The Renaissance was a period that was centered around “rebirth”. That aspect in itself excites me. I like the idea of a new found interest in the writings, art and philosophies of Ancient Greece and Rome. Another interesting part to me, although being a burden to us now, is the fact that most of the instrumental music was improvised, so we have no records of it now. Another interesting aspect was the fact that music was written for more than one voice to be showcased. But only men were allowed to perform the music in public. Nuns would sometimes be involved in the music, but would never actually be shown singing it.
A historical event from that period was the Protestant Reformation, which led to the Catholic Church officials banning the use the the secular cantus firmi, which was a borrowed melody used by Guiliaume Dufay to unify the ordinary. The melody consisted of either a sacred chant or secular tune. The textbook describes music from the renaissance period as being characterized by textures of complex intertwining melodies.
The composer I decided to listen to was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. My first reaction was that it was a beautiful sound, but did sound like something I would hear if I went to Sunday mass. I could also hear the many different voices and sounds within the song, but they all went together very well in my opinion. The music does sound like what I expected. This is because of the many voices and sounds and the heavy influence from the church that can be heard in it.