contenance angloise
“the English guise”; term used by French poet Martin le Franc; a new kind of sonority in which the music is dominated by thirds, fifths, and sixths used to describe the music of Dunstable, Binchois, and DuFay; refers to the triadic sonorities and panconsonance (harmonic idiom that makes ample use of triads and limits use of dissonance considerably) of their music
Cantus Firmus
“fixed melody”; the basis of a polyphonic composition; can be newly composed, but often derived from existing composition; around 1100, typically found in lowest-sounding voice, but later found in the tenor voice, singing notes of longer duration, around which more florid lines, instrumental and/or vocal were composed
pervading imitation
a series of musical ideas are stated imitatively in all voices across the course of an entire work or section of a work; resulting homogeneity of texture is a characteristic feature of Renaissance music written in the late 15th century onward
Head Motif
thematic idea in multiple voices which is placed prominently at the beginning of a movement or section of a movement, providing another element of coherence to the work as a whole; frequent in cyclic masses
any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular; Guillame de Machaut was first important composer of chansons; Stylistic developments took place during the 15th and 16th centuries, including a move from more layered to more homogeneous texture, rhythmic equalization of parts, and increasing use of pervading imitation as the principal structural device
chanson de geste
“song of deed”; epic poems performed to simple monophonic melodies by a professional class of jongleurs or menestrels; usually recounted famous deeds of past heroes, legendary or semi-historical; most famous is Song of Roland; performers expected to embellish or improvise basic pattern; text settings primarily syllabic and only occasionally melismatic
in the 1840s, native composers began setting texts in their own language once again; include freely structured poems, poems in a variety of established Italian literary forms; light-hearted, often sarcastic or ironic; avoid imitation and contrapuntal artifice, characterized by chordal textures, lively/dance-like rhythms, and use of hemiolas, simple harmonic progression
three-voice writing popular in 15th century; two voices notated, third voice is unnotated, runs parallel to uppermost notated line a fourth below; Du Fay important figure in its development
L’homme arme
more than 2 dozen composers based works on this tune (“the armed man”); characterized by its upward trajectory, straightforward rhythm, and strong sense of tonal center; some settings connected to political events and understood to convey a particular message.
one of the four structural styles used by Josquin des Prez in the Renaissance; uses a melody that has been heard previously in another work but now elaborated it freely in all voices of a new work
musica ficta
sharpening or flattening certain notes that would not normally be notated in that particular key; rules set in place to avoid dissonant intervals like vertical tri-tones, semi-tones, and cross-relations; often used at discretion of performer to improvise part
“positive” organ; did not require someone to work a bellows; evolved out of mono-chord in 15th century; able to sustain every pitch because keys were struck and not plucked; portable, quiet, and capable of being played by a single individual
a key psaltery with a mechanism that plucks strings instead of striking them; typical Renaissance form is a single-manual instrument of four octaves with double stringing
pear-shaped body and backward-angled peg box; most common plucked stringed instrument in the Renaissance; earlier featured four or five courses, but eventually six courses became standard
instrument related to lute; no backward-sloping peg box; originated in Spain
small ensemble of matched instruments with ranges corresponding to soprano, alto, tenor, and bass; performed vocal music instrumentally
Parisian chanson
most notably composed by Claudin de Srmisy and Clement Janequin; abandoned the formed fixes and were in a simpler, more homophonic style, sometimes featuring music that was meant to be evocative of certain imagery; dominated by vertical sonorities; melodies generally confined to upper-most line
“country girl”; several sub-genres of Italian Madrigals which emphasize chordal structures with little or no imitation; strophic and mostly syllabic in delineation; often put to bawdy texts and featured predominantly chordal textures; frequently written in local dialect
poetic form equivalent to French virelai, a type of popular song sung in the vernacular and associated with rustic themes; developed as secular polyphonic genre until religious villancicos gained popularity; later became known as Christmas carols
Luis Milan
Spanish composer, vihuelist, and writer on music; first composer to publish music for the vihuela de man; first musician to specify verbal tempo indications in music; published first collection for vlihuela
hymn, associated particularly with Lutheran congregations; often derived from existing melodies, both liturgical and secular; originally intended to be sung in unison by congregation, but melodies soon began to be harmonized in increasingly sophisticated polyphonic settings
designation given to many motet-like works on English texts from 16th century onward; two forms: full and verse; composed by Christopher Tye, Thomas Tllis, and William Byrd
improvisations for lute, but evolved into an instrumental counterpart to polyphonic motet in middle of 16th century; in 17th century, evolved into imitative form of keyboard instruments; introductory in function, establishing mode of a work; later became primarily imitative
“touch”; sectional, freely constructed work unrelated to any pre-existing material; abound in rapid passages that “touch” lightly on the keys and move freely between nominative and imitative sections; highly episodic with a variety of textures, rhythms, and meters
small but important repertory of works written in late 16th century, characterized by distortions, including extreme dissonance, unusual harmonic progressions, and exaggerated word painting
Florentine Camerata
group of poets, musicians, and noblemen who gathered informally at the house of Count Giovanni de’ Bardi in Florence to discuss the issue of allowing a single voice to predominate in a texture that was not essentially polyphonic; debated other ways of recreating the style of singing used by the ancient Greeks in their dramas
“entr’actes” or “intermezzos”; dramatic works, often with music, performed between acts of a larger theatrical presentation such as a play or opera; consisted of 4-5 movements, mixing polyphony and newer styles of composition, with lavish poetry interwoven into compositions
prima prattica
“first” or “earlier practice”; traditional style of Renaissance polyphony; describes an older attitude towards text setting in which projecting of a sung text was subordinated to the established conventions of good counterpoint; word paintings used for contrast; texture was polyphonic, all voices being equally important, rhythm balanced and flowing with steady pulse; melody was lyrical, rarely virtuosic; harmony conceived only as a by-product of interrelationship between voices; vocal works were a cappella, vocal and instrument idioms were interchangable
seconda prattica
new attitude toward text setting in which all musical means were subordinated to the effective delivery of the text being sung; highly associated with monody; freedom from limitations of dissonance and counterpoint imposed by prima prattica
basso continuo
“continuous bass”; bass line and its harmonies realized above; used to describe performers playing the par
figured bass
uses numbers to indicate desired intervals to be played above a given bass line
solo voice supported by basso continuo
style of singing characterized by syllabic declamation with greater emphasis on projection of text than on melody; allowed large volume of text to be sung in a small amount of time in opera
French overture
begins with a slow introduction featuring dotted rhythms and moves to a fast imitative section
most revolve around religious subjects, but some written on secular themes; sacred counterpart to opera in Baroque era; most famous is Handel’s Messiah
series of imitative entries, usually on a single theme but capable of accommodating multiple themes as well; second voice enters up a fifth; when all voices have been stated, end of exposition has been reached
basso ostinato
bass pattern repeated many times within a movement or work; inspired composers in art of variation, challenging them to make constant repetition appealing through use of ever-changing counter-melody above it
bass lines that follow the basic chordal progression of I-V-IV; terms originated during Baroque era; could support various melodic patterns and the harmonic progressions could be modified and expanded with addition chords, such as vi or iii just before IV; passacaglia also describes a type of dance with a lighter step
two forms; old and new; old= i-VII-i-V or III-VII-[i-V]–i; new= I-IV-V OR I-IV-[I-V]-I
“craziness” or “insanity”; originally described an exuberant dance; bass line follows a pattern similar to passamezzo moderno; most famous is in the end of Corelli’s Sonata for Violin and Continuo, op. 5
Johannes Ockeghem (1420-1497)
from the Low Countries; known for complex polyphony and musical subtlety; wrote Missa prolationum, used musical canon to unify the movements of a mass cycle
Ottaviano Petrucci (1466-1539)
music printer from Venice who printed in three steps: the staves, then underlaid text, then notes; printed for Josquin, Obrecht, and Ockeghem; important in establishing business of music publishing, which made it accessible to a vastly wider audience than before
Heinrich Isaac
organist and maestro di cappella at court of Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, then later at the court of Maximilian I in Vienna; wrote 36 masses as well as 15 individual Mass movements and more than 40 motets; wrote Choralis Constantinus for cathedral of Konstanz in southern Germany, which contains polyphonic settings for Mass Propers of entire church year; wrote French chansons, German Lieder, and Italian frottole
put melody for his Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen in uppermost voice; became basis for chorale O Welt, Ich Muss dich Lassen; JS Bach would later use same melody twice in St Matthew’s Passion
Thomas Morley
English madrigal composer; complained the Italian fad was taking attention away from English composers; adopted anglicized versions of Italian terms conzonetti and balletti for own lighter, dance inspired madrigals; wrote Now is the Month of Maying
John Dowland
English composer; chief proponent of lute song, essentially strophic madrigals notated for lute and any combinations of one or more voices; motto: “always doleful, always Dowland”
Giovanni Gabrieli
madirgal composer; nephew and pupil of Andrea Gabriele who was also a composer of the Renaissance
William Byrd
wrote several settings of Latin Mass and man settings of English texts used in Anglican services; one of the greatest keyboard composers active in England in the late 16t century and early 17th century; organist at Lincoln Cathedral, then Chapel Royal in London; works preserved in two major manuscripts: My Ladye Nevells Booke and Fitzwilliam Virginal Book
Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672)
German composer who was a key figure in transmitting the seconda prattica north of the Alps; mastered poly-choral style of late Renaissance, adapted newly develped technique of recitative to Germany language, composed first German opera, maintained music at court of Dresden for many years; believed proper grounding in counterpoint remained an essential element of compositional instructions; principal works: Pslamen Davids (polyphonic choral works from psalms), Cantiones sacrae (collection of 41 sacred motets), Symphoniae sacrae (works for various combinations of voices and instruments published in three volumes over 21 years), Musicalishce Exequien (cycle of music appropriate for funeral services), Kleine geistliche Concerte (motets for voices), Geistliche Chormuisk (29 motets in prima prattica), Three Gospel Passions (Luke, John, Matt)
Jean-Baptiste Lully
founder of French operatic tradition; most important figure in musical world of 17th century France; ballet dancer in service of Louis XIV at court of Versailles and later began to compose court ballet ; appointed superintendent of music at French Court, music master to French royal family
Henry Purcell
English composer who wrote for theater; contributed songs and instrumental music to dozens of plays and semi-operas
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
wrote 12 Concerti Grossi; violin virtuoso and helped establish modern bowing techniques and was one of the first to use double-stopping and chords ; wrote many trio sonatas and sonatas for violin and continuo
Antonio Vivaldi
most prolific and popular of all concerto composers of his time; 400 concertos in total, 60 ripieno concertos, 350 solo concertos, 45 double concertos, 46 operas, Gloria, 12 motets, 3 dozen various sacred works, 2 oratorios; music director at Venice’s Ospedale della Pieta (large orphanage for girls); later composed at court of Charles VI
Marin Marais
composer of music for viola de gamba; studied composition with Jean-Baptiste Lully; hired as a musician in 1676 to royal court of Versailles
Francois Couperin and his keyboard music
musician at the courts of Louis XIV and Lous XV; wrote 233 pieces for harpsichord and grouped them by tonality in a series of 27 orders, published in 4 separate books
Jean-Phillipe Rameau
notable keyboard composer of Baroque era; became greatest organist and harpsichrodist in France; creator of modern science of harmony”; first to codify harmony on triadic chords related to a fundamental bass; argued that reason could divulge the truths of music, that science could help confirm them, etc.; desired to reconcile art and science; justified interval of a third with science