Medieval Music Vs Renaissance Music Essay

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Renaissance music differed heavily from that of the Dark Ages and thus formed the beginning of ‘modern’ Western art music. Resulting mainly from different compositional techniques, music in the Renaissance became more harmonic then that of the previous era. By comparing harmonic systems, counterpoint techniques and textural elements between these two eras, it is evident that music of the Renaissance marks the start of Western art music as we know it today. The perception of harmony started to move from Medieval tuning to a more triadic system. Throughout the Medieval period, music was primarily consonant. Based on their mathematical approach to music with Pythagorean ratios, fifths, fourths or octaves were the only consonant intervals. Thus, music was to move in ways that would only give these intervals. This was experimented with throughout the 14th Century with late Medieval polyphony. While some cadences did exist in the Medieval period, they were hollow in sound due to the open fifth resolution. As we move through the Renaissance, composers gained influences from English composers and developed a preference for thirds and sixths. Music became more about the sound…show more content…
While some components of Medieval music can be seen as similar, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that music started to develop ‘modern’ characteristics. Counterpoint developed to emphasise consonances with dissonances and bring homogeneity to a piece. The elaboration of triadic harmony and the maturity of polyphonic music added more clarity and focused on sound as opposed to mathematical logic. Music started to become an art form in the Renaissance which was not present in the previous era. Without the advancements in the Renaissance, music would not have developed into what is known today as ‘modern’ Western art

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