Published byJulia Parks Modified over 8 years ago
A Rebirth of Knowledge Renaissance means rebirth. This period saw a rebirth in knowledge. The Renaissance was turning from God to man. Science and the arts were becoming more important. Christopher Columbus discovered America Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel William Shakespeare was writing his famous plays Secular (non-religious) music was becoming more popular. There was a rise in instrumental and dance music.
The printing press was invented during the Renaissance
The printing press was invented during the Renaissance. Some people consider this to be the most important contribution to civilization in the last thousand years! It allowed music to be printed quickly - before then, it had to be copied by hand. One of the most famous people from the Renaissance was Leonardo da Vinci. He was known as a Renaissance man because he could do many things well. He was a painter, architect, inventor, scientist, poet, musician and teacher.
A Cappella: The Golden Age of Singing
The golden age of the a cappella style Singers sang without instruments Vocal music was still more important than instrumental music Madrigals were popular: song forms performed in groups of four, five, or six singers. A madrigal is secular (non-religious) music. Madrigals were usually love songs. (Extract: Fair Phyllis)
Fair Phyllis A madrigal by the English composer John Farmer, published in 1599 and sung a cappella style A polyphonic work (many musical lines of equal importance) This piece is sung with 4 voices using some imitation (the voices take turns singing the same melody) Uses clever word painting
Word painting A technique in which the composer seeks to try to musically ‘paint’ the words of the text - the music illustrates the meaning of a particular word. E.g. the word ‘shake’ might be illustrated by trills or running by descending scales. The story of the music was often reflected in the sound: death or sadness by a minor key and discords, and happiness by a bright major key and a dance-like style.
In the opening line: "Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone" only the soprano sings, since she was all alone. In the next line: "Feeding her flock near to the mountain side", all the voices sang since it was her flock. In the second phrase: "Up and down he wandered…then they fell a- kissing" repeats cause the elusion of ‘kissing up and down’.
The song describes a person who saw a young shepherdess sitting alone feeding her sheep near a mountain. The other shepherds did not know where she was at the time. Her boyfriend, Amyntas, goes looking for her and wanders through the hills playing hide and seek. Eventually he finds her and when he does, they kiss. Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone Feeding her flock near to the mountain side. The shepherds knew not, they knew not whither she was gone, But after her lover Amyntas hide, Up and down he wandered whilst she was missing; When he found her, O then they fell a-kissing
Religious music was still very important:
* Choral music was an extension of the Gregorian chant. It was sung a cappella and in Latin * Motets were popular (polyphonic works) with four or five voice parts singing one religious text Giovanni Palestrina was considered one of the great masters of Renaissance music. He was an Italian who wrote mostly religious works. He wrote motets, madrigals, and masses.
The musical mass * An important part of the Catholic Church's religious service * Each part of the celebration had a different musical number * Sung in Latin The order in which the music would be performed: Kyrie (means God) Gloria (means glory) Credo (means creed or belief) Sanctus (means Holy) Benedictus (means blessed) Agnus Dei (means Lamb of God)
Remember the Three M's: Madrigal, Motet and Mass
a polyphonic work (has many musical lines of equal importance) sung with lots of imitation (the voices take turns singing the same melody) performed in groups of four, five, or six singers secular (non-religious) music usually love songs Motet a polyphonic work usually religious works Mass like a motet, only longer follows the religious service of the Catholic Church sung in a very specific order: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei performed in Latin
Anthem religious music performed in the reformed or protestant church After the Reformation of the church, started by Martin Luther in Germany in 1517, music for the reformed church started to appear about 50 years later. Listen to this example of an English anthem, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ by Orlando Gibbons. Notice the polyphonic, a cappella style of the composition and the imitative entries through all the voices. Most of the music of the Renaissance was polyphonic, but something new was being heard.
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