John Dunstable
John Dunstable was an English composer of polyphonic music of the late medieval era and early Renaissance. He was one of the most famous composers active in the early 15th century, a near-contemporary of Leonel Power, and was widely influential, not only in England but on the continent, especially in the developing style of the Burgundian School.
Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Dufay was a Franco-Flemish composer of the early Renaissance. As the central figure in the Burgundian School, he was the most famous and influential composer in Europe in the mid-15th century.
Gilles Binchois
GIlles Binchois was a Franco-Flemish composer, one of the earliest members of the Burgundian School, and one of the three most famous composers of the early 15th century. While often ranked behind his contemporaries Guillaume Dufay and John Dunstaple, at least by contemporary scholars, his influence was arguably greater than either, since his works were cited, borrowed and used as source material more often than those by any other composer of the time.
Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century, and is often considered the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin des Prez. In addition to being a renowned composer, he was also an honored singer, choirmaster, and teacher.
Antoine Busnois
Antoine Busnois was a French composer and poet of the early Renaissance Burgundian School. While also noted as a composer of sacred music, such as motets, he was one of the most renowned 15th-century composers of secular chansons. He was the leading figure of the late Burgundian school after the death of Guillaume Dufay.
Josquin des Pres
Josquin des Pres, a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, was the most famous European composer between Guillaume Dufay and Palestrina, and is usually considered to be the central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. Josquin is widely considered by music scholars to be the first master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music that was emerging during his lifetime.
Heinrich Isaac
Heinrich Isaac was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, of south Netherlandish origin. He is regarded as one of the most significant contemporaries of Josquin des Prez, and had an especially large influence on the subsequent development of music in Germany.
Jakob Obrecht
Jakob Obrecht was a Dutch composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous composer of masses in Europe in the late 15th century, being eclipsed by only Josquin des Prez after his death. Obrecht wrote mainly sacred music: masses and motets.
The Burgundian School is a term used to denote a group of composers active in the 15th century in what is now northern and eastern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, centered on the court of the Dukes of Burgundy. The main names associated with this school are Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Antoine Busnois and (in England and her empire of that time in France) John Dunstaple. The Burgundian School was the first phase of activity of the Franco-Flemish School, the central musical practice of the Renaissance in Europe.
Important composers from the Netherlands were Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, Jacob Clemens non Papa and Adrian Willaert.
Old Hall Manuscript
The Old Hall Manuscript is the largest, most complete, and most significant source of English sacred music of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, and as such represents the best source for late Medieval English music.
Plainsong Mass
Taking appropriate chant melodies from the Graduale (In this fashion the liturgical association is stronger than the musical).
Cantus firmus Mass
The cantus firmus mass is a mass in which every section was composed using the same pre-existing melody as the contrapuntal foundation. The cantus firmus was often derived from a chant or a popular song. This form was developed by the composers of the Burgundian School.
Parody Mass
A parody mass is a musical setting of the mass, typically from the 16th century, that uses multiple voices of another pre-existing piece of music, such as a fragment of a motet or a secular chanson, as part of its melodic material. It is distinguished from the two other most prominent types of mass composition during the Renaissance, the cantus firmus and the paraphrase mass.
Musica ficta
This was a term used in European music theory from the late twelfth century to about 1600 to describe any pitches, whether notated or to be added by performers in accordance with their training, that lie outside the system of musica recta or musica vera (‘correct’, or ‘true’ music), defined by the hexachord system of the Guidonian hand. In modern usage, the term is often loosely applied to all unnotated inflections (whether properly recta or ficta) that must be inferred from the musical context and added either by an editor or by the performers themselves.
Soggetto cavato
Soggetto cavato is an innovative technique of Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez. This technique relies on the use of syllables from solmization. For implementation, Josquin used these solmization vowels to carve out his musical notes. Using the vowel of each solmization syllable, Josquin coupled the musical pitch of the solmization syllable with the vowel of text he wanted to represent.
Musica reservata
It is generally agreed that musica reservata is music with heightened expressiveness, that presents a text with intensity and in a style ‘reserved’ for connoisseurs. It is either a style or a performance practice in a cappella vocal music of the latter half of the 16th century, mainly in Italy and southern Germany, involving refinement, exclusivity, and intense emotional expression of sung text.
Motet (Renaissance)
The name of the motet was preserved in the transition from medieval to Renaissance music, but the character of the composition was entirely changed. the Renaissance motet is a polyphonic musical setting, sometimes in imitative counterpoint, for chorus, of a Latin text, usually sacred, not specifically connected to the liturgy of a given day, and therefore suitable for use in any service. The texts of antiphons were frequently used as motet texts. This is the sort of composition that is most familiarly designated by the term “motet,” and the Renaissance period marked the flowering of the form.
The musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass was the principal large-scale form of the Renaissance. Most 15th century masses were based on a cantus firmus, usually from a Gregorian chant, and most commonly put in the tenor voice. The cantus firmus sometimes appeared simultaneously in other voices, using a variety of contrapuntal techniques. Later in the century, composers such as Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, and Jacob Obrecht, used secular tunes for cantus firmi. This practice was accepted with little controversy until prohibited by the Council of Trent in 1562.
In its simplest form, fauxbourdon consists of the cantus firmus and two other parts a sixth and a perfect fourth below. To prevent monotony, or create a cadence, the lowest voice sometimes jumps down to the octave, and any of the accompanying voices may have minor embellishments. Usually just a small part of a composition employs the fauxbourdon technique.
Carols were very popular as dance songs from the 1150s to the 1350s, after which their use expanded as processional songs sung during festivals, while others were written to accompany religious mystery plays (such as the Coventry Carol, written in 1591).
In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (e.g. quarter rest, one measure, etc.). The initial melody is called the leader (or “dux”), while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower (or “comes”).