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The Renaissance Period of Western Musical History

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This brief slide presentation contains information about the music of the Renaissance period.

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The Renaissance Period of Western Musical History

  1. 1. The Renaissance Period of Western Music History circa 1400 to 1600 A.D.
  2. 2. “Renaissance,” is a word from Old French, meaning “rebirth,” usually in a spiritual sense. The Renaissance period in Western history was a cultural movement that began in Florence, Italy in approximately 1400 A.D. and gradually spread through most (but not all) of Europe.
  3. 3. The Renaissance marks the passing of European society from an exclusively religious orientation to a more secular one, and from an age of unquestioning faith and mysticism to one of belief in reason and scientific inquiry.
  4. 4. Types of Renaissance Music Vocal Music As in the Medieval period, sacred vocal music (religious music that is sung) is still very prevalent in the Renaissance. But in addition to this, there is also a lot more non-sacred (non-religious) music.
  5. 5. In addition to sacred choral music such as motets and masses, there is a new form of non-sacred vocal music in the Renaissance called the Madrigal. A Madrigal is a short composition for a small group of voices singing a cappella, or without accompaniment. Madrigals were a form of entertainment music in the Renaissance.
  6. 6. Important Musical Developments During The Renaissance The rise of instrumental music was one of the two most significant musical developments during the Renaissance. During this time, music for groups of instruments was written to accompany vocal music such as motets, as dance music, and also as a pure form of art.
  7. 7. Important Musical Developments During The Renaissance Another very significant musical development that took place during the Renaissance was the development of an organized system of harmony. Although it wouldn’t be until the middle of the Baroque period before harmony reached a point that it was somewhat standardized, the beginnings of what most people today would recognize as harmony took place during the Renaissance period.
  8. 8. Important Renaissance Composers • Josquin des Prez - (Flemish; 1455-1521) • Giovanni Palestrina - (Italian; 1526-1594) • Orlando de Lassus - Flemish; 1530-1594) • William Byrd - (English; 1543-1623) • Tomás Luis de Victoria - (Spanish; 1548-1611) • Giovanni Gabrieli - (Italian; 1553-1612) • Michael Praetorius - (German; 1571-1621) • Orlando Gibbons - (English; 1583-1625)
  9. 9. Renaissance Art Leonardo da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper (circa 1495)
  10. 10. Renaissance Art Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, Mona Lisa (circa 1503-1507) The painting is widely regarded as the world’s most famous work of art.
  11. 11. Renaissance Art Michelangelo Buonarroti’s sculpture, Pieta (1498-1499)

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