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The Renaissance [15th-16th centuries

 The Renaissance was a time of rebirth in learning, science, and the

arts throughout Europe – cultural awakening.

 The rediscovery of the writings of ancient Greece and Rome led to a

renewed interest in learning in general.

 The invention of the printing press allowed the rapid transmission of

new ideas. As it spread, its ideas diversified and changed, being adapted to local culture.  Important movement: Humanism- system of beliefs that concentrates on common human needs & seeks rational (rather than divine) ways of solving human problems. Focused on human life & its accomplishments. Not concerned with an afterlife in heaven or hell.

 The invention of the compass permitted the navigation of the world’s oceans and the subsequent discovery of lands far removed from the European continent. 

Vasco da Gama: sailed from Portugal to India. Ferdinand Megallan: started from Spain, sailed around the world. Christopher Columbus: sailed west, landed in Caribbean, thought was India.

1) Secular music is non-religious music and it was becoming more popular

during this time. There was a rise in instrumental music and dance music, too.
2) The use of word-painting, musical representation of specific poetic

images – • • • • Descending melody: descending from heaven Series of rapid notes: running High pitch: sun, stars, skies Low pitch: underworld, abyss

3) Texture – chiefly polyphonic, with 4, 5 or 6 voices in a choral piece.
non-religious music (secular), usually love songs. sung with lots of imitation, which means the voices take turns singing same melody. o performed in groups of four, five, or six singers. o a polyphonic work with four or five voice parts singing one religious text. o similar to madrigals, but with an important difference: motets are religious works, while madrigals are usually love songs. A musical mass is like a motet, only longer. It also follows the religious service of the Catholic Church and is sung in a very specific order: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. It is performed in Latin. o o




JOSQUIN Desprez [1440-1521] and his motet.

Listening: Ave Maria……..Virgo Serena (Hail Mary…..Serene Virgin, 1502)
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina [1525-1594] and his mass.

Listening: Pope Marcellus Mass (1562-1563)
The musical mass was an important part of the Catholic Church's religious service, sung in Latin. Each part of the celebration would have a different musical number. Here is the order in which the music would be performed: Kyrie Gloria Credo Sanctus Benedictus Agnus Dei Kyrie means God. This is the first piece in a musical mass. Gloria means Glory and follows the Kyrie. Credo means Creed of Belief. It follows the Gloria. Sanctus means Holy. Benedictus means Blessed. Agnus Dei means Lamb of God.

Secular Music in the Renaissance
• • • • • Became increasingly popular, music was set to poems in various languages (Italian, French, Spanish, German, Dutch & English). Development of music printing widely spread secular music Music was an important leisure activity, every educated person was expected to play an instrument & read notation. Secular music was written for groups of solo voices, and for solo voice with instruments. Contained more rapid shifts of mood than sacred music.

The Renaissance Madrigal  Originated in Italy around 1520, during a creative explosion in Italian poetry. An important kind of secular vocal music set to a short poem, usually about love. Published by thousands in 16th century, sung by cultivated aristocrats.

Listening: As Vesta Was Descending (1601), by Thomas Weelkes (ca. 1575-1623)

The Renaissance Ballett (Fa-La)
 A simply type of secular vocal music, a dancelike song for several solo voices. In contrast, ballet was mostly homophonic in texture, with the melody in the highest voice.

Listening” Now is the Month of Maying (1595), by Thomas Morley (15571603)