new ways of thinking about the arts in general
Protestant Reformation
Contenance angloise
“English guise,” which he characterized as a “new way of composing with lively consonances.”
Members include: Dunstable,
Binchois, and Du Fay.
Cantilena motet
features a florid, lyrical top voice over a pair of slower moving
lower voices
musicians would
interpolate lines both above and below a preexisting melody. The upper line would
parallel the notated melody a fourth above, and the lower line would vary between
thirds and fifths below it. This resulted in what we might today think of as sixth chords
(that is, first-inversion chords, with the sixth scale degree in the root), although theorists
of the time would not have perceived them as such. The net effect, however, as
with fauxbourdon, was to reinforce the idea of thirds and sixths as consonant intervals.
technique that favored triadic sonorities and that emerged around 1430.
fauxbourdon is an unnotated line that runs parallel to the uppermost of two notated
lines, usually at the interval of a fourth below, creating a harmonic texture rich in thirds
and sixths.
Cantus firmus
the term composers of the time were now using
for the “fixed melody” that served as the basis of a composition
Pervading imitation
a series of musical ideas are stated imitatively in all voices throughout an entire
work or section of a work.
Pervading imitation requires all voices to sing essentially the same musical ideas, making all voices more or less equal in their
melodic and rhythmic profiles. The resulting homogeneity of texture is a characteristic
feature of much Renaissance music written from the late 15th century onward.
point of imitation
The collection of all segments belonging to one thematic idea of imitation.
a steady pulse and (Latin for “touch”).
One theorist of the
late 15th century claimed that the rate of the tactus was equivalent to the heartbeat of
an adult man breathing at a normal speed—that is, roughly 60 to 70 beats per minute.
Cyclic mass
a cycle of all movements of the Mass
Ordinary integrated by a common cantus firmus or other musical device
Cantus firmus, paraphrase, parody, imitation
Cantus firmus-a melody to which one or more contrapuntal parts are added.
Paraphrase-take a melody from an existing work and use it as material.
Imitation/Parody-Imitation Masses (also known as parody Masses) incorporate all the voices of an
existing work—not just a single voice—into the fabric of the new work, or at the very
least into the opening sections of key movements.
Paraphrase-in contrast to imitation, involves borrowing an existing melodic idea
from a different work but elaborating it freely in all voices of a new work.
Soggetto cavato, ostinato
the cantus firmus “subject” (soggetto) is “carved” (cavato)
out of a given word or name. (The Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, for example,
derives its cantus firmus from the solmization syllables corresponding to the
Duke of Ferrara’s name). the cantus firmus is repeated so consistently that it
always appears in at least one voice at all times.
An ostinato is a thematic idea
repeated without interruption many times within the course of a section or
entire work.
Canon, mensuration canon
meaning “rule” or “law” to indicate the rhythmic value of the cantus firmus in that
music for only two voices, but each voice generates the other, creating a double mensuration canon for four voices.
L’homme arme melody
Composers clearly enjoyed demonstrating the variety of ways in which they could
treat a single cantus firmus. Between the middle of the 15th century and the 17th century,
more than two dozen composers based works on a tune. Part of the melody’s appeal is doubtless to be found in its upward trajectory,
straightforward rhythm, and strong sense of a tonal center.
Motet (Renaissance, sacred genre)
a prayer text set to music: occasional (commissioned for a specific event/occasion), liturgical (within the Mass Proper–mainly Offertory), and devotional (for religious gatherings outside the church).
Musica ficta
practice of sharpening or flattening certain notes even
though they are not notated as such.
Qualities of a homogeneous texture, the rhythmic equalization of parts, and the increasing use of
pervading imitation as the principal structural device. Of the formes fixes so prevalent
in the 14th and early 15th centuries (see Chapter 3), only the rondeau survived
through the end of the 15th. More than survive, however, it flourished, accounting
for about three-fourths of the chanson repertory from the period 1450 to 1500.
The repertory of 15th-century chansons preserved in a
surprisingly small number of manuscripts
in the 1480s did native composers begin setting texts in their
own language once again, in a genre broadly known as the frottola (plural frottole).
The texts for these songs include freely structured poems as well as poems in a variety
of established Italian literary forms. In contrast to the preoccupation with courtly
love that predominates in chanson texts, frottola poetry tends to be lighthearted and often sarcastic or ironic. Musically, frottole tend to avoid imitation and contrapuntal
artifice, again in contrast to contemporary chansons. Frottole are characterized
instead by chordal textures and lively, dancelike rhythms with frequent use of syncopation
and hemiola.
Harmonic progressions in the frottola are often simple (I-IV-V-I).
The music could be performed entirely vocally, entirely by instruments, or by any of various combinations of voices
and instruments. Many frottole were arranged for solo voice and lute, or for keyboard
alone, for frottole were in high demand.
Parisian Chanson
Influenced by Italian frottola, the Parisian chanson is lighter and more chordally
oriented than earlier chansons. Like the frottola, it is generally homorhythmic and
dominated by vertical sonorities that we would now think of as tonic, subdominant,
and dominant chords. Although the works are notated polyphonically, their melodies,
in the manner of songs for solo voice with lute accompaniment, are generally confined
to the upper-most line.
By the 1530s, a new genre of vocal music was emerging in Italy with the madrigal,
a secular vocal composition for three or more voices. The 16th-century madrigal has
no direct musical connection to the 14th-century genre also known as the madrigal
(see Chapter 3). The term was revived in the 1530s for a new type of polyphonic song,
similar in some respects to the frottola but more ambitious in tone, both textually and
musically. Early madrigals (from the 1530s and 1540s) often share with the frottola a
characteristically chordal texture, but with time, true contrapuntal writing became increasingly
prevalent in the genre. And whereas the frottola is almost invariably strophic,
with different words sung to the same music, the madrigal is through-composed,
setting each line of text to essentially new music. This approach allowed for the kind of
explicit word-painting that became increasingly popular in the 16th century.
Madrigal texts of the 16th century follow no fixed form, but they tend to consist of a
single stanza, with a free rhyme scheme. One of the more widespread poetic forms of
the madrigal consists of lines that alternate between seven and eleven syllables. Many
madrigals incorporate some kind of conceit—a striking image—that reveals itself only
at the very end of the poem.
Word painting
Using music to express the meaning of a text.
The subgenre of less literary and less musically elaborate Italian madrigals. Often featured bawdy texts full of suggestive imagery and double entendres. Frequently written in a local dialect. Chordal textures with
little or no imitation, often for three voices, strophic, mostly syllabic.
It typically incorporated a well-known tune in the tenor or other voice, making
it, in effect, a secular cantus firmus genre.
The principal genre of Spanish song in the Renaissance. A poetic form equivalent to
the French virelai.
English madrigal
Similar to the Italian madrigal, it featured both a lighter and
more serious side.
Lute song
It’s chief proponent was the composer John Dowland. Lute songs are
essentially strophic madrigals notated for lute and any combination of one or more
voices. In practice, the uppermost voice is consistently the most melodic, although this
should not exclude other arrangements that distribute voices and instruments among
any of various combinations of parts.
the German version of a hymn, derived from existing secular and liturgical melodies. Originally intended to be sung in unison by a congregation, chorales soon
began to be harmonized in increasingly sophisticated polyphonic settings.
Anthem: full anthem, verse anthem
motets in the English language.
Full anthem is for chorus throughout. Verse anthem alternates choral passages with passages for solo voice and instrumental accompaniment.
Musica reservata
Dance types: pavane, galliarde, branle, moresca, etc.