music of the renaissance (1450-1600). renaissance means “rebirth”

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  • Music of the Renaissance(1450-1600)

  • Renaissance means Rebirth

  • New scientific & geographical explorationCopernicus ColumbusMagellan

  • Power Shift The Church (Catholic Church) loses some power to secular governments (Nobility of court system - Kings, Queens, etc.)Still important patron of the artsAuthority challengedMartin Luther (1483-1546)

  • HUMANISMNew intellectual movementFocused on human accomplishmentsRediscovery of Greek and Roman books and culture via the Middle East

  • Resulting Changes in ArtArtists make art that has to do everyday HUMAN feelingsArtists look back to Greek and Roman ArtAncient Greek and Roman music had a RHETORICAL quality Meant to represent a feeling or idea Ancient Greek and Roman visual art was about mythological subjects or real people of nobility; these people were represented in a life-like manner with an emphasis on sensuality of HUMAN body

  • How did Renaissance composers write more rhetorical music?More life-like text rhythmsWord PaintingLiteral or mimetic correspondencesexample: aloneFigurative or symbolic depiction (punning & double meanings)example: high on the mountaintopEmotional connotationsexample: (chromaticism) on pain and sorrow

  • Word PaintingMusical representation of specific images - for example, a falling melodic line ot accompany the word descending - often found in Renaissance and Baroque music

  • THOMAS WEELKES (c. 1575-1623) As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descendingmadrigal genrea cappella vocal compositiontext is a sonnet (Renaissance poem) in the vernacular (English)sung 1 on a part in intimate settingincludes both imitative polyphony and homophonylots of examples of text painting

  • MadrigalComposition for several voices set to a short secular poem, usually about love, combining homophonic and polyphonic textures and often using word painting; common in Renaissance music

  • A cappella (literally meansof the church in Latin, but can refer to both sacred and secular music)

    Choral music without instrumental accompaniment

  • As Vesta was from Latmos hill descendingShe spied a maiden Queen the same ascending,Attended on by all the shepherdsswain;To whom Dianas darlings came running down amainFirst two by two, then three by three togetherLeaving their Goddess all alone, hasted thither;And mingling with the shepherds of her train,With mirthful tunes her presence did entertain.Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana:Long live fair Oriana!


    (English Renaissance Madrigalist)Upon a bank with roses set about

  • Upon a bank with roses set about,Where pretty turtles joining bill to billAnd gentle springs steal softly murmuring out,Washing the foot of pleasures sacred hill, There little Love sore wounded lies,His bow and arrows broken,Bedewed with tears from Venuss eyesO grevious to be spoken.


    (English Renaissance Madrigalist)Fair Phyllis

  • Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all aloneFeeding her flock near to the mountain side.The shepherds knew not wither she had gone,But after [her], her lover Amyntas hied.Up and down he wandered while she was missing;When he found her,oh, then they fell a-kissing.

  • JOSQUIN DESPREZ (c. 1440-1521)Two types of SACRED Renaissance music GENRESMASS MOTETSACRED Renaissance music DOES NOT use Text PaintingEmphasis is on musical structure and religious otherworldly musical qualities

  • MotetPolyphonic choral work set to a sacred Latin text other than that of the mass; one of the two main forms of sacred Renaissance music

  • Rhythm

    "speech-like" and gently flowing rhythms


    longer melodies with larger rangers (more higher and lower notes); smooth, more scalar melodies(pitch movement by step) with arch-like shapes


    lots of imitation of tiny bits of melody


    mostly at one level, changes are made in the volume by adding together more voices


    mostly polyphonic (some homophony, more imitative polyphony )


    very consonant (secular music uses dissonance for text painting)


    almost all vocal music; use of full mixed (men and women/children) choirs or small groups (1 on a part) ; a cappella

  • Musical RhetoricRefers to the emotive (causing a listener to feel a specific way) or persuasive (causing the listener to "see" a scene or "hear" a story) power of musicAn example of musical rhetoric is the way a composer tries to "paint" a picture of a scene, story, or idea in the listener's mind of a written text, which is either sung or given to the listener in the form of a program.

  • FRANZ SCHUBERT - Erlking (The Elfking)

    Lied (leet) / Lieder (leader)An art song with a German text

  • ANTONIO VIVALDI - First Movement: Allegro from La Primavera [Spring], Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1 from The Four Seasons

  • Spring has come, and joyfully,The birds greet it with a happy song.And the streams, fanned by gentle breezes,Flow along with a sweet murmur.Covering the sky with a black cloak,Thunder and lightning come to announce the season.When these have quieted down, the little birds Return to their enchanting song.

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)Painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, & scientistA Renaissance ManEmphasis on educationMona LisaReal person

  • Botticelli (1445-1510)The Birth of Venus (1485)Mythological deityEmphasis on reality & sensuality of human bodyLa Primavera (1477-78)Mix of real people & mythological charactersDepiction of everyday HUMAN emotions

  • Michelangelo (1475-1564)David (1504)Biblical characterReal personEmphasis on reality & sensuality of human body

  • Raphael (1483-1520)Aristotle and Plato (1511)Greek and Roman influenceReal personsThe School of Athens (1511)Greek and Roman influenceEmphasis on reality with use of perspective

  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)Playwright who writes about real and mythological personsExample: Romeo & JulietFocuses on everyday HUMAN feelings


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