Middle Ages / Medieval & Renaissance (476-1600)

By kmb180!
  • 476


    Melodies of the Middle Ages were mostly conjunct and usually were confined to range of a sixth or octave. Music was based on the system of the eighth church modes. Melismas were common and employed in many genres.
  • 476


    Secular songs in the Middle Ages were sung in a rhythm to a more or less steady beat. Instrumental music for dancing and the rhythmic nature that movement implies, called for rhythmic regularity. In the 12th century rhythmic modes were devised by composers to help them notate rhythmic.
  • 476


    Most of the music from the middle ages was monophonic in texture. This melody was not accompanied by any significant harmony or other melodic figures. Some music was performed in a heterophonic texture, and we think that some melodies, especially those in secular genres, were accompanied by an improvised drone or rhythmic figure. This improvisation did not change the monophonic texture. By the middle and end of the Medieval period, three and four-part polyphonic textures were common.
  • 476


    In the middle ages, text and poetic form determined the musical structure of melodies and compositions.
  • 476


    We do not know much about the Dynamics used in the middle ages. One can suspect that the loud and soft governed the volume of music, however we do know that the technique of singing was different than our modern use of the voice. Many believe that singing had a more nasal, forward quality.
  • 476


    Vocal polyphony in the church was reserved for soloists while choruses were responsible for singing monophonic melodies.
  • 476


    Some of the stringed instruments popular in the Middle Ages include the harp, lute, lyre, organistrum, psaltery, vielle, and the viol. Organs of various sizes were common. Another wind instrument that used pipes was the bagpipes, recorders, traverse flutes, shawms, and brass including horns and trumpets. Also, Crumhorns, Dulcimer, Psaltery, Rebec, and Theorbo.
  • 476


    Chant is used for Church services, Monasteries, Cathedrals,
  • 476


    Organum - the first type of polyphony that appears in Western culture in notation. Parallel motion with the chant creating intervals of fourths, fifths, and octaves.
    Chanson - is the French word for “song”
    Chant - a single melody performed in free rhythm, often associated with religious ceremonies.
  • 476

    The Fall of Rome

    The Fall of Rome or the Fall of the Roman Empire refers to the defeat of the capital of the Western Roman Empire in 476.
  • Period: 476 to 1435

    Middle Ages

  • Period: 476 to 1450

    Medieval Period

  • 590

    Invention of Gregorian Chant

  • Period: 715 to 731

    Pope Gregory

  • Period: 850 to 1150

    Early Polyphony

    Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent voices.
  • 1000

    Inventions of Bagpipes

  • 1000

    Invention of Music Staff

  • Period: 1098 to 1179


    Hildegard von Bingen is the founder and abbess of the convent at Rupertsberg, Germany. Bingen is famous for her prophetic powers and revelations. She wrote liturgical dramas and religious poetry.
  • 1200

    The Medieval Motet

    By the late 1200s, composers began writing new texts and music
    and the result was the genre of “motet.”
    It's considered more text than chant and there's 6 rhythmic modes, then very complex between 1320-1400
  • 1268

    Invention of Eyeglasses

  • Period: 1291 to 1361


    Philippe de Vitry is the first composer of the Ars Nova.
  • 1300

    Ars Nova

    Composers and theorists began to speak about this “new art” and the new rhythmic polyphony in the motets. The motet served as the musical composition that could handle radical innovations.
  • Period: 1300 to 1377


    Guillaume de Machaut is the most famous composer and poet of the time.
  • Period: 1325 to 1397


    Francesco Landini is a music theorist, composer, poet, and organist: famous because he was blind, and by far the most famous Italian composer of the 14th century.
  • 1340

    The Bubonic Plague

    “The Black Death,” killed over 75 million people in the 1340s and
    the church was suffering, and there were two rivaling Popes.
  • Period: 1390 to 1453


    John Dunstable is English, but influenced musical style in Europe. Copies of his works have been found in Italian and German manuscripts, and his complete works were not published until 1953.
  • 1397

    Invention of Harpsichord

  • Period: 1397 to 1474


    Guillaume Dufay was first Renaissance composer.
  • Period: 1420 to 1497


    Johannes Ockeghem was very respected and prolific; also a low bass.
  • 1430


    The melodies of Renaissance music were for the most part, flowing and melismatic in nature. They also used wider leaps for the expression of the text but were more still conjunct than disjunct. Secular tunes often were used as the basis of scared compositions. Chants were paraphrased, and extra notes and new rhythms were added. There was a shift that emphasis shifted from function to beauty. The new, transformed melodies were now placed in the top voice
  • 1430


    Rhythm in the Renaissance, especially in the 16th century, lost most of its complexity in vocal music. Triple and duple groupings were used side-by-side as dictated by the text. The rhythms were more simple.
  • 1430


    Harmony in the Renaissance began focusing on progressions of 3rds and 6ths. Chordal textures resulted in complete triads, and dissonances were discouraged, and consonances were preferred.
  • 1430


    Three and four-part polyphonic works were in the norm in the beginning of the Renaissance. Homorhythm was fairly common in both instrumental and vocal music, and counterpoint became the Renaissance composer's primary technique while imitative counterpoint developed in 1476. Also, contrapuntal techniques developed including the use of augmentation, diminution, retrograde, and inversion.
  • 1430


    Masses were controlled greatly by the use of a cantus firmus. Madrigals emerged in the 1540s as the new modern genre and the forms were largely poetic. Strophic forms in popular music were common.
  • 1430


    The practice of cori spezzati created a situation in which the larger, loud group was contrasted with smaller, softer group.
  • 1430


    The Renaissance music became more varied than ever before with new combinations of instruments and singers. However, the uniformity of sounds within ensembles of singers, stringed instruments, recorders, or brass instruments was still desired.
  • 1430


    The loud (haut) instruments were shawms, cornets, slide trumpets and sackbuts. The soft (bas) instruments included harps, vielles, lutes, psalteries, portative, organs, traverse flutes, and recorders. Percussion instruments included the kettledrums, bells of various sorts, and cymbals. Also, the harpsichord and clavichord rose and a new repertoire of keyboard music emerged.
  • 1430


    Madrigal (Renaissance) - higher art form derived the earlier, lighter, popular, Italian frottola.
    Mass - Renaissance masses were typically written for three to six voices
    Motet - Vocal work of religious nature for cappella choir.
  • Period: 1430 to


    The Renaissance was the rebirth in art of music, which included: arts, science, and religion. The changes in art originated in Italy, but musical style came out of England.
  • Period: 1435 to 1511


    Johannes Tinctoris is a composer and music theorist that wrote about contemporary music, and wrote the first dictionary of musical terms: Diffinitorum musices.
  • Period: 1450 to 1521


    Josquin des Prez is the most revered Renaissance composer, and ahead of his time in many ways. His music was so emotion-filled and popular that others would try to pass off their music as his.
  • Period: 1450 to 1517


    Heinrich Isaac is a prolific German composer.
  • Period: 1452 to 1519


    Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper and Mona Lisa are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance.
  • Period: 1466 to 1539


    Ottaviano Petrucci is one of the most important early music publishers that published 11 volumes of frottola between 1504-1511
  • 1475

    Diffinitorum musices

    The first dictionary of musical terms written by Johannes Tinctoris.
  • Period: 1490 to 1562


    Adrian Willaert is the father of text expression.
  • Period: 1505 to


    Thomas Tallis is an english composer who wrote a 40-voice part motet.
  • Period: 1507 to 1568


    Jacques Arcadelt is one of the earliest Italian madrigal composers
    that worked in Italian and French courts.
    Arcadelt composed over 250 madrigals, 125 French chansons, and sacred music.
  • Period: 1521 to


    Philipp de Monte is the most prolific composer of the Renaissance.
  • Period: 1525 to


    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is the most famous composer from the Renaissance. Palestrina continued using polyphony, showing that he could make any texture understood.
  • 1530

    Italian Madrigal

    Originated in Florence circa 1530 as a form of aristocratic entertainment, and had one voice on each part. It was Aristocratic poetry, and sometimes instruments would play a voice part.
  • Period: 1532 to


    Orlando di Lasso ranks in importance with Josquin and Palestrina.
  • Period: 1543 to


    William Byrd is an important Catholic English composer working in Protestant England.
  • Period: 1548 to


    Tomás Luis de Victoria carries on Palestrina’s style while working in Spain.
  • Period: 1557 to


    Giovanni Gabrieli is the leading composer of instrumental ensemble music and polychoral works in the late Renaissance.
  • Period: 1564 to


    Many Renaissance-style songs were composed for and used in Shakespeare's plays
  • 1567

    Pope Marcellus Mass

    Supposedly written to satisfy the Council of Trent, and has 6 a cappella voices, with Polyphonic and homorhythmic.
  • Period: 1567 to


    Claudio Monteverdi moved music from the Renaissance style to the Baroque, and he wrote 9 books of madrigals. During the Baroque era, he composed several operas.
  • Period: 1570 to


    John Farmer is an English composer and organist who lived in London and Dublin and is known for clever word painting.
  • Period: to


    Girolamo Frescobaldi is the finest organist of the Early Baroque
    He worked at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rome, and Greatly influenced J.S. Bach.
  • Canzona Septimi Toni

    2 choirs of instruments – each in 4 parts: 8 musical lines interacting with each other in polyphony, sometimes creating homorhythm.
  • Fair Phyllis

    John Famers' 4 solo voices, and word painting on “all alone,” “up and down,” etc.
  • Monody

    solo voice (singing recitative) with basso continuo: the voice closely follows the free rhythm of the words in “emotional speech”
  • Basso Continuo

    Basso Continuo also called Figured bass or thoroughbass, provides harmonic structure.