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Lecture

Music 1649A/B Lecture Notes - Missa Papae Marcelli, Renaissance Music, Gioseffo Zarlino


Department
Music
Course Code
Music 1649A/B
Professor
Kevin Mooney

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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”
16th Century
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