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Renaissance Music 1400 - 1600 Renaissance Period - 1400 - 1600 • Renaissance means 'rebirth' and denotes a period in history where there was a resurgence of interest in culture and learning based on the ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans. • It was a period of great progress in science and astronomy while great explorers from European nations ventured over the oceans on great voyages of discovery. • Sacred choral music still remained as the most important music but composers started to take a much greater interest in composing secular music - music for use out with the church. Composers of the Period Thomas Tallis 1505 - 1585 William Byrd 1543 - 1623 Orlando Gibbons 1583 -1625 The Tallis Scholars - Thomas Tallis - Miserere Nostri Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 23 November 1585) was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England's early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: the earliest, painted by Gerard van der Gucht, dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no certainty that it is a likeness. William Byrd - Mass for Five Voices - Gloria in Excelsis Deo William Byrd (1540 or late 1539 – 4 July 1623) was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music. String Instruments Viol Family The viol (also known as the Viola da gamba) is any one of a family of string instruments developed in the mid-late 15th century and used primarily in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. They are NOT violins! The most important string instrument of the period. The instruments had six strings over a fretted fingerboard and a flat back with sloping shoulders, and were played with a bow which was more curved than the present-day bow. The instruments sat upright in front of the player, the smaller ones sitting on the player’s knees and the larger ones between, much like a present-day cello player. a small group of musicians performing together, typically playing instrumental music of the Renaissance period. AH Lute • Usually with 12 strings tuned in pairs stretched over a fretted fingerboard like a present-day guitar. • The body had a pear-shaped sound box with the neck bent back almost at right angles to the fret board. • It was used as a solo instrument and to accompany singers. a solo song, although occasionally with more parts. Accompanied by lute. AH Brass Instruments Sackbut An early kind of trombone which had a much smaller bell than the present-day instrument and as a result it had quite a round and mellow tone. Trumpet Early instruments had been a straight tube like the fanfare trumpets used by the military today, but without valves. This tube was now folded up, similar to the shape and looks of a present-day trumpet but without the valves. Woodwind Instruments Recorders There was a whole family of recorders from very large to very small to cover the whole spectrum of sound and all with simple finger holes to change the pitch of notes. Sacred choral music Plainchant The earliest music to be written down. They were sung in unison by monks and based on the various modes which were used at this time. These chants were sung during the service within the church as processionals, for the offering, for specific dates in the church calendar, or just as part of the service. This plainsong, often called ‘Gregorian chants’ after the name of Pope Gregory, who died in 604, was the first music to be written down and was to be fundamental in the development of western music over the coming centuries. is a polyphonic choral composition that sets to portions of the liturgy (principally that of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism) to music. The usual words that are set to music are known as the Ordinary. The Ordinary consists of five parts: Kyrie (Lord have mercy upon us….) Gloria (Glory be to thee….) Credo (I believe in God the Father….) Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy….) Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God…) religious music for performance in the reformed or protestant church. Often polyphonic, a cappella style of the composition with imitative entries through all the voices. Sung in English. AH a short composition with Latin text for performance in a Roman Catholic church. AH Secular Choral Music a secular vocal music composition. Traditionally polyphonic, madrigals are unaccompanied and through composed. Madrigals often include examples of Word Painting. AH This was a light-hearted madrigal that was strophic in style (verse repeating and the same music for each verse), with each verse ending with a fa-la chorus. The music was often more homophonic in style (more chordal) than the madrigal proper. AH Dances Pavane A pavane was a slow, stately dance with two beats in a bar which was usually performed before a galliard. AH Galliard A galliard usually followed a performance of a pavane and was a quicker dance, with three beats in a bar. AH During this period composers also experimented with collections of dances played together as a ‘suite’.