Questions tagged [renaissance-music]

Style-period of Western music written between the years of approximately 1400 and 1600

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Number of subject/answer entries in 16th/18th Century fugal counterexpositions

I'm studying the difference between 16th and 18th Century fugues. I've noticed something and wonder whether it is a notable trend, or just a coincidence. First, consider this fugue from Missa Dies ...
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Is this an example of musica ficta?

I'm looking at the score of Carlo Gesualdo's "Io parto" e non più dissi from one of his madrigals. I listened to a few performances online (for example - ). I ...
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Did Renaissance composers work from a full score?

When I look at manuscripts and original publications from composers of Renaissance polyphony, I tend to find part-books, not scores. So I would see a soprano book, an alto book, and so on. When I ...
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Original manuscripts of 16th century composers [closed]

TL;DR - Where can I find manuscripts by Renaissance composers? I'm studying 16th Century counterpoint and the shift in rhythmic notation from "longer" note values to "shorter" ...
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What makes this song sound so medieval? [closed]

This is a song I've been listening for about a year: . A year ago, I didn't really know any music theory. I was baffled by it: why does it sound medieval? As I knew ...
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3 votes
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Questions about Renaissance music notation

I see that in Renaissance music printings, the noteheads are diamond and square shaped as opposed to circular, and the stem for each note comes up or down from the middle instead of from one side (I'...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Chants in Renaissance vocal music

In notice that in some vocal works composed during the Renaissance, especially masses, long chunks of music (sometimes the whole piece) are preceded by a monophonic, often short chant which is ...
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Trouble listening to polyphonic music

I heard that Mozart heard Gregorio Allegri's Misere Mei Deus once at a concert and copied it down note for note from his head. I can copy down a piece note for note if I have it in my head, but I'm ...
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Confusion about Zarlino and his assertions about the diatessaron (perfect fourth)

In Part Three of Gioseffo Zarlino's "Le Istitutioni Harmoniche", "The Art of Counterpoint", Zarlino argues that the diatessaron (or perfect fourth) is not a dissonance, as the ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Latin voice denotations in Renaissance vocal music

I see that in the original printings of renaissance vocal music, the voices are labeled with Latin words like cantus, triplex, medius, etc... Assuming that these words denote the ranges of their ...
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3 votes
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Did Nicolas Gombert compose a clean change of note or slides as endings in his motets?

A member of the Facebook group Barbershop Harmony said that in live performances of Gombert motets, the Bass will randomly drop an octave on the last chord, within one syllable, whilst the other ...
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8 votes
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Why did baroque music use percussion abundantly, but classical stopped?

Classical music evolved from baroque music, which in turn evolved from Renaissance music. Both baroque and even more so Renaissance make extensive use of percussion. It is certainly not new to ...
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What is the meaning of these letters above the soprano part in Monteverdi's SV 332?

Consider following score of Monteverdi's Sì dolce è 'l tormento for soprano and continuo (SV 332) from IMSLP. What is the meaning of the capital letters above the soprano part? They do not seem to ...
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How do/did composers deal with very many contrapuntal voices?

A work that I've admired as long as I've known about it is Antonio Caldara's Crucifixus for 16 voices. YouTube video here. It does make me wonder how a composer like Caldara (or Thomas Tallis for ...
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What did Monteverdi (or his editor) mean by "lento ma in due"?

In the score of his madrigal Ah, dolente partita! it says "Lento, ma in due". Lento means slow, right? But what exactly is it that is to be divided in two? Also, I noticed that the tempo indication ...
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Where can I read more about Monteverdi's role in the evolution of the orchestra?

I have seen it mentioned here and there that Claudio Monteverdi was the first composer to score for a specific set of instruments, for his opera Orfeo in 1607, and that this had a significant impact ...
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In modal counterpoint for more than two parts, should every pair of voices be in "good" two-part counterpoint?

When checking my own three- and four-part modal exercises, I regularly run into questions like the following: if the bass has the CF, the alto is in 2nd species and the soprano in 3rd species, how ...
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What are the horizontal lines in this renaissance piece?

In one of the scores of Byrd's Ave verum corpus on CPDL, one notices horizontal lines : What do they mean? Are it a kind of phrasing marks? Were they added by the editor? Edit The Misa de Notre ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Renaissance or Baroque pieces with no instrumentation

I found out today that Michael Praetorius's Terpsichore is written with no indication about what instruments to use. I knew that the Art of the Fugue doesn't have instrumentation either, but I'd ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How did composers use the technique of "fauxbourdon"?

I've recently learned of a harmonisation technique called fauxbourdon (or faux bourdon, fauxbordon or false drone), used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, e.g. by Giullaume Dufay; you can ...
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How to interpret trills in renaissance music?

So I suddenly want to try some 16th century music... I downloaded this sheet music https://imslp.org/wiki/Parthenia_(Various), which includes keyboards works by Orlando, William Byrd, and John Bull. ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What is this "time signature"?

Piece: Nuper rosarum Flores - Dufay What does this "time signature" mean? I've read that it's about the taleas but I've read different stuff too, please help :)
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Transcribing Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen

Why is this transcribed like this It seems much more obvious to me to fit it into 3/2 time: Maybe the clue is in the 'split common-time' symbol? But perhaps it didn't have the same meaning in those ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of sharp/flat third and sixth in text from the XVI century

In a text from Thomas Morley's treatise A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke (1597) he refers to the motion of melody proceeding by "half steps, flat thirds and flat sixths" or by "...
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Extra note in lilypond mensural layout with petrucci-f4

I'm trying to set some 16th century music. The mensural style overrides do a pretty good job of matching the original notation, but an extra c' appears at the beginning of the staff when I call \clef ...
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4 votes
1 answer
331 views

Different approaches to Latin pronunciation in Early Music

I know there are several different ways to pronounce Latin. I think no one sings classical music using Classical Latin pronunciation in which, for instance, "c" is pronounced as /k/. I believe the ...
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Difference Ars Antiqua and Ars Nova?

My music teacher was not very clear: he said Guillaume de Machaut composed in the Ars Nova style and that Machaut called the old style Ars Antiqua. This happened somewhere in the early Renaissance. ...
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Looking for genres or songs similar to the acoustic guitar part at the end of Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell

Around the 6:00 mark in the version of the song that can be found here the electric guitars fade out completely and a single acoustic guitar can be heard playing something that I find particularly ...
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22 votes
2 answers
813 views

Is this piece of renaissance music really in the locrian mode?

A fifteenth-century dance manual contains this piece of music: which appears to be (uncharacteristically) in the locrian mode. Is it really, or am I mis-reading? Does anybody know of other music ...
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