Parisian Chanson
New genre of the early 16th century, popularized in the publications of Attaignant. Light-hearted, chordally oriented, and dominated by vertical sonorities. Generally homorhythmic.
Basso Continuo
Supporting instrumental line that provides the harmonic framework for the solo voice above it. Incorporates not only the bass line itself but also the harmonies to be realized above that line.
Mensuration Canon
Type on canon in which the main melody and its subsequent imitations sing at different speeds, or mensurations. Very difficult to write.
Cantus Firmus Mass
Mass in which every movement is based upon a common cantus firmus or musical idea. Part of a shift in musical aesthetics where the musical coherence became more important than the liturgical meaning or projection of the text.
Giulio Caccini
16th-17th century composer, published a collection of monodies called “Le nouve musiche”
L’homme arme
15th French secular song which was widely utilized by composers as a cantus firmus for mass settings and was recomposed dozens of times.
Secular Italian vocal genre of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Texture tends to be chordal and the texts are lighthearted, comic, or ironic. Uses lively rhythms, syncopation, and hemiola.
Poetic and musical form first used in 14th century Italy, and revived in the 16th century. 2 or 3 two-line stanzas, qith a couplet at the end (called a ritornello) which is usually in a different meter. Starts and ends melismatically, middle is mostly syllabic.
Ottaviano Petrucci
Italian publisher of 14th-15th centuries who published books of composers music – motets, masses, frottole
Arrangement for keyboard or plucked stringed instrument of a work originally written for voices.
Parody (Imitation)
Mass which incorporates, at some point, all of the voices of an existing work into the fabric of a new work.
Virelai with only a single stanza. One of the “formes fixes” and related to the Rondeau
Marco Cara
16th-century Italian composer of Frottola, famous not only as a composer but also as a singer and lutenist.
Claudio Monteverdi
(1567-1643) Italian composer of Madrigals, dramatic works, and sacred music. Published books of madrigals. Worked as “maestro di capella” in Venice. Composed some of the very first operas, including “Orfeo”
John Dowland
(1563-1636) English composer of madrigals and “Lute Songs”, unusually melancholy man who composed almost exclusively sad songs. Motto was “Always Dowland, Always Doleful.”
Isorhythmic Motet
Isorhythm is a repeated rhythm. Best way to find isorhythms is to go to the end – they get shorter by then. “Talia” is a repeated rhythm
Paraphrase Mass
Setting of the Mass Ordinary, using as its basis an elaborated version of a cantus firmus, typically chosen from plainchant or some other sacred source.
Contenance Angloise
Literally “the English Guise”; term used by French poet Martin Le Franc in 1442 to describe the new style of music from Dunstable, Dufay, and Binchois. Probably refers to the panconsonance and triadic sonorities of their music.
Soggetto Cavato
Cantus firmus mass in which the cantus firmus “subject” is “carved” out of a given word or name.
Points of Imitation
Unit of music in which all the voices of a polyphonic composition take up more or less the same musical idea in succession. A by-product of pervading imitation.
Josquin de Prez
(1450-1521) One of the first composer whose works endured well past his death, he composed in virtually every vocal genre of his time (mass, motets, chansons) and was widely considered the greatest of his time.
“To research, to seek out”, a freely composed work that “seeks out” a particular mode or thematic idea. Idea of both of these is that they are unrelated to preexisting works
Guillaume Dufay
(1397-1474) Renaissance composer whose music embodied the transtion from Medieval to Renaissence style. Composed many different styles, including many settings of the mass, many motets, plainchant, and chansons.
Seconda Prattica
Term coined in early 17th century to describe a new attitude toawrd text setting in which musical means were subordinate to the effective delivery of the text being sung. Closely related to monody.
Recitative Style
Style of singing characterized by syllabic declamation, with greater emphasis on text than melody. Useful because it sounded more like actual speech.
(1607) Opera composed by Claudio Monteverdi – one of the earliest surviving operas that is still performed in modern times.