- “Rebirth” of human creativity
- Contrast to the Middle Ages
- Based on Humanism – intellectual movement that looked back to ancient Greece and Rome as model civilizations.
- Realism in arts, nude body, less religious symbolism.
- Time of discoveries, explorations in arts, science, technology. Printing press invented.
Changes in music:
- Choirs grew in size, still all male
- Musical center shifts from church to the courts
- “patronage” system – working for a wealthy patron, which meant better status for musicians
- Italy- musical center during Renaissance
- Composers known by name
- Composers wrote religious and secular music, more and more secular music for fun, entertainment
- Most music was vocal, “a capella” (no instruments)
- Word painting – when the music depicts the text. (ex. The word “death” sung by low, slow notes)
- Polyphonic texture
- Polyphonic, sacred, in Latin
- Many masses were written
- More instruments allowed in church
- Not such strict difference between religious and secular music.
Josquin des Prez (1440-1521)
- Wrote religious music (masses) and secular music (music for fun, leisure)
- Very influential
- Mainly wrote all polyphonic music
- Imitation of voices very common in his music
- Composer of Ave Maria, virgo serena
- Very popular
- Mostly vocal
- Collection of songs became known
- Madrigal– short song for several voices (polyphonic). Originated in Italy approx. 1520. Uses word painting.
- Still subordinate to vocal music
- More instruments are used to accompany voices
- Instruments were not specified
- Purely instrumental music was used for
- Lute (predecessor to guitar) songs were very popular like Flow My Tears