March 4 – Genres of Renaissance Music 1420-1520: Instrumental Music
– Lack of sources because they were usually improvised/memorized. Much
information given to us through visual art.
– Instrumental Groups
– Great variety of instruments, not standardized. Many different versions of a
particular instrument – played in slightly different keys eg. Soprano shawn,
alto, etc. However, one soprano shawn may not be in the same tonality due
to differing instrument sizes.
– The organ develops:
– Main register: hauptwerk
– Separate set of pipes behind/beneath player: Ruckpositiv/Chair
– Organ stops allow sounds of different timbres due to different airflows
– Pedals added
– Popular in the home – either play one-handed and pump bellows with other
hand – or get someone else to work the bellows wthle you play two-handed
Clavichord – evolved from the 'monochord' in the 15 century
– Could be played without help (no bellows). Metal tangent/hammers hit the
strings to make the sound.
Harpsichord (clavicymbalum – key psaltery) – popular in the late 15 century
– Mechanism plucks the strings rather than hitting them. One manual, four
octaves. Lowest octave is a “short octave” - left-out accidentals.
The Short Octave
– Lowest notes on harpsichord don't include accidentals like F# or G#, etc.
– Keyboard layout – looks the same
– However, playing F# will not sound like F# - will sound like D – extends
range of the keyboard without extending its length.
Other varieties of smaller keyboards: strings run at right angles to the keyboards
to save space
– Virginal and spinet
– Lute – most common plucked instrument in the Renaissance
– Early lutes – 4 or 5 pairs of strings - “courses”
– Standard lutes of the early 16 c – 6 courses.
Related to the lute – Spanish
– Vihuela and Guitar – gut strings
– Cittern, Bandore, Orpharion – wire strings – Mandoras and Mandolins – similar to the ones we have today.
Intabolatura de Lauto (1507)
– Petrucci published a series for lute
– First one: Intabolatura de lauto, Libro primo
– Contained chansons, motets and Mass movements by Ock