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The Comparison Between The Medieval And Renaissance Musical Periods

859 words - 4 pages

The Medieval and Renaissance periods present two distinct cultures and worldviews in the human development. Unlike the Middle-Ages, several Renaissance scientists desired to learn about the earth apart from the idea of a Divine Creator, and philosophers brought in humanistic thinking. Innovations during this period like the gunpowder, telescope, microscope and the print press changed dramatically the people's lifestyles and views of the world around them. Religion also varied greatly between these two eras. Reformation brought about turmoil during the Renaissance as opposed to the monastic life of the medieval period. One of the less obvious of these changes was that of music. In comparing ...view middle of the document...

The church modes were the basic scales of western music during the Middle Ages. They are like the major and minor scales in that they consist of seven tones and an eight tone that duplicates the first an octave higher. From paintings and literary descriptions we can find out that during this era instruments were used, and the prominent church instrument was the organ. It the beginning the organ was primitive, whose keys were operated by heavy blows of the fist.The Renaissance (1450-1600) could be described as an age of Curiosity and individualism, Exploration and Adventure, The rebirth of human creativity. During this period, due to the lost of power of the church and the new humanistic ideas, musical activity gradually shifted from the church to the court. Musically, the Renaissance period is sometimes called the golden age of a capella choral music, because the music did not need instrumental accompaniment. The capella refers to unaccompanied choral music. The texture of the Renaissance music is chiefly polyphonic. Renaissance composers often used word painting, a musical representation of specific poetic images. Certain elements made Renaissance music sounds fuller than medieval music. Composers considered the harmonic effect of chords rather than superimposing one melody above another. Also, typical choral pieces have four, five, or six voices parts of nearly equal melodic interest. The two main Forms of sacred Renaissance Music are the mass and the motet. The mass is the liturgical music for church services, and the motet is a polyphonic choral work set to a sacred...

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