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MU47G – The History of Western Music Unit VI: Humanism, Josquin and Palestrina The Renaissance (1450 CE-1600 CE)

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Presentation on theme: "MU47G – The History of Western Music Unit VI: Humanism, Josquin and Palestrina The Renaissance (1450 CE-1600 CE)"— Presentation transcript:

1 MU47G – The History of Western Music Unit VI: Humanism, Josquin and Palestrina The Renaissance (1450 CE-1600 CE)

2 Review! The 12 th and 13 th century – End of Middle Ages -> Ars Antiqua – Roman de Fauvel is the first important work of the Ars Nova. – Guillaume de Machaut Wrote chansons and secular songs with fixed forms. Messe de Notre Dame.

3 Humanism (and more secular manners…) With the church becoming less and less publicly- credible during the Ars Nova, an interest in human emotion and senses arose. Less concerned with their immortal souls, more concerned with earthly delights… Humanism – An interest in the culture of antiquity (Greece/Rome) – Learning about ancient philosophy, poems, epics, art. – The pursuit of new knowledge, especially with medicine and science.

4 Mass Spread of Information Printing Press – 1455 – Gutenberg prints the first Holy Bible on the printing press. – 1501 – Petrucci prints the first sheet music.

5 New Developments A Capella-style – Vocal performance without instrumental accompaniment Continuous Imitation – Exchanging motives through musical parts Growth in solo instrumental music – Esp. lute and keyboard – As polyphony is getting more prominent, polychordal instruments (more than one note at a time) gained more prominence. Word Painting – Making the lyrics fit the music Ascending melodies, ending with the word stars on the highest note. Harsh dissonance on the word, Death.

6 Remember the Doctrine of Ethos? Ancient art and music stirred the soul… why didnt modern music do the same thing? Doctrine of Ethos (from Ancient Greece) – Modes stir the spirit. Dodekachordon (1547) – Heinrich Glareanus (Swiss) – 4 new modes: Ionian Hypoionian Aeolian Hypoaeolian

7 Consonance and Dissonance Movement away from perfect harmony (P4s, P5s and P8s) into thirds and sixths. Thirds and sixths were considered dissonant: – Pythagorean Tuning – long time ago… (tuning to 4ths and 5ths) Perfect intervals sound good, all others… not so good. – Ramos de Pareja – 1482 (tuning 3rds and 6ths) Thirds/Sixths sound good… all others… not so good. – Just Tuning - end of 1500s (simple ratios) 3:2 and 4:3 for P4/P5 (same) 5:4 and 6:5 for major/minor 3rds. Various compromises, especially with polyphony – (in other words, lots of out of tune harmony…yikes)

8 Counterpoint Concept the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm, but are harmonically interdependent. punctus contra punctus (Latin) – note against note. While important in earlier polyphony, it develops radically as thirds/sixths were introduced into consonant harmony. – More notes, more possibility, more rules.

9 Who Used Counterpoint? Josquin des Pres (c CE – 1521 CE) – Marks the transition from the obscure Middle Ages composer to the famous, very individual Renaissance one. – Motets… lots of Motets. Sacred, used in masses, single Latin text… at least, in the Renaissance. – Franco-Flemish (France/Netherlands area) – Worked in several courts, mostly (but not entirely) in Italy. (see handout, near end, p.99)

10 Ave Maria… virgo serena Composer: Josquin des Pres Date: 1497 Sacred/Secular: Sacred Monphonic/Polyphonic: Polyphonic Genre: Motet (4 voices) Language: Latin Occasion: Mass Text: Rhymed poem to the Virgin Mary.

11 Ave Maria… virgo serena Starts by referencing the chant (cantus firmus), then goes into melody that corresponds to the words in the text. High voices and low voices imitate each other. Final words (O Mother of God, remember me) set in simple texture, allowing focus to go to the words.

12 Boy Wonder Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c CE) Commonly referred to as Palestrina, his birthplace (instead of by his last name) Organist and choirmaster of the Sistine Chapel for most of his life. 115 Masses, 100 Motets and many madrigals.

13 … Madrigals? We havent talked much about these, but they are beautiful… A love song based on a popular tune, but with a skillful musical structure. Lets listen to some…

14 Back to Palestrina… Pope Marcellus Mass Name: Pope Marcellus Mass Composer: Palestrina Date: 1567 Genre: Mass; Gloria (ordinary mass) Voices: 6 Prominent Characteristics: – Texture Changes… a lot.

15 The Next Step… As music AND counterpoint was becoming more complex, harmony started to lean towards particular home notes. – 7-8 (or 7-5… raised leading tone) – 2-1 – 5-3 (or 5-5) – Addition of Ionian and Aeolian modes… Certain lines/notes have certain rules that they follow ALL THE TIME.

16 Shift Towards TONALITY Many Renaissance pieces are not quite modal, not quite tonal. (Next slide)

17 Monteverdi! Claudio Monteverdi ( CE) 1601 CE - Court musician for the Duke of Mantua CE – Becomes Choirmaster at St. Marks until his death in He wrote much dramatic music (including the first operas in the Baroque Era), but most importantly, he published 8 books of madrigals that show the transition out of the Renaissance Era and into the Baroque ( ).

18 A un giro sol Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Date: 1603 Genre: Madrigal (for 5-voices) Text: – Eight lines: a b a b c c d d – Exaggerated contrast of light/dark, hope/despair – Word painting giro sol (turning glance) ride laria dintorno (the breeze laughs all about) Increase of tonal tendencies.

19 Recap! A Capella-style – Vocal performance without instrumental accompaniment Continuous Imitation – Exchanging motives through musical parts Growth in solo instrumental music – Esp. lute and keyboard – As polyphony is getting more prominent, polychordal instruments (more than one note at a time) gained more prominence. Word Painting – Making the lyrics fit the music Ascending melodies, ending with the word stars on the highest note. Harsh dissonance on the word, Death. Instrumental Music… Yes, instruments can play music too.

20 Recap!


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