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Music Styles In The Renaissance Era

1075 words - 4 pages

Renaissance era or rebirth ear brought a new attitude towards music. It started in Europe, Italy to be exact, from the fourteen to the sixteen century. Italians wanted to bring “the rebirth of their past” (Kerman, p.65).This period brought the rebirth of humanism and acceptance of diversity of cultures.
Music was made to be played in the church during prayer times. When church lost power and control, music moved to the courts. Artists and musicians had more freedom and individualism to create music of their choice. During Renaissance era music sounds had smooth, imitative and polyphonic style. Renaissance music was church music or sacred music and secular music or non church music. Sacred music was still popular and it consisted of motet, mass, madrigal and laude genres. Motet is “short composition with Latin words, made up of short sections in the homophony and imitative polyphony.” (Kerman, p.77)
Mass is “the largest and most important service of the Christian liturgy” (Kerman, P. 68). Instrumental music was introduced for the first time. An “instrumental genre was the dance the pavan and the galliard” (Kerman, p.79). Most famous composers of that time were Dufay, Despres, Ockeghem and Dunstable.
“During the Baroque period, the foundations were laid for the following 300 or so years of musical expression: the idea of the modern orchestra was born, along with opera (including the overture, prelude, aria, recitative and chorus), the concerto, sonata, and modern cantata. The rather soft-grained viol string family of the Renaissance was gradually replaced by the bolder violin, viola and cello, the harpsichord was invented, and important advances were made in all instrumental groups.”(Naxos)
Baroque music was more intense and the text was melodic. What made this music so unique is basso continuo and “the belief in the doctrine of the affections” (thinkquest). The difference between Baroque music and Renaissance music is that composers were able to express their emotions and feeling when composing. Another characteristic of the Baroque era was “the emphasis on contrast of volume, texture, and pace in the music, as compared to music of the late Renaissance which did not concentrate on these elements. In addition, Baroque music broke away from the harshness of the Medieval and early Renaissance style with new emphasis on the use of vocal and instrumental color. Secular types of music were now in abundance and used as widely as those of the liturgical musical styles. Imitative polyphony (more than one line of music) still was an extremely important factor in writing and playing music, while the homophonic method (a musical technique that displays a vast separation amongst the melody line and the accompaniment) was gaining acceptance and use quite rapidly. This homophonic style eventually became dominant in instrumental forms of music as well. Musical works containing a continuo part in which a keyboard (usually an organ or harpsichord) and a bass...

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