Renaissance Period In History Was A Time Of Transition

1063 words, 5 pages

Intro Sample...

Dating from approximately 1450-1600, the Renaissance period in history was a time of transition in the arts, literature, religion, science, and philosophy. Although looking forward to modern thought, this period also revived the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Meaning "rebirth," the French term "Renaissance" was described by the historian Jules Michelet as "the discovery of the world and of man" (Kerman 62). Patterned after the ancients, the Renaissance occurred along with the humanist movement. Focusing more on man than on God, the world became more secularized, and an age of reasoning as well as an intellectual awakening developed.

Many prominent historical figures are associated with the Renaissance, in the world of exploration... View More »

Body Sample...

The focus in music gradually went from the church to the court, and amateur musicians in the towns performed in weddings, religious services, and political events. With a focus on the meaning of the text, vocal music was most important in the Renaissance. A popular music theorist, Zarlino, wrote that "when one of the words expresses weeping, pain, heartbreak, sighs, tears and other similar things, let the harmony be full of sadness" (Kamien 112). Also emphasizing a sense of control in texture, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, and melody, the musical beliefs and rules of the Catholic church went along with this focus on text. This balance between words and music dominated the entire Renaissance period. The common texture, or the sound that results from the way in which the voices are combined, was called polyphonic. In polyphony, each voice has its own line and is independent of all other parts. Stylistically, the Renaissance offered smooth vocal melodies and developed a cappella style, or unaccompanied vocal music. Other typical features of the Renaissance include the control of dissonance (the clashing of notes together) and the use of generally consonant, or pleasing and agreeable sounds.

Two specific genres are associated with the great amount of Renaissance church music: the motet, a polyphonic choral work on Latin text; and the Mass, similar to the motet, but longer in length. Polyphonic Mass settings are for the fixed sections of the Mass, or the "Ordinary." These five parts include the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Secular compositions were geared toward ...

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