The Medival and The Renaissance (476 CE - 1600 CE)

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  • 476

    The Fall of Rome

    The fall of the roman empire leads to the start of the Medival era.
  • 476

    Views of Music

    At this point, music was only fit into two categories: divine, meaning the music either came from God or was used to praise him, and cosmic, meaning the music was actively being created in the movements of the stars and planets. Music and poetry are also treated as one.
  • 476

    Plainchant

    Plainchant was an extremely popular type of music during the Medival era, which consisted of monophonic sacred song, unaccompanied and limited range, with free rhythm and using the 8 church modes.
  • 476

    Musical writing

    During the Medival era, music was written in notes called nuemes, and texts were written in syllabic, melismatic, and newmatic declamations. Guido d'Arezzo is credited with "inventing" the staff. All music was written by hand by either the composers themselves or by a transcriber.
  • 900

    Organum

    Organum, a form of polyphony, is described as plainchant "melody" with an added melody, which resulted in a musically sung piece of parallel 4ths and 5ths. 3rds were considered dissonant and should not be used.
  • 1300

    Ars Nova

    The Ars Nova (1300 - 1350), which translates to new art, was a period during the 14th century which composers and theorists began writing new rhythmic polyphony in motets. The motets served as the musical composition that could handle radical innovations.
  • 1300

    New Instruments

    With instrumental music on the rise, new instruments were being created to play these songs. These instruments crumhorns, vielle, lute, dulcimer, psaltery, shawm, rebec, and the theorbo.
  • 1340

    Bubonic Plague

    A terrible illness known as the "Black Death" caused a plague that killed over 75 million people in the 1340s.
  • 1430

    Chants

    Chants were an extremely popular form of music, usually composed and performed in the church. This type of musics approach was often paraphrased with extra notes and introduced new rhythms. Chants could be performed accapella or with accompainment.
  • 1430

    Emphasis

    Emphasis in music had only, from that point, been solely used for function or praise. Composers during this time began to write music to express beauty and nature instead of religion.
  • 1430

    Changes in voice

    Usually, voices in music were kept monophonic. During the Renaissance era is where we begin to see polyphony, which is when two or more voices/melodies sing at the same time. Transformed melodies also began being placed in the top voice instead of the middle or bottom voices.
  • 1430

    Addition of voice

    Number of voices and instruments changed during this time, which is when choirs and ensembles began to make appearances. Vocals changed from 4 parts to now 5 - 8, and instrumental music brought the action of blending instruments.
  • 1492

    The 'new world' is discovered.

    After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus touches down in the Bahamas, believing he's made it to East Asia, when he has actually made it into the new world.
  • 1498

    "The Last Supper" is finished

    The Last Supper, one of the Western world's most recognizable paintings, is finished by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Period:
    1098
    to
    1179

    Hildegard

    Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179) was a prolific Medival composer and founder of the convent at Rupertsberg, Germany. She was famous for her prophetic powers and revelations and often wrote liturgical dramas and relgiious poetry. First known female composer to recieve extensive scholary research by contemporary musicologists.
  • Period:
    1150
    to
    1201

    Leonin

    Leonin (1150 - 1201) was the first composer of polyphonic music whose name we know. He was a cantor at the Cathedral of Notre Dame and believed to have studied with Leonin. He is credited with compiling the Magnus liber organi (Big book of organums).
  • Period:
    1291
    to
    1361

    de Virty

    Philippe de Virty (1291 - 1361) was a French composer, music theorist and poet. He was an accomplished, innovative, and influential composer, and may also have been the author of the Ars Nova treatise.
  • Period:
    1325
    to
    1397

    Landini

    Franscesco Landini (1325 - 1397) was a music theorist, composer, poet and organist: famous because he was blind. He was by far most famous composer of the 14th century.
  • Period:
    1390
    to
    1453

    Dunstable

    John Dunstable (1390 - 1453) was a European composer who highly influenced musical style in Europe. He popularly used 3rds and 6ths in his musical harmonies, resulting in a modern interpretation of triadic music. His complete works were not published until 1953.
  • Period:
    1397
    to
    1474

    Dufay

    Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474) was a Franco-Flemish composer who was a central figure of the Burgundian School. He was regarded by his contemporaries as a leading composer of the mid 15th century. He was uniquely contrapuntal and demonstrated influential exchange of musical ideas among artists around the world.
  • Period:
    1420
    to
    1497

    Ockeghem

    Johannes Ockeghem (1420 - 1497) was 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 Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prez. He was very respected by his peers and thought to be prolific, and was also regarded for his low bass voice.
  • Period:
    1435
    to
    1511

    Tinctoris

    Johannes Tinctoris (1435 - 1511) was a composer and music theorist from the Low countries. He wrote about contemporary music and is credited to write the first dictionary of musical terms. He believed the fountain and origin of what he discovered was a distinct new musical style.
  • Period:
    1450
    to
    1521

    des Prez

    Josquin des Prez (1450 - 1521) was arguably the most revered Renaissance composer of the Franco-Flemish school. He 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
  • Period:
    1450
    to
    1517

    Issac

    Heinrich Issac (1450 - 1517) was a prolific german composer who wrote masses, motes, songs, and instrumental music. A significant contemporary of Josquin des Prez, Isaac influenced the development of music in Germany
  • Period:
    1490
    to
    1562

    Willaert

    Adrian Willaert (1490 - 1562) was a Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance and founder of the Venetian School. He was one of the most representative members of the generation of northern composers who moved to Italy and transplanted the polyphonic Franco-Flemish style there.
  • Period:
    1505
    to

    Tallis

    Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music. He is most notably known for his creation of the 40-part voice motet.
  • Period:
    1521
    to

    Monte

    Phillippe de Monte (1521 - 1603) was a Flemish composer of the late Renaissance active all over Europe. He was a member of the 3rd generation madrigalists and wrote more madrigals than any other composer of the time.
  • Period:
    1525
    to

    Palestrina

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 - 1594) was arguably the most popular composer of the renaissance era. A graduate of the Roman School of music, he was appointed maestro di cappella by Pope Julius III. His music took on its own style and established his own 'rules.'
  • Period:
    1543
    to

    Byrd

    William Byrd (1543 - 1623) was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard, and concert music. Although he produced sacred music for Anglican services, he later during the 1570s became a Roman Catholic and wrote sacred Catholic music.