Mar 13 – Music of the 16 Century: Mannerism
– Term from Art History. Use of exaggeration and distortion for
emotional/dramatic effect. eg. Extending a neck in a picture of the
– In music: dissonance, chromaticism, unusual chord progressions, rhythmic
and tempo changes, word-painting. Similar to ars subtilior in the Medieval
era. Pushing the aesthetics at the end of the era – seeing how far one can
go with a certain style. The style of an era going further and further,
transitioning into a new musical era.
Mannerism in Music
– Chromatic, harmonically unusual, even to our ears.
– Composers write out the accidentals and don't leave it up to singers (musica
– Composers now using chromaticism and dissonance for an emotional effect
on the listener.
Orlande de Lassus: Prophetiae sibyllarun (1550-1552)
– Idea: Ancient Greek prophetesses (sibyls) foretold the birth of Christ
– de Lassus uses chromatics in the tenor to depict the sibyls song.
Revival of Greek 'genera'
– Idea: ancient Greek music was said to have had a strong emotional impact
on the Greeks.
– Nicola Vicentino – book about ancient music in the 'modern practice' in
1555. Key is chromatics.
– Greek genera are the three versions of the tetrachord which are diatonic,
chromatic, and enharmonic – interval of the fourth divided into three
– Vicentino creates two keyboard instruments capable of playing in these