A) The genre of medieval and Renaissance instrumental music (600-1500 Ad)
The medieval era existed in the middle ages between 600- 1500 Ad. Instrumental music was oral and the effectiveness depends on the skills of the players. The music was either categorized as the base (soft) or haut (loud) . The music began as monophonic, one melody and latter over the years developed to became polyphonic. There was no printing of music and manual copying was tedious and was taught and done in churches.
Renaissance is the rebirth of the cultural European art in the period of the 14-19th century. The era depicted the fall of the Rome Empire during the western Christianity and the rise of the Medieval era. The music happened in the following three stages
- Carolingian renaissance- it was the era of intellectual and cultural reborn.
- Ottonian renaissance – the era majored on the economy and art of central and south Europe.
- The renaissance of the 12th century- in this period there drastic and numerous socio-political and economic changes on the onset of high middle ages.
The music that occurred during the above eras can be classified into three;
- Dance music which gained popularity in the 16th century and is still one of the favorites music styles practiced to date.
- Vocal music which was played by use of various instruments. The instruments included, chansons and madrigals
- Settings on existing melodies
B) Renaissance motet :(1450- 1600 Ad)
Renaissance music is an instrumental and a vocal music was written during the period of 1450 -1600 Ad.(renaissance period.) the music sets have two or more separate but harmonic melodies combined. The music was performed in Europe during renaissance area. The music uses symbols to symbolize the meaning of the song, involved printing, incorporated of polyphonic, use of more than one melody, and paved way for the dawn of new secular music.in the golden age, the music was characterized by music voices alone without instrumentals and was known as Capella.
Renaissance music was involved in the era of humanism. The process of humanism marked the initiation of predominant European society from religious orientation to a more secular one. Renaissance was a realization of great explorers, scientific discoveries, and amazing artistic discoveries. This was significantly influenced by the ancient Greece and Rome cultures, writers and artworks. The philosophers brought a new era of humanization and brought the reconciliation between the theological practice and the new world of scientific recoveries.
Protestant reformation of 1517 by Martin Luther brought denomination against the Catholic churches and teachings.years latter, this was backed up by England’s King Henry (VIII) who brought his own domination of the Anglican churches. these new churches gave rise to other sacred music bringing a great impact on the renaissance music.
An example of the medieval and renaissance instrument is the 3 dances.
The music was is one of the most popular dance collection in the medieval period. The dance was composed by Tielman Susato. it composed of three music pieces and was published in the year 1551. Susato was a music printer, instrumentalist, and a prolific composer. His composition was jovial and combined perfectly with musical instruments. it was composed of the pavane, basses, galliards allemandes and shift dances. One of the pavanes called Mille regretz dance had three repetitive sections and was based on the Famous Chanson dance. It composed of four different decoders. Repetition of the sections brings out the chanson model.
Two rods preceded the pavanes. A pair of each formed a repetitive section of soft instruments. The first part started with drum followed by a high upper recorder and regal or reed bass. In the middle was various recorders on each repetition.
b) The example renaissance motet was Josquin Des Prez
This is a type of Latin motet music to give praise to Virgin Mary. It was a four-voice combination where the voices engaged in a low tone dialogues which brought out a perfect harmony in the tunes. The song was common worship song all over Europe and it expressed creativity in the choice of text and musical intervention.
Josquin de Prez was a great composer of inspiring motets music of 1450 – 1521 era. His music was amazingly characterized by sweet melodies and impressive harmony and made a great impact on humanizing era. His song Eve de Maria is a perfect illustration of how Josquin made an excellent combination of vocal textures to present emotion aspects in the text