Characteristics Of Renaissance Music

964 Words4 Pages
Music of the Renaissance Era A report by Deborah Lam Introduction The Renaissance era was a period in European history that sparked major cultural change and renewed interest in Classical education and values, and one of the most significant aspects of this movement was music. Renaissance music flourished during the era at around 1430 – 1600, evolving from the strict, church-regulated Gregorian chants of the medieval era to a new range of different music styles that eventually paved the way to the music of the Baroque period. Heavily influenced by popular ideas and themes of the Renaissance such as humanism, innovation, discovery and literature, Renaissance music opened up the art to a wider audience, causing major developments in…show more content…
Despite this, Renaissance music often broke free from the musical limitations of the medieval era, allowing more personal expression and freedom of rhythm, melody, harmony and structure, particularly towards the second half of the Renaissance. Characteristics Renaissance music is typically characterized by its polyphonic texture and blending of different melodic lines. Unlike medieval music, which was also often polyphonic but had musical layers that contrasted with one another, Renaissance music involved the blending of different layers using compositional techniques such as imitation and fugues - two or more voices on a theme that imitates each other repeatedly throughout the piece (Fuller, 2010). Renaissance composers focused heavily on the use of harmony, abandoning the shell harmony of medieval music for a complete true…show more content…
Although instruments were mostly used to accompany dance and vocal music during the early decades of the era, composers gradually began to develop an interest in instrumental music, and instruments such as the lute, the viol, the crumhorn and the racket were often performed by virtuoso players in consorts. Sacred Choral Music Late Renaissance era (c.1500 – c.1600) While the early Renaissance period led to an increase in the freedom of music and the popularity of masses, motets and music education, the later years of the era saw major development in polyphonic choral compositions and eventually paved the way for the beginning of the Baroque era. There were many groups of composers who were particularly influential, such as: • the Franco-Flemish School (the Burgundian States in the Netherlands) – e.g. Josquin • the Roman School – e.g.
Open Document