Doherty Early Renaissance Franco Flemish School

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					The Renaissance and the
Franco-Flemish School
1450 - 1600   Lheritier, Nigra Sum, c.1520
   Historical Context

 Turks capture Constantinople; Greek and
Byzantine scholars escape to Italy (Grout, 155)
 Discovery of America
 Reformation
Humanism – Celebration of human
Political and Social Stability enabled reason
and free inquiry
Fundamental paradox: Music (and art)
celebrated human achievement whilst glorifying
Invention of the printing press (first printed
music = 1501)
Courtly patronage system – the courts of
kings and noblemen employed composers and
musicians (previously, only the church
employed musicians); rise of secularism
                                                    Detail from GENTILE DA FABRIANO, Adoration of the
 The word “Renaissance” with regard to             Magi, altarpiece from Santa Trinità, Florence, Italy, 1423.
music does not have the same meaning
(„rebirth‟) as it does for art, as there were few
records of Greek/Roman music (Grout, 153)
Early Renaissance Music
   Four equal voices,
    beginnings of imitation
   Music expressed
   Word Painting (the music
    mirrors the meaning of
    the words)
   Use of dissonance to
    express pain etc.
   Use of „major‟ and „minor‟
   Preeminent composer:
    Johannes Ockeghem
    Johannes Ockeghem, Missa De plus en plus: Kyrie, c.1480
The Franco-Flemish School – Religious Music

Style that dominated late
fifteenth and sixteenth
century music
 Geographical centre in
modern day North East
France, Belgium, and
4 parts: Soprano, Alto,
Tenor, Bass
Equality amongst voices
(no one part had the main
                             MASTER OF FLÉMALLE, detail from the Mérode Altarpiece,
melody)                      ca. 1425-1428. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Franco-Flemish Music
Attention paid to representing
      normal speech patterns of text
     Use of secular songs as
      melodic material for sacred
      music “L‟Homme Arme”;
     Influence of humanism evident
      in more understandable text
      (Grout, 180)
     Common use of triads (modern
      sounding three note chords);
     Use of imitative counterpoint;
     Bass line begins to function as
      harmonic support rather than as
      independent melody line (Grout, 179)
     Preeminent composer: Josquin
      des Prez: transitional composer
      between medieval and modern
      times (Grout, 182)
Source: History of Western Music, Miller & Cockrell, Grout, 173
Imitative Counterpoint – The
Franco-Flemish Style
Imitation = the four voice
parts –SATB – copy each
other‟s melodies
Counterpoint = voices singing
the same melody at different
times, or different melodies at
the same time. Literally,
“note against note”.
To add variety to Imitative
                                  Adrian Willaert, Madrigal: Aspro core e salvaggio, 1540
Counterpoint, composers
adjusted the melodies in these
five ways:
Imitative Variations
   Augmentation (the
    durations of the notes
    are made longer)
   Diminution (the
    durations of the notes
    are made shorter)
   Inversion (the melody is
    flipped upside down)
   Retrograde (the melody
    is sung backwards)
   Retrograde Inversion
    (backwards, upside
Textural Variety
   Texture = how many
    voices/instruments are being
    used at any one time and how
    these sounds are being used
   To vary the texture of the
    music, composers often
    switched between these two
    main texture:
   Homophony
   Polyphony
   Josquin des Prez (1450-1521)
    Motet: De profundis clamavi ad