona and ricercar).Variations: series on a gradual modifications of a melody.Improvisations: There is not a set rhythm, melody or structure and it is the improvisation which makes the music (fantasias and toccatas).

DancesImportant type of instrumental music.Ballroom dancing.Typical: pavane and galliard.

Some examples of dances:Allemande, Fall dances, Branle, Canary, Coranto, Lavolta, Tourdion, Saraband.

Important composers of that timeThe main composers of religious vocal music were Orlando di Lasso (Italy), Toms Luis de Victoria and Cristbal de Morales (Spain).The most important composer of madrigals was Carlo Gesualdo.From the Franco-Flemish School they were Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prs.In Rome main composers were Giovanni de Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso.In Venice, Andrea Gabrieli and his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli.Main composer of secular music in Spain was Juan de la Encina.

Renaissance instruments

Some examples of music:




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