Test 2 Review-The Middle Ages and Renaissance

    Terms|Music|Sacred Music-Middle Ages|Sacred-Music Rennaissance|Intsrumental Music-Rennaissance

      Terms To Know

      a cappella                                           parallel motion

      viol                                                     motet

      lute                                                    cantus firmus
      drone                                                  melisma

      loud/outdoor instruments                      Church modes

      madrigal                                             word painting

      "ars nova"                                           antiphonal

      organum                                             Gregorian chant

      soft/indoor instruments                        shawm

      troubadours/trouveres                         estampie

        Online Music Dictionary


     Pieces to know:

Anonymous-Alleluia: Videmus Stellam (CD 1/47)

    Anonymous-Estampie (CD 1/51)
    Machaut-Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous (CD 1/52)

    Machaut-“Agnus Dei” from Notre Dame Mass (CD 1/53)

    Josquin Deprez-Ave Maria..virgo serena (CD 1/56)

    Josquin Deprez-El Grillo (In class listening only)

    Palestrina-Kyrie from Pope Marcellus Mass (CD 1/59)

    Musical Characteristics of the Middle Ages:

  • Melodies are based on Church modes
  • Lack of strong “beat” (meter not regularly used until 11th and 12th centuries)
  • Polyphonic texture used later, but includes harsh dissonances due to focus on individual melodic part
  • Important composers: Hildegard of Bingen, Leonin, Perotin, Guillaume de Machaut


   Sacred Vocal Music of The Middle Ages



    Gregorian chant or chant was the official music of the Catholic church for over one thousand years. 

    Named for Pope Gregory I, chant was originally unaccompanied monophonic melody without meter.

    These melodies were derived from, Church modes, scales that have different patterns of intervals than major or minor scales.



     The main worship service of the Roman-Catholic Church is divided into two
     types of text. The mass proper has texts that change daily, depending on the
     church calendar. The mass ordinary features text that are the same every day.


                              Mass Proper                                Mass Ordinary

                               1. Introit

                                                                                2. Kyrie

                                                                                3. Gloria

                              4. Gradual

                              5. Alleluia

                              6. Sequence

                                                                                7. Credo

                              8. Offertory

                                                                                9. Sanctus

                                                                               10. Agnus dei

                             11. Communion

        The five daily prayers that are always sung are: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei.
        Since the 14th-century many composers have set these texts of the Mass to polyphonic music. This
        setting by Machaut is typical of the polyphonic style of the era. It is likely that instruments were used
        to double voice parts, but no specific instruments are indicated in the score.


        Secular Vocal Music of The Middle Ages



Created mostly by French noblemen, the Troubadours (Southern France) and the Trouveres (Northern France).  These poet-musicians left a large body of work, notated by clerics.  The manuscripts do not show specific rhythm, but it is likely these songs were performed in regular meter with some sort of instrumental accompaniment provided by one or more stringed instruments.


                  Example: Machaut-Puis qu'en oubli sui de vous



        Sacred Vocal Music of The Renaissance

        There are two main types of sacred music in the Renaissance, the mass and the motet.
        They sound similar, but the text is different.


                    Mass                                                      Motet

                    mostly polyphonic                                     mostly polyphonic

                    composed for several solo voices               composed for several solo voices

                    Latin text-from the mass ordinary               Latin text-from a part of the "liturgy" other than the mass ordinary
Palestrina-"Kyrie" from              Example: Josquin Ave Maria…virgo serena
            Pope Marcellus Mass



    Musical Characteristics of the Renaissance:


      Secular Vocal Music of The Renaissance

            Madrigal-a mostly polyphonic song, written for several solo voices
                   Originated in Italy (ca. 1520)

                   Musical settings of poems in various "vernacular" languages:

                            Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, English

                   Often imitated: bird calls, barking dogs, battle sounds, etc.

                   Frequent use of word painting-musical representation of text (or poetic images)

                   Two most important Italian madrigal composers: Luca Marenzio and Carlo Gesualdo

                   1588-Some Italian madrigals translated into English. Inspired English composers
                   such as Thomas Weelkes who composed As Vesta Was Descending, part of a collection

                   of madrigals called "The Triumphes of Oriana"

     Instrumental Music of The Renaissance

    Originally adapted from vocal music. Instrumental arrangements of motets or
    madrigals sometimes performed on lute, harp or organ.  Most instrumental music
    was performed as an accompaniment to dances like the pavanne or passamezzo,
    both stately dances in duple meter, or the galliard, a lively dance in triple meter.
    Often the dances were performed in pairs, so a passamezzo might be followed by a galliard.

Passamezzo and Galliard from "Terpsichore" composed by Caroubel,
                        arranged for instruments by Michael Praetorius

        Instruments were categorized according to their potential volume production:

        Soft/Indoor Instruments

        recorder (early flute)                                   viol (early bowed stringed inst.)


          lute (a pear shaped early guitar)                  rebec (early bowed string)



        Loud/Outdoor Instruments

        cornett (early trumpet)                            sackbut (early trombone)



       shawm (early double-reed,                         drums
            similar to the oboe)         



        Antiphonal Music

        St. Mark’s Cathedral

        During the late Renaissance, Venice, Italy was one of the main cultural centers of Europe.
        Much of the great music took place at the St. Mark’s Cathedral which had an unusual architecture.
        In each wing of the cathedral there was space in the balcony for a pipe organ, a choir and additional
        instruments (see Fig. B.) Composers Adrian Willaert, Andrea Gabrieli and Giovanni Gabrieli took advantage
        of this architecture by composing antiphonal music, pieces featuring alternating choirs of voices and/or
        instruments.  Giovanni Gabrieli is the most important of these composers. He was one of the first
        composers to specify instrumentation and dynamics.

        Fig. A-Inside St. Mark’s Cathedral



        Fig. B-St. Mark’s Floor plan


Terms|Music|Sacred Music-Middle Ages|Sacred-Music Rennaissance|Intsrumental Music-Rennaissance

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