The Evolution Of Music During The Renaissance Period

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In 1835, Henry Longfellow stated, “music is the universal language of mankind.” Music is incredible in its agility to provide an exorbitant array of sounds, sentiments, rhythms, and genres, and in its ability to illustrate the immense depth and emotion that words cannot express. Music has evolved immensely throughout the past thousand years and more, from its origins in the Medieval Period, beginning with the Gregorian Chant, progressing to the current cinematic, magical music created by great composers such as James Howard Newton among others. Throughout the centuries, music has found its way into the hearts of people in society, through its realistic depictions of life to escapist fantasy. When did music begin? The first musical…show more content…
The name of this era was perfect to represent this season of music. The rebirth of music was evident as secular music became prominent, reflecting its cultural backdrop of humanism. During the Renaissance, vocal music was viewed as more important than instrumental music. Accordingly, much of the music had a smooth, imitative, polyphonic texture with four to six voice parts of nearly equal voice parts. The Renaissance Period introduced word painting, the practice where music began to represent specific poetic images, enhancing the language of…show more content…
The stylistic diversity in the works from Claude Debussy to Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky were a continuation and intensification of the diversity found within the 20th century. Also, during this time there was a sudden emergence of technology used for making recording and distributing music much easier for the common person. There was no longer only a sacred/secular divide; music was divided into many different genres, ranging from classical to electronic music, where each category had many subcategories. Composers searched for new means of musical expression during this time. For example, John Cage, a leader in experimental music, stated that “all sound is music,” and wrote the song 4:33 where the musicians do not play a single note, but listened to the natural noise, to reflect upon the music that is everywhere. Twentieth-century music brought freedom with new musical styles that challenged the rules of the previous
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