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Lecture 3

MUS111H1 Lecture 3: Renaissance

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University of Toronto St. George
Greg Johnston

MUS111 Lecture 3 Renaissance • Music sustains the poetry, but we see the composers are trying to bring these two art forms together and this occurs in the Baroque • Josquin des Prez (ea. 1440-1521) o Compositions and Style ▪ Motets and Settings of the Ordinary of the Mass ▪ We know they’re working because they write music down, not only for the church • Arched, symmetrical melodies o they have a gentle arch, rise and end gently o it didn’t agitate, and didn’t go for your emotions • Regular meter, gentle pulse o it doesn’t grab our attention, steady pulse o it’s meant to make your reflect • Pervasive imitation in four parts SATB o We hear one voice come in, then another etc. o we can hear soprano, and alto rather than all males overlapping o separation of voices • A cappella is the norm o we hear vocal music, not interrupted with any other musical sound • Sacred –either cantus firmus or newly composed o Example: Josquin, motet Ave Maria …Virgo serena ▪ The Ordinary always appear in church service ▪ Composers use the same melodies, harmony etc. to create larger scale compositions • Renaissance and Counter-Reformation o Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) ▪ music can be polyphonic but still you can hear the text o Orlando di Lasso (c. 1532-1594) o William Byrd (1543-1623) • The church as in institution had to rethink their practices • counter-reformation is to build Catholic music • The catholic church at this time wanted to get rid of any polyphonic music and go back to the chant • the problem with music in Catholic church is there’s so much polyphony that nobody understands these words anymore • Church music slows pace and more activity outside the church and secular music in Baroque The Baroque Era (1600-1750) • The first invention of the opera • foreign to the ideology of the church • Bach dies at the end of the Baroque year • Where does the idea of the Baroque come from? o Change in the era, secular society is gathering power, ideas of trade, communication, investment and exploration of the new world o all these things makes the middle class powerful rather than working for the nobility o becomes independent of the church and nobility • Baroque comes from the French word derived from the Portuguese noun “barroeo”, pejorative terms used to describe pearls of irregular shape • access is an attraction in the Baroque era • the idea of bizarre defines the Baroque period • King David (1408-09) o Typical of Renaissance period, no action or emotional investment in it o compared to 1623 during Baroque ▪ expressions on his face, intensity ▪ there’s action • The idea of the Baroque is one of the philosophies is to look back on ancient Rome and ancient Greece • A frozen bit of action • Graphic, alive and full of drama • Drama, the idea of action but we see ornamentation o adding runs and thrills to make it decorative • Art often emphasized contrasts of every kind • we don’t see everything presented to us like in middle ages and renaissance • the concerto –contrast between a soloist and larger ensemble • And it also enjoyed its extreme ranges of expression • combining emotions, experimentation (artistic literary ideas coming out) • Venice, Italy o powerful, secular city o in Rome, no opera o but in Venice, it’s open to the world, hires the best musicians • Gevanni Gabrieli (1555-1612) o sound projecting in one direction o significance of space, interesting contrast o putting musicians up in the balconies for church music • Polychoral music: Music for multiple vocal and or in
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