the refrain with which an English carol begins and which is repeated after each stanza
a strophic song for one to three voices setting a religious text, usually associated with Christmas
contenance angloise
the “English manner” of composition that fifteenth century Continental musicians admired and adopted; the exact nature of this style is not known
English discant
a general term for 15th c. English technique, both written and improvised, of using parallel 6/3 chords and root position triads in a homorhythmic style
a style of English medieval choral music that arose when singers improvised parallel 6/3 chords around a given chant placed in the middle voice
the Continental style related to the English faburden; singers improvised parallel 6/3 chords below a given chant in the top voice
music in which almost every note is a member of a triad or a triadic inversion and not a dissonance
a technique whereby isorhythm is applied to all voices, not just the tenor in an isorhythmic piece
(Latin for foot) the English name for a bottom voice that continually repeats throughout a polyphonic composition
a distinctly English musical technique in which two or three voices engage in voice exchange, or more correctly, phrase exchange
the English name for a canon that endlessly circles back to the beginning
Sarum Chant
England’s dialect of chant; old Latin name of the cathedral town of Salisbury; melodies and texts somewhat different from chant sung on the Continent
strophe plus refrain
a common English musical form in which the different stanzas are sung by a soloist while all the singers join in with the repeated burden
the highest of the three voices for which much late-medieval English polyphony was written
John Dunstaple
15th c. English composer whose music examplified the “countenance anglosie;” style adopted and imitated by composers such as Dufay and Binchois
Burgundian cadence
(octave-leap cadence) when three voices are present, the contratenor often jumps an octave to avoid parallel fifths and to fill in texture of final chord
cantus firmus
previously existing melody, sacred chant or secular song; usually sounds in long notes and provides a structural framework for a polyphonic composition
cantus firmus mass
a cyclic Mass in which the five movements of the Ordinary are unified by means of a single cantus firmus
(15th c.) a hybrid of a motet and a chanson; a genre in which a vernacular text in an upper voice is sung simultaneously with a Latin chant in the tenor
an oblong sheet of paper or parchment on which chansons were inscribed; the sheet music of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
L’Homme arme
popular “military” secular song; used more frequently than any other as the cantus firmus for Renaissance polyphonic mass compostitions
Johannes Ockeghem
15th c. Lowlands composer attached to the French Royal Court; known for the first systematic use of imitation as a compositional structural device
duplication of the notes and rhythms in one voice by a following voice
mensuration canon
two voices perform the same music at different rates of speed, the corresponding notes of which grow progressively distant from one another
paraphrase Mass
a Mass in which the movements are united by a single chant which often appears ornamented in any and all voices, not just as long notes in the tenor
paraphrase motet
a Renaissance motet composed around a single chant which often appears ornamented in any and all voices, not just as long notes in the tenor
paraphrase technique
composer takes preexisting plainsong and embellishes; gives a rhythmic profile; then serves as the basic melodic material for a polyphonic composition
bas instruments
(soft instruments) one of the two classifications of instruments in the 15th century: recorder, vielle, lute, harp, psaltery, portative organ, harpsichord
basse danse
principal aristocratic dance of court and city during the early Renaissance; slow and stately dance in which the dancers’ feet glided close to the ground
choir school (Lowlands)
took boys at about the age of six, gave them an education; strong emphasis on music, especially singing, prepared them for service in the church
a wooden instrument with fingerholes that is played with a mouthpiece and sounds in the soprano range with a tone something like a soft trumpet
a string keyboard instrument that first appeared in the West in the fifteenth century; it utilized a key-jack mechanism to pluck the taut wire strings
hauts instruments
(loud instruments) one of the two classifications of instruments in the 15th century: trumpets, sackbuts, shawms, bagpipes, drums, tambourine
multiple c. firmus Mass
when two or more cantus firmi sound simultaneously or successively in a Mass
a genre of music created when several secular tunes are brought together and sound together or in immediate succession
a slide trumpet common in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; precursor of the modern trombone
Jacob Obrecht
15th c. Lowlands composer known for his masterful use of multiple melodies in quodlibets and multiple cantus firmi masses
study of ancient classic texts and monuments with the goal of extracing a model for thinking and acting for the Renaissance society
Greek god of the sun and music who sat atop Mt. Olympus playing a string instrument
nine Greek goddesses who attended Apollo; presided over the arts and sciences; root of the word “music”
carnival song
a short, homophonic piece associated with pre-Lent, Mardi Gras season, the text of which usually deals with everyday life on the streets
a Christian society of laymen emphasizing religious devotion and charity; in Florence performing laude was an essential part of their fraternal life
the transformation of a piece of music from a secular piece to a sacred one, or (less often) from a sacred to a secular one
a catch-all word for polyphonic setting of strophic Italian poetry; flourished 1470-1530; origins in improvisatory, solo singing in Italy during the 1400s
Italian for a song of praise; a simple, popular sacred song written, not in church Latin but in the local dialect of Italian
lira da braccio
a Renaissance fiddle; a bowed five-string instrument tuned in fifths and played on the shoulder
madrigal (16th c.)
catch-all term for settings of Italian verse; through composed rather than strophic; variety of textures compositional techniques; often imitative
musical cliche in which the music tries to sound out or portray theliteral meaning of the text
Italian for what we refer to as “the 1400s”
text (word) painting
the use of striking chord shifts, musical repetition, controlled dissonance, and abrupt textural changes to highlight the meaning of the text
through composed
containing new music for every stanza of text, as opposed to strophic form in which the music is repeated for each successive stanza