Renaissance Period
ca. 1400 – ca. 1600
Protestant views in the Renaissance
God is personal, Jesus is viewed as a brother, God is present in the lives of individuals, supplications may be made directly to God.
Catholic views in the Renaissance
God is impersonal & universal, God’s omnipotence & holiness are emphasized, God’s mysterious nature is emphasized, supplications are made to the saints and Mary.
A new view of life in the Renaissance
Intellectuals began to see life as more than just a waiting period for Heaven. Acts on Earth became more important.
Singing Catholic Renaissance music
Present-day singers should reflect the mysterious & reserved attitude of the Renaissance church
Renaissance Consonance is redefined
Going from the 14th to the 15th century, consonance is redefined and 3rds & 6ths become as important as the perfect intervals (4th, 5th & 8th). They become preferred over many other intervals, as well.
A new view of Renaissance music (sacred vs. secular)
Music becomes more than just a tool for worship services. Composers begin writing for their own pleasure, and secular music gains ground.
Sacred Renaissance Catholic Choral Genres
Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, (Motet) Benedictus, Agnus Dei), Te Deum, Stabat Mater, & Motets
Sacred Renaissance Protestant Choral Genres
Anthems, Chorales, Calvinist Song Settings, Chorale Motets
Secular Renaissance Choral Genres
Madrigal, Chanson, Balletta
Renaissance Text & Form
The text ALWAYS rules the form of the music. There is no meter, and any barlines added in the Renaissance came late in the period and served as a place for performers to be sure they were together; it had no metric significance. Stress and peaks of phrases are all determined by the words and syllables. Words are set syllabically, neumatically, or melismatically.
Renaissance Neumes
Neumes were the symbols used to notate pitches in the Renaissance period. If words are set neumatically, they have 2 – 4 neumes per syllable. This does not mean they can’t have more than 4, but after a point the music is defined as melismatic (this is not a defined point)
Style issues to address when conducting
Text, Form, Timbre, Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Meter, Texture, Dynamics, Articulation
Important Renaissance Choral Composers
Giovanni Palestrina (1524 – 1594), Jacob Obrecht (1452 – 1505), John Farmer (1565 – 1605), Johannes Okeghem (1430 – 1495), Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585), Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611), Thomas Weelkes (1575 – 1623), John Bennet (1599 – 1614), William Byrd (1542 – 1623), Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625), Clement Janequin (1485 – 1558), Josquin des Prez (1445 – 1521), Thomas Morley (1558 – 1603)
Venetian School at San Marco (St. Mark’s Cathedral)
Established in 1524 by Adrian Willaert (ca. 1490 – 1562), employed Chori Spezzati, began the use of instruments to double or replace voices, and employed text painting. Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1557 – 1612) continued instrumental development by giving instruments independent lines (stile concertato). Venetian school was very important in the transition between Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Stile Concertato
Combining voices with independent instrumental lines
Chori Spezzati
Splitting the choir into 2 parts; first used at St. Mark’s cathedral, since this was the first place where it was spatially feasible.
Baroque Period
ca. 1580 – 1750
Council of Trent
1545 – 1563, encouraged homophonic writing over polyphonic. Wanted music to be more understandable, and felt that if one could not understand the words, there was a risk of worldly meanings being slipped into the music. The Council was largely a reaction to Luther’s theses against the Catholic church.
Baroque subject matter
Emphasized struggles or large, more general powers. Individual conflict was not emphasized as it is in the Romantic period. Expression was dramatic, but not over-the-top.
Baroque Doctrine of Affections
Every musical work is characterized by a basic emotional tone. Each movement in a larger work portrays one new emotion from the composer to the audience. Music is expressed through basic form of the composition and instrumentation and harmonies used – it is not expressed with excessive crescendo, ritardando, etc.
Baroque Sacred Choral Genres
Cantata, Mass, Oratorio, Passion, Magnificat, Stabat Mater, Te Deum, Motet, Anthem, Psalm, Chorale
Baroque Secular Choral Genres
(Continuo) Madrigal, Cantata, Ode
Baroque Double Dotting/Over Dotting
When a dotted note followed by complimentary shorter note is seen, it is common to lengthen the dotted note and shorten the shorter note.
Important Baroque Choral Composers
George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750), Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1557 – 1612), Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643), Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1707), Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695), Heinrich Schuetz (1585 – 1672)
Rococo Style
Went against massive Baroque forms, and went instead for detail and sometimes excessive decoration.
Stile galant
The Classical period moved away from late Baroque polyphony to homophony. The interest of the homophonic piece would lie in a highly ornamented soprano line (stile galant).
Empfindsamer stil
“Expressive style” The music of the middle class, in which composers sought to express feelings musically. One of these composers was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788). Was excessively emotional and criticized by composers who sought objectivity and rational styles in their music.
Sturm und Drang
“Storm and Stress” Originally a literary movement, it moved into music. Affecting composers like Haydn (1732 – 1809), Mozart (1756 – 1791), and Beethoven (1770 – 1827), Sturm und Drang resulted in sudden outbursts in their music.
Mannheim School
Founded by Johann Stamitz (1717 – 1757), it introduced crescendo and decrescendo as expressive tools in music.
Classical Period
1750 – 1825
Transitions into the Classical Period
Rococo Style, Stile galant, Empfindsamer Stil, Sturm und Drang, Mannheim School. Common man began to appreciate the arts even more, and music became more accessible to more people. The patronage system is becoming less popular, and works are now written to be published. This meant that composers could write what they wanted without the restrictions of a patron, but to get published they had to appeal to the general populace. Public operas and concerts arose, and music was no longer for the upper class only. Sacred and secular styles became less distinct, and because of the rise of common man’s interest in music, music became less technically complex.
The Enlightenment
During the eighteenth century, it coincided with the Classical period in music. The ideals of the Enlightenment focused on individual rights, self-government, liberty, and reason. There was a departure from theocracies, oligarchies, divine rights of rulers, and aristocracies. An Enlightened man was scientific, modern, and rational. This included a departure from major religions, and people searched for a more intimate, individual understanding of faith and religion. The American and French revolutions happened during this time.
Results of Enlightenment on Classical Music
Form (organization) became just as important as content (expression and emotion). Composers began to emphasize symmetry, balance, grace, naturalness, beauty, charm, wit, spirit, delicacy, refinement, and emotional restraint.
Classical Choral Genres
Cantata, Mass (which became longer and longer, becoming a concert piece), Part song, Missa brevis (resulting from Colloredo’s [1732 – 1812] belief that the entire Catholic service should take 45 minutes, leaving about 20 minutes for the music), Opera choruses, Missa solemnes, Oratorio, Vespers, Magnificat, Stabat Mater, Te Deum, Motet, Litany. Protestant music declines somewhat because the most important part of the protestant service was the *sermon*.
Classical characteristics
Text is important, but sometimes takes a backseat to musical ideas and form. Form is balanced and symmetrical. There is some text painting. Solo parts are very melismatic. Critics felt that sacred music was too “secular” at the time. Unity comes from repetition, and Variety comes from new material or *developing* old thematic material. “Theme” = “Melody”. AB, ABA, Rondo, and Sonata form are common. Bel Canto singing is admired, harsh “unnatural” sounds are condemned.
Invented in 1816, allowing composers to use numbers to mark their music.
Prominent Classical Composers
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791), Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809), C.P.E. Bach (1714 – 1788)
Romantic Period
1820 – 1900
Transition into the Romantic Period
The French Revolution (1789 – 1799) led to breakdown of aristocracy and beginning of 19th century liberalism. The Romantic movement in music was a revolt against formality and authority. Patronage was no longer in use. This led to a large amount of freedom stylistically and emotionally, but left some composers financially insecure.
Opposing views of Romantic music
Classical view – supported by Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847), including others – believed in regularity of music, no extremes, & fluency of tempo. Expressive view – supported by Liszt (1811 – 1886) & Wagner (1813 – 1883) – was highly romantic, including a lot of liberty with tempo and broad, singing melodies.
Inspiration for Romantic music
Romantic nationalism was huge – see the Might Five (a.k.a. Russian Five or Mighty Handful). Many composers turned to literary works for inspiration – see Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949), who wrote tone poems, including: Don Quixote, Macbeth, Don Juan, ALso sprach Zarathustra.
The Five (The Mighty Five, The Russian Five, The Mighty Handful)
(1856 – 1870) included Mily Balakirev (founder), Ce’sar Cui, Modest Mussorgky, Nikolai Rimsy-Korsakov, & Alexander Borodin. Their goal was to develop and promote distinctly Russian music, instead of the German style of composition prominent in Russia at the time.
Romantic characteristics
All forms are expanded (this is first seen in Beethoven’s [1170 – 1827] works). Huge performing forces are used (Berlioz [1803 – 1869]), program music, tone quality is more rich (reflecting more emotional style), focus on spiritual aspects & on individual struggle, opera is huge (so singing & composition reflect operatic style), displaced accents in meter, extreme tempi, extreme dynamics, intricate rhythms, imitation, cadenzas, more dissonance.
Russian Choral Music
Accented men’s voices, with very low, rich bass parts, and many compositions for male voices only.
Program Music
Expresses a non-musical idea through music.
Prominent Romantic Choral Composers
Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869), Gabriel Faure’ (1845 – 1924), Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828), Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847), Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856), Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897), Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943), Peter Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
Modern Period
ca. 1900 – Present
Transition into the Modern Period
The Enlightenment had not provided all that people had hoped for, and the Industrial Revolution was considered a “dehumanizing” force. This led to feelings of disappointment and angst. Because music had spread so far, there became a diversity in styles. It is impossible to put all modern music into one single set of rules or guidelines.
Styles in the Modern Period
Impressionism, Expressionism, Neo-Classicism, Neo-Romanticism, Nationalism, Avant-Garde, Sprechstimme (composition tool more than style), Electronic, Eclecticism.
Modern Impressionism
Appeared in the last quarter of the 19th century. A reaction against emotionalism & Romanticism – see Debussy (1862 – 1918) & Ravel (1875 – 1937) – avoided clear expression of ideas. Impressionism sought to give a momentary impression of what was being represented. In art, it was concerned with *light* and its changing qualities, and the *feeling* of the subject. Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) did an entire series of a cathedral because of the interesting way the light would change within it.
Renaissance Humanism
An intellectual movement in the Renaissance in which individual people became more important, and the thought that although God created the universe, it was humans who industrialized and developed it. This is reflected in art, academics, literature, and music. In art, this was revealed in the transition from a symbolic style of painting (in which people did not *actually* look like people, but more like representations of humans) to a detailed, realistic style (in which artists strove to paint what people *actually* looked like in the real world).
Modern Expressionism
Appeared around 1910 as a reaction to the vague nature of Impressionism. True expression of the artist’s inner self took the place of traditional concepts of beauty. This introduced the 12-tone and serialist methods as a search for new ways to express ideas. Expressionist composers include Schoenberg (1874 – 1951) and Webern (1883 – 1945). In art, it sought to express the meaning of “being alive” and emotional experiences rather than reality. It would distort reality to portray emotion. See The Scream by Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944).
Sought to restore proper balance and form to music. Rejected overly emotional ideas of Romantic music. Neo-Classicist composers include: Stravinsky (1882 – 1971), Hindemith (1895 – 1963), and Poulenc (1899 – 1963).
Rich in sonority with frequent climaxes in the composition. Used rhythmic and harmonic devices subjectively to express emotion. Composers include William Walton (1902 – 1983), Carl Orff (1895 – 1982), Menotti (1911 – 2007), and Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981).
“Speaking voice” The use of recitation with musical inflection.
Avant-garde music
Music that cannot be shown in standard notation; a new type of Romanticism that reflects the composer’s desire for personal expression, individuality, and freedom of form. Some composers include Ives (1874 – 1954) & Penderecki (b. 1933).
Modern Eclecticism
Music that does not fit into any other Modern categories – including Minimalism, Jazz, Pop, Indeterminancy, Pan-diatonicism, and Primitivism.
Modern Choral Genres
Mass, Requiem Mass, Psalm Settings, Te Deum, Sacred Services, Oratorio, Cantata, Motet, Choral Songs, Orchestral works with choir, and other undefinable genres.
Prominent Modern Choral Composers
Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981), Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990), Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918), Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963), Charles Ives (1874 – 1954), Krzystof Penderecki (b. 1933), Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951), William Walton (1902 – 1983), & Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
Romantic Choral Genres
Cantata, Mass, Part song, Requiem Mass, German Requiem, Opera Chorus, Choral Symphony, Oratorio, Stabat Mater, Program Music, Te Deum, Motet