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Sept 13 Rdgs:class Theory.odt

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Western University
Music 1649A/B
Kevin Mooney

September 13 Readings/Class Notes High Renaissance Style – New ideal was light, airy texture rather than the medieval style of polyphonic music. – Less reliance on “authority” that governed medieval music. – Composer no longer relies on a borrowed melody as foundation for polyphony – Voices brought in one-by-one, each beginning with the same phrase as the one before Counterpoint – Gioseffo Zarlino (1517 – 1590) – lived in the second half of the musical Renaissance – Italian music theorist who contributed to counterpoint. Le istitutioni harmoniche (1558) – a written work by Zarlino – discusses tuning and conterpoint. Comes from the word Punctus contra punctum - “point against point” – Controls the way notes are placed one against the other – Two kinds of counterpoint: simple – only involved consonant intervals and equal note values placed against each other, and diminished – has dissonances as well as consonances that can have every kind of note value. – A procedure containing diverse variations of singable sounds measured in time. – “Note against note” because notes are placed one against another, and harmony occurs when this happens – Composers used to think soprano first, then tenor, then bass because they did not understand what was required in making the alto part – had many difficulties in their compositions – had to use unisons, rests, inconvenient ascending and descending leaps – – One of the major achievements of High Renaissance music – regularization of dissonance treatment – dissonance carefully controlled and subordinate to consonance. – “Prepared” and “resolved” according to defined rules so counterpoint would not be messed up – Rules were made to allow composers to handle dissonance – Every composition, counterpoint, harmony composed with consonances – Dissonances are used secondarily – if are properly used, the ear can handle them and even enjoy them due to the dissonance's resolution – Dissonance is used by the musician in two ways: – With the aid of dissonance, one can pass from one consonance to the next – Dissonance causes the consonance that follows it to sound more agreeable – the ear appreciates the consonance more after they have heard the dissonance Palestrina - “The Prince of Music” – 16 Century – Thought of as the crowning glory of the contrapuntal practice in Renaissance music – Protestant Reformation – Counter-Reformation happened – church music involved in it – Specific issue was if the music was too contrapuntally sophisticated due to the polyphonic texture that it would be too distracting to the text of the music. – Conservative view thought just chanting would solve this problem – would not distract – Palestrina solved the problem by writing Missa Papae Marcelli (1562/3) –a mass that persuaded people that cou
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