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Fraczek, Blog 1

The Renaissance Period

The Renaissance Period of Western Art Music ranged from around 1430-1600. During this period ancient Greek and Roman history became the trend. And me, a mythological and philosophy fan, is very intrigued by this period. The thinking and the way society lived during ancient times and the thinking during the Renaissance are fascinating to me. The Renaissance basically made these things that very “the wave” back then popular again, just like how Shakira did after the Superbowl.

During this time, many revolutionary changes happened, the invention of the printing press, which made life and reading a lot easier and cheaper for many, the Protestant Reformation, which shocked the Catholic Church and its influence in Europe, William Shakespeare arose and wrote those dreaded books we were forced to read in high school, and oh gravity suddenly became a thing.

The textbook describes the music during this period as “textures of complex intertwining melodies.” It goes on to say how it was mostly vocal music and chant. During the early times, it was usually music written for a four-voice part and sung by a small group of clerics. During the 15th century, musicians began placing a borrowed Melody in the tenor line of each section and called it a cantus formus. Later on, in the 16th century, more voices were added to the chanson and a variety of national genres spring up across Europe.

One composer that I have selected was William Byrd (1540-1623). The work of art I choose to listen to was his latest hit single according to Spotify, “The Responses.” The music sounds exactly like how I expected it to, uncanny but yet also angelic. As described by the textbook, it’s a choir with multiple voice parts. It also gave me flashbacks to church and how they sang something similar to it, however, I always believed that it was from the Medieval period, not the Renaissance.