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Transcript of RENAISSANCE
: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo
The Renaissance Scholar was expected to master all branches of knowledge. Leonardo da Vinci had an insatiable desire to know everything - held up as the ideal Renaissance man.
- unaccompanied choral composition based on sacred Latin text not used in a mass
Instruments grouped into:
CONSORTS or MIXED CONSORTS
Canzona, Ricercar, Toccata
Use of Dance Forms (pavane/galliard)
Crumhorn, Hurdygurdy, Natural Trumpet
1563 - 1626
The Renaissance is an important time period for modern music and musical instruments. Many styles and techniques came about in this time. More importantly, most of the instruments that we see today have evolved from instruments from the Renaissance.
smooth / regular / flow
metre generally unstressed
Mostly modal, accidentals creeping in as period progressed.
'Musica Ficta' - the avoidance of 'diabolus in musica' - Tritone
Determined by text, Cantus Firmus
Mass, Motet, Madrigal, Lute Song
Homogeneous Families of Instruments
Conjunct & relatively unarticulated
- ancestor to double reed instruments:
Oboe, Bassoon, English horn
Popular for outdoor use during the Renaissance.
Made from one cylindrical piece of wood.
One thumb hole & seven finger holes - 2 octaves. Small ones were made out of 1 piece of wood, whereas the larger ones were made out of several & had a key for the lower notes.
Very popular in England - simple to play.
Harp, Lute, Guitar
(strings made from twisted animal gut, horse hair or silk)
During the Renaissance the Lute held the highest respect of all musical instruments. Plectrums were replaced by fingertips to provide delicacy, expressiveness & nuances of performance, also facilitated complex polyphony.
The lute became the perfect solo instrument as well as an ideal accompaniment for the voice & other soft instruments. Vast repertoire of secular music.
: fiddles, violin family
: viols, superficially like violins and played with a bow. Bow is slightly convex and held palm outwards (in contrast to concave modern bow). Also has 6 strings rather than 4 along with frets.
viola da braccia
viola da gamba
(held over the arm)
(held between the legs)
Wooden, with holes not keys (except for lowest note) similar to a fife.
- large church organ
- strings plucked by quills
- strings struck by metal tangents
- smaller & simpler version of harpsichord, often with no legs
- pipe & tabor
- various types of drum
A guide to Medieval & Renaissance instruments:
1532 - 1594
Another type of curved cornett is a serpent.
A bass cornett, curved to reach the finger holes
Cornetts - made out of wood, played by buzzing lips into mouthpiece. 3 main types:
Sackbut - ancestor to the trombone, also made out of wood (or thin metal) & had a handle on the slide to reach lower notes.
- songs, varied in style, expressing every kind of human mood & emotion. Some very contrapuntal with great use of imitation, while others are mainly chordal, using clear-cut rhythms from dance music.
- larger version of the Shawm, has a crook to hold the reed - similar to a bassoon.
Could be muted by placing a metal cover over the top.
(Audio - Orlando Gibbons - Consort of Viols)
Ideal accompaniment for dance & entertainment
Josquin des Prez
1440 - 1521
(treated more freely, accidentals gradually creeping in)
Bass voice added -
richer fuller texture
4 or more voice parts
, rather than contrasting textures
Smoother treatment of dischords
Church music - a cappella, contrapuntal, imitation, dovetailing, continuously flowing, seamless texture.
St Mark's -
Secular music - rich variety of vocal & instrumental music
of Rennaissance instruments - forming families (same instrument different sizes) - consorts
Innsbruck, ich muss dich lessen
Il est bel et bon
Oy comamos y bemamos
Listen to: Tallis -
Hear thy voice & prayer 1547
Listen to: Palestrina -
Missa Papae Marcelli
Spem in alium
We sing and we chant it
Missa Papae Marcelli
The Earle of Salisbury Pavan 1612
Susato - Danserye 1551
Seamless texture, polyphony, imitation
Antiphonal, St Marks, Venice, Italy
- unaccompanied choral composition set to specific religious text (Liturgy) 5 parts:
Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
- Counterpart of the motet but sung in English
Listen to: Josquin -
Absalon fili mi
?1509 (story from the bible - David’s lament upon the death of his treacherous son Absalon)
Listen to different types of songs below which were popular during the Renaissance period.
Make a note of the main features:
Contrapuntal with use of imitation - or mainly chordal?
For one or more solo voices - or several singers per voice part?
Unaccompanied - or with instruments?
Elizabethan Madrigals - in 1588 a collection of Italian madrigals with English words was published in England. This sparked great enthusiasm and soon English composers were writing their own madrigals, which were performed usually one singer per part, in the homes of keen music-lovers. There came to be three kinds:
all voices equally important
light, springy texture
lighter in style
clear cut dance-like rhythm
mainly chordal texture
'fa-la-la' refrain at section endings
Solo voice accompanied by lute, viols or all parts sung by voices
Often printed on two facing pages of a book, melody on the left with words underneath & lower parts on the right. In performance the book was placed on a table so that singers/instrumentalists could be seated around it, sharing the same copy.
Greatest composer: John Dowland (also expert lute player)
The madrigal proper
Listen to: Thomas Weelkes
As Vesta was from Latmos Hill descending
1601 (written for 6 solo voices)
Listen to: Thomas Morley
Now is the month of maying
Listen to: John Dowland
Flow my teares