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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Cantus Firmus, Johannes Tinctoris, Indulgence

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Feb 13 – Prelude to the Renaissance
Re-birth” of the culture of Greek antiquity into Western culture. i.e.
Consonance and dissonance, music's importance in culture,
Between 1420 and 1600
Academic re-birth through re-learning the Greek texts. Extra texts come to
the West when Constantinople falls to the Turks in 1453, as many refugees
flee. They took their information (Greek culture) with them.
Financial strength comes to cities through trade. Cities develop financial
systems, which gives people power and money, and a cultural mix.
Most famous Renaissance city with wealth and cultural/artistic elites
Cosime de' Medici (1389-1464) used his wealth the influence politics in the
Medici family contributed to arts in the city. Founds the largest library in
Europe, Platonic Academy (modelled on an ancient Greek academy from
Plato's time), patron of many artists, sculptors, musicians. This creatse a
city centre where all artists come i.e. Sculptors, musicians, artists
Grandson Lorenzo de' Medici continued this.
Low Counties
N of Alps – cities that were centres of trade also became centres of wealth
and culture
Trade cities become centres of cultural power. Antwerp, Ghent, Tourani,
Liège. Low countries also produce many different pieces of beautiful music
100-year war is over – France won
War of the Roses (b/w houses of York and Lancaster) decided at the battle of
Bosworth Field in 1485
Battle between two houses to determine which family will rule England.
Henry Tudor (later, Henry VII) beats Richard III
Tudors control England until 1603
Holy Roman Empire
Hapsburg Family (rule Germany, Austria, N Italy) are gaining ground.
Maximilian I marries Mary of Burgandy in 1477, gaining Burgandy
In the 16th century, another Hapsburg (Charles V) will expand into Spain,
Portugal and the Low Countries.
Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille get married in the 15th century
and rule Spain.
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1492 – Conquer Granada and Spain, pushing out the Muslims; fund an
expedition to find a western route to Asia by...
They also expel all Jews who refuse to convert to Christianity, when they
were found by the Spanish Inquisition.
Portuguese Navigators
Money and power backed by many explorations to find quicker routes to
Asia by the Portuguese
Manuel I, King of Portugal built a monastery for the explorers to spend their
last night in Portugal, praying for safe passage.
Ferdinand Magellan, sailing with spanish funding, was the first to
circumnavigate the globe in 1519, but died in the Philippines on his way
Place the human at the centre of all things
Human measurements, values, rationale – ultimate reference. Characterized
by room for scrutiny/scepticism
Empiricism/experiment encouraged.
Breaks away from Scholasticism, where 'glossing' ancient texts is used to
gain new understanding. Taking what you have and building on top of it. vs.
Humanism – taking whatever we have, and asking what we know about
being human. Humanism does not equal secularism.
Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457) researched the 'Donation of Constantine' and
found his document was forged in the 8th century (Not original with
Constantine - 4th century)
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) was a priest who championed skepticism
and inquiry into everything. The way to gain power was through critical
thinking. Held to the Doctrine of Free Will (even when Protestants
challenged it with Predestination)
Literary Renaissance
Turn of Medieval/Renaissance period – many great authors not writing in
Latin i.e. Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer
Johannes Gutenberg's Printing Press in Mainz, Germany in 1455 – revolution
in information
By the end of the 15th century – 6 million books produced. First printed
music: Venice, 1501
Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther (1483-1546) has a problem with the Roman Catholic practice
of selling indulgences.
Protestant Reformation occurs
Catholics: Counter-Reformation
Renaissance Art
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