Musicology: 16th Century

The outline that you find below has been a very helpful study guide to assist students using the book A History of Western Music. I strongly recommend this book. With its contents, art work, and media, it's just gorgeous!

The Franco-Flemish Generation of 1520-1550

  1. Background
    1. Growing diversity of musical expression began to modify the dominant cosmopolitan style of the Franco-Flemish masters.
    2. Imitation of polyphonic models (imitation Mass) gradually replaces cantus firmus mass
    3. Composers begin to write for 5 or 6 voices rather to earlier standard 4-voices
  2. Composers
    1. Nicolas Gombert (1495-1556)
      1. Exemplar of the northern motet style from 1520-1550
      2. Supposed pupil of Josquin
      3. Motet: Super flumina Babilonis exemplifies his motet style (more than 160 survive)
        1. Use of continuous series of imitative sentences with interlocking cadences
        2. This is broken by a single short contrasting section in triple meter and fauxbourdon harmony
    2. Jacobus Clemens (1510-1556)
      1. Also known as 'Clemens non Papa' for unknown reasons
      2. Compositional output:
        1. 15 Masses: all masses (but one) based on polyphonic models
        2. 200 motets: similar in style to Gombert
        3. 4 books of psalms (Souterliedeken) w/Dutch texts written in 3-part polyphony using popular tunes
    3. Ludwig Senfl (1486-1542[3])
      1. Swiss student of Isaac
      2. Worked chiefly at the Bavarian court of Munich
      3. Conservative style
      4. Wrote many German secular songs and sacred works for the Lutheran church
    4. Adrian Willaert (1490-1562)
      1. Much more progressive than conservatives Gombert, Clemens, Senfl
      2. Personal history
        1. Born in Flanders
        2. Studied with Mouton at Paris
        3. Served Cardinal Ippolito I d'Este in Rome by 1515
        4. Director of music in St. Mark's church at Venice in 1527
      3. Taught many eminent musicians: Zarlino, Cipriano de rore, Andrea Gabrieli
      4. Primarily wrote sacred copositions
      5. One of the first composers to insist that the syllables be printed carefully under the notes with scrupulous attention

The Rise of National Styles

  1. Rise of Italian Styles
    1. Change from foreign to native musical leadership is vividly illustrated by the position in Venice of the Flemish Adrian Willaert and his disciples
      1. Willaert is made director of St. Mark's in 1527
      2. Pupil A.Gabrieli (1520-1586) later holds the position
      3. In 1609, Heinrich Schütz comes ot study with G.Gabrieli
      4. In less than a century Italy supplants France, Flanders and the Netherlands as the center of European musical life, primacy endures for 200 years
  2. Frottola
    1. When Petrucci begins printing music at Venice in 1501 he publ. chansons, Masses, and motets. From 1504-1514, he publ. no fewer than 11 collections of strophic Italian songs, set syllabically to music in four parts, having marked rhythmic patterns, simple diatonic harmonies and a homophonic style, with melody in the upper voice.
    2. Frottola: generic term for these types of songs. Word embraces many subtypes: barzalletta, capitolo, terza rima and strambotto, as well as canzona
      1. Frottola flourished in the late 15th and early 16th c.
      2. Probably method of performance was to sing the upper voice and play the other parts as accompaniment.
    3. In 1509, 1511 and 1520s Francisco Bossiniensis publ. a large number of frottole by various composers for lute and voice, preserving the vocal parts but omitting one interior part.
    4. Frottola is a historically important forerunner of the Italian madrigal
  3. Lauda
    1. Religious counterpart of the frottola was the polyphonic lauda: a popular nonliturgical devotional song
    2. Texts sometimes Italian, sometimes Latin
    3. 4-part settings
    4. Melodies taken from secular songs
    5. Two books of laude were published by Petrucci in 1507 and 1508
    6. Performance practice:
      1. Sung in semipublic devotional gatherings
      2. Either 'a cappella' or with inst. playing the lower 3 voices
    7. Musical style:
      1. Similar to the frottola
      2. Syllabic, homophonic, regularly rhythmic
      3. Melody always placed in the highest voice
      4. Simple harmonic settings
      5. Rarely incorporates Gregorian themes
  4. France: The New French Chanson
    1. French was always the language of the chanson, as Latin was of the Mass
    2. French composers of Masses and motets in the early 16th c. continue to write in a slightly modified version of the international style
    3. Chanson composers, however from 1500-1550 develop a new type of chanson that was more distinctively national in both poetry and music
    4. Early publications
      1. Pierre Attaignant published between 1528-1552 more than 50 collections of chansons, about 1500 pieces altogether
      2. Hundreds of transcriptions for lute and arrangements for lute and solo voice publ. during 16th c. in Italy and France
      3. Jacques Moderne at Lyons (publ. from 1532-60)
  5. Later Franco-Flemish Chanson
    1. Franco-Flemish composers: Gombert, Clemens non Papa, Pierre de Manchicourt (d.1564) and Thomas Crecquillon (d.1557)
    2. Tilman Susato at Antwerp publ. 14 collections between 1543-1555 of music mostly by Franco-Flemish composers
    3. Musical style
      1. More contrapuntal than those by the Paris composers
      2. Fuller texture, more melismatic lines
      3. Less marked rhythm
  6. Germany
    1. Polyphony developed later in Germany than in other Western European countries
    2. Monophonic art of the Minnesinger flourished at the German courts throught the 14th c.
    3. Art of the Meistersinger flourished in the cities and towns from 1450-1600
    4. Franco-Flemish musicians began to be heard in Germany from about 1530
  7. German Lied
    1. Lochamer Liederbuch (Lochamer Songbook) of 1455-1460
      1. One of the earliest collections of German polyphonic songs
      2. Contains both monophonic melodies and 3-part settings with the leading melody in the tenor part
    2. Glogauer Liederbuch (1480)
      1. 3-part settings
      2. Melody sometimes in upper-most voice
    3. First masters of polyphonic Lied
      1. Isaac
      2. Heinrich Finck (1445-1527)
      3. Paul Hofhaimer (1459-1537)
    4. Ludwig Senfl
      1. Leading figure of 16th c. polyphonic Lied
    5. Nuremberg as leading center of German culture during 1500-1550
    6. Lied declines after 1550 as German taste veers toward Italian styles
  8. Quodlibet
    1. A kind of song written mostly in German: a piece made up of different songs or fragments of songs thrown together often with the apparent aim of making an incongruous and absurd mixture of texts.
  9. Spain
    1. Villancico
      1. Leading Spanish genre of secular polyphony at the end of the 15th c.
      2. Villancico as a Spanish analogue of the Italian frottola:
        1. Short strophic song with a refrain
        2. Typically with the pattern aBccaB
        3. Principal melody in top voice
    2. Cristobal de Morales (1500-1553)
      1. Leading Spanish composer of the early 16t c.
      2. Served as member of the papal chapel from 1535-1545
  10. England
    1. English music declines during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485)
    2. Revival of music during the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509)
    3. Most surviving English polyphony from the 16th c. is sacred
      1. Masses
      2. Magnificats
      3. Votive antiphons
    4. English style
      1. Fuller sonority of 5 or 6 voices
      2. As contrasted from the common imitative 4-part Continental texture
      3. English peculiarity: writing of long melismatic passages over a single syllable of text, a kind of free vocalization
    5. Leading composers of the early 16th c.
      1. William Cornysh the younger (1465-1523)
        1. Wrote secular songs and motets
      2. Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521)
        1. Known for his Masses
    6. Eton Choirbook
      1. Important source from the late 15th c.
      2. Contains music compiled for Eton College between 1490 and 1502
      3. Originally contained 67 antiphons in honor of the Virgin Mary
    7. John Taverner (ca.1490-1545)
      1. Greatest English musician of this period
      2. Served four years as choirmaster at Oxford college
      3. Wrote festal Masses and Magnificats in the full, florid English style
      4. Western Wynde Mass
        1. 2 other English Masses based on this tune
        2. All three treat the cantus firmus as a series of variations in a manner similar to English keyboard variations
      5. Missa Glopria tibi trinitas
    8. Important English composers from the middle of the 16th century
      1. Christopher Tye (1505-1572)
      2. Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
        1. Served Henry VII
        2. Wrote votive antiphons and Masses, including one imitation mass
        3. Mass Puer nobis: mass for 7-voices
        4. Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Tallis set music to Latin and English including 2 sets of lamentations.
      3. Robert Whyte (1538-1574)
  11. Anglican Church Music
    1. Church of England formally separated from the Catholic Church in 1532 under Henry VIII
    2. Act of Uniformity during reign of Edward VI in 1549 decreed that English liturgy would be the only one available for use
    3. Important composers
      1. Thomas Tallis
      2. William Byrd (1543-1623)
        1. Roman Catholic
        2. Wrote 3 Masses: one for 3 voices, 4 voices, and 5 voices
        3. Also wrote 5 Anglican services, including the Great Service
        4. 60 Anglican anthems
      3. Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
        1. The 'father' of Anglican church music
      4. Thomas Weelkes (1575-1623)
      5. Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
    4. Principal forms of Anglican music
      1. Service
        1. Service consists of music for the unvarying poertions of Morning and Evening Prayer (corresponding respectively to the Roman Matins and Vespers) and of that for Holy Communion
        2. Great Service: musically contrapuntal and melismatic
        3. Short Service: musically chordal and syllabic
      2. Anthem
        1. Anthem corresponds to the Latin motet
        2. Full anthem
          1. For chorus throughout
          2. Contrapuntal style
          3. Unaccompanied
        3. Verse anthem
          1. One or more solo voices
          2. Organ or viol accompaniment
          3. Brief alternating passages for chorus
          4. Most popular in England during 17th c.

The Madrigal and Related Forms

  1. Background
    1. Most important genre of Italian secular music in the 16th c.
    2. Differs from the 14th c. madrigal
      1. 14th c. madrigal: strophic song with a refrain (ritornello)
    3. 16th c. madrigal
      1. Used no refrain or any other feature of the old formes fixes
      2. Madrigal, like frottola, is a generic term that includes a variety of poetic types:
        1. Sonnet
        2. Ballata
        3. Canzone
        4. Ottava rima
      3. Text typically consisted of single stanza with a free rhyme scheme and a moderate number of seven and eleven syllable lines
    4. How the madrigal differs from the frottola:
      1. Poetry is more elevated and serious
      2. Texts are from major poets: Petrarch, Bembo, Sannazaro, Ariosto
      3. Madrigal treats the verse more freely
    5. Madrigal inseparably bound up with the currents of taste and criticism of Italian poetry
    6. Number of parts in the madrigal
      1. 1520-1550: 4-voices
      2. Mid-16th century: 5-voices
      3. 6-8 voices often used too
  2. Madrigal Texts
    1. Sentimental or erotic subject matter with scene and allusions from pastoral poetry
    2. Text usually ends with an epigrammatic climax in the last line or two
    3. Sung at courtly social gatherings
    4. Often amateur performers, around 1570 professional groups appear
    5. Madrigals also sung in plays and theatrical productions
  3. Early madrigal centers and important composers
    1. Florence
      1. Bernardo Pisano (1490-1548)
      2. Francesco de Layolle (1492-1540)
      3. Philippe Verdelot (ca.1480-1545)
    2. Rome
      1. Constanzo Festa (1490-1545)
    3. Venice
      1. Adrian Willaert
      2. Jacob Arcadelt
  4. The Petrarchan Movement
    1. Pietro Bembo (1470-1547)
      1. Poet, statesman and cardinal greatly responsible for the veneration of the 14th century poet Petrarch in the 16th c.
      2. Edited Petrarch's Canzoniere in 1501
      3. Identified two opposing qualities that Petrarch sought in his verse:
        1. Piacevolezza (pleasingness)
        2. Gravita (severity)
      4. Rhythm, distance of rhyme, number of syllables per line, accent patterns and sonorous qualities all contributed to making the verse pleasing or severe
      5. Prose della volga lingua (1525) book by Bembo, also very influential
    2. Composers influenced by Petrarchan Movement
      1. Pisano publ. 17 settings of Petrarch's canzoni in 1520
      2. Willaert's Musica nova publ 1559, written in the 1540s contains 25 madrigals all but one are settings of sonnets by Petrarch.
      3. Cipriano de Rore set 11 madriagals on Petrarch's Vergini
  5. Cipriano de Rore (1516-1565)
    1. Leading madrigalist of his generation, set trends for the madrigal of the 2nd half of the 16th century
    2. Personal history
      1. Flemish by birth
      2. Worked in Italy, chiefly at Ferrara and Parma
      3. Was music director at St.Mark's in Venice for a short time as successor to Willaert
    3. Musical style
      1. Chromatic exploration spurred by experiments to revive Greek music
        1. Half-step motion
        2. Excursions out of the mode
      2. Important innovator Nicola Vicentino
        1. Published treatise in 1555 calling for a revival, L'antica musica ridotta all moderna prattica (Ancient Music Adapted to the Modern Practice)
        2. Designed an arcicembalo and arciorgano that permitted the performance of muisc containing half-step and microtonal progressions impossible on normal keyboards of the time.
  6. Later Madrigalists
    1. Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)
      1. Most important as a church composer, but also wrote chansons, madrigals and lieder
    2. Philippe de Monte (1521-1603)
      1. Wrote both sacred and secular music
      2. Published 32 collections of secular madrigals
      3. 3 or 4 books of madrigali spirituali
    3. Giaches de Wert (1535-1596)
      1. Born near Antwerp, spends most of his life in Italy
      2. Developed the style of madrigal composition begun by Rore
        1. Late style is full of bold leaps
        2. Recitative-like declamation
        3. Extravagant contrasts
      3. Exercised a marked influence on Monteverdi
    4. Carlo Gesualdo (1561-1613)
      1. Height of chromaticism in the Italian madrigal was reached in the works of Gesualdo
      2. Personal history
        1. Prince of Venosa
        2. Murdered his first wife and her lover
      3. Chromaticism as a deeply moving response to the text
  7. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
    1. Through madrigal Monteverdi makes the transition from writing for the polyphonic vocal ensemble to the instrumentally accompanied solo and duet.
    2. Personal history
      1. Born at Cremona
      2. 1590 enters service of Vincenzo Gonzaga, duke of Mantua
      3. Becomes master of ducal chapel 1602 (Mantua)
      4. From 1613-1643 he was choirmaster at St.Mark's in Venice
    3. Monteverdi's first five books of madrigals publ.1587, 1590, 1592, 1603, 1606.
      1. These works belong to the history of the polyphonic madrigal
      2. Smooth combination of homophonic and contrapuntal part writing
      3. Faithful reflection of the text
      4. Freedom of expressive harmonies and dissonances
      5. Traits that differ from his contemporaries:
        1. Musical motives are not melodic, but declamatory, in the manner of the recitative
        2. Texture often departs from the medium of equal voices and become a duet over a harmonically supporting bass
        3. Ornamental dissonances and embellishments previously admitted in improvisation are incorporated in the written score.
    4. Monteverdi's debate with Artusi
      1. Prima prattica: letting the music guide the text
      2. Seconda prattica: letting the text guide the music
  8. Other Italian secular forms
    1. Lighter varieties of partsong also cultivated in 16th c. Italy
      1. Canzon villanesca
        1. Peasant song
        2. Appears around Naples in the 1540s
        3. 3-voice, strophic, lively little piece in homophonic style
        4. Often has deliberate use of parallel 5ths to suggest its supposedly rustic character
        5. Often parodies madrigal texts and music
      2. Canzonetta and balletto
        1. Neat, vivacious homophonic style
        2. Clear, distinct harmonies
        3. Evenly phrased sections
        4. Balletti intended for dancing and identifiable by their 'fa la la' refrains
        5. Both forms were popular in Italy and imitated by German and English composers
  9. Germany
    1. German courts, municipalities began hiring Franco-Flemish musicians and Italians from 1550 onward (in contrast to Italy's cultivation of native composers at the same time).
    2. Foreign composers did not impose foreign tastes, but rather assimilated into German musical life and made important contributions to the secular Lied and to both Catholic and Lutheran church music.
    3. Orlando di Lasso
      1. Chief among the international composers in Germany in the 16th c.
        1. Entered service of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria in 1556/1557
        2. Became head of the ducal chapel in 1560 until his death in 1594
      2. Wrote 7 collections of German Lieder
      3. Ich armer Mann (publ.1576)
        1. Setting does not mask the tenor tune in a web of counterpoint
        2. Instead, text is set in the manner of a madrigal
          1. All parts have equal importance
          2. High level of interplay between motives, imitation, echoes
    4. Jacob Regnard (1540-1599)
      1. Flemish composer in the employ of the Imperial Chapel
      2. Published Kurzweilige teutsche Lieder (Entertaining German Songs for Three Voices in the Manner of the Neapolitan or Italian Villanelle)
        1. This publication attests to the popularity of the Italian style in Germany
    5. Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
      1. Personal history
        1. Born in Nuremberg
        2. Studied with Andrea Gabrieli at Venice in 1584
        3. 1585-1612 he held various positions at Augsburg, Nuremberg, Ulm and Dresden
      2. Compositional output
        1. Instrumental ensemble and keyboard pieces
        2. Canzonets and madrigals with Italian texts
        3. German Lieder
        4. Latin motets and Masses
        5. Settings of Lutheran chorales
    6. Other notable German composers
      1. Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630)
      2. Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
  10. France
    1. In France and the Low Countries, the chanson continued to flourish in the second half of the 16th century.
    2. Old polyphonic tradition survives longest in the north as evidenced by the publications of chanson books by Dutch composer Jan Sweelinck (1562-1621) in 1594 and 1612.
    3. Evidence of the influence of the Italian madrigal is evident from 1560-1575.
      1. Important mediator of the Franco-Flemish-Italian influence in France was Orlando di Lasso
    4. French composers of the period
      1. Claude Le Jeune (1528-1600)
        1. Often serious polyphonic works, sectional, 5-parts
        2. Similar to Rore's madrigals
      2. Guillaume Costeley (1531-1606)
      3. Jacques Maduit (1557-1627)
    5. Air or air de cour (court tune)
      1. New type of chanson that appears about 1550
      2. Homophonic, short strophic, often with a refrain
      3. Performed as a solo with lute accompaniment
      4. Initially called vaudevilles
    6. Musique Mesurée
      1. Academie de Poesie et de Musique (Academy of Poetry and Music): a group of experimenters formed in 1570 under the patronage of King Charles IX
      2. Poet Jean-Antoine de Baif wrote strophic verses in ancient classical meters, substituting for the modern stree accent the ancient Greek and Latin quantities of long and short syllables.
      3. Le Jeune, Maduit and others set these verse to music for voices, strictly observing the rule of a long note for each long syllabe and a note half as long for each short syllable.
        1. Le Jeune's chanson Revecy venir du printins uses this technique (pattern is: 'short short long short long short long long' almost throughout)
        2. Technique was artificial, but it does serve to introduce non-regular rhythms into French music.
  11. The English Madrigal
    1. Golden age of secular song in England comes later than in the Continental countries
    2. Musica transalpina: 1588 publication by Nicholas Yonge in Londen
      1. Collection of Italian madrigals in English translations
      2. More anthologies appear in the next decade which gives rise to the English madrigal composition that flourished in the 1590s
    3. Leading figures
      1. Thomas Morley (1557-1602)
        1. Morley was the most prolific
        2. Wrote lighter types of madrigals, in the related forms of ballett and canzonet (particularly the balletti of Gastoldi)
        3. Homophonic textures, with tune in topmost voice
        4. Dance-like meter
        5. Distinct sections set off by full cadences and with repetitions resulting in formal patterns such as AABB or the like and with two or three strophes sung to the same music
        6. There is also a refrain, often sung to the syllables 'fa-la-la'
        7. Also wrote the treatise: A Plain and Easy Guide to Practical Music
      2. Thomas Weelkes
      3. John Wilbye (1574-1638)
    4. English Madrigal
      1. Differs from Italian prototype by its:
        1. Greater attention to musical structure,
        2. Preoccupation with purely musical devices,
        3. Reluctance to follow the Italians in splitting compositions mercurially at the whim of the text
        4. 'English madrigalist is first of all a musician, his Italian colleague is more of a dramatist' (Joseph Kerman, The Elizabethan Madrigal)
      2. Madrigals, balletts and canzonets were all written primarily for unaccompanied solo voices
    5. The Triumphes of Oriana (1601)
      1. A collection of 25 madrigals by different composers
      2. Edited and published by Thomas Morley
        1. His model was an Italian anthology called Il trionfo di Dori published 1592
      3. Each madrigal acclaims Queen Elizabeth I, and ends with the words 'Long live fair Oriana'
    6. English Lute Songs (air)
      1. Genre flourishes after the turn of the century, coinciding with the decline of the madrigal
      2. Leading composers
        1. John Downland (1562-1626)
        2. Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
      3. Musical style
        1. Typically lacks the pictoral touches of the madrigal
        2. Mood is uniformly lyrical
        3. Sensitivity to text declamation
        4. Lute accompaniments are subordinated to the voice, but do display some amount of rhythmic and melodic independence
      4. Notation
        1. Voice and lute parts usually printed on the same page in vertical alignment
        2. Singer presumably accompanied himself
    7. Consort songs
      1. Native English tradition in the late 16th c.
      2. Solo songs or duets with accompaniment of a consort of viols
      3. At a later stage a chorus was introduced
      4. Psalmes, Sonnets and Songs (1588)
        1. Collections published by William Byrd

Instrumental Music of the Sixteenth Century

  1. Rise of Instrumental Music
    1. 1450-1550 primarily and era of vocal polyphony although instrumental genres are developed
    2. Medieval sources of instrumental music
      1. Robertsbridge codex
      2. Faenza codex
      3. Include keyboard arrangements, elaborations of cantilenas and motets in addition to independent inst. music (dances, fanfares, etc.)
    3. Instrumental music as oral tradition prior to increase in written music from the 15th c.
      1. Growing status of instrumental musicians
      2. Publication of books, treatises describing instruments
        1. Many of these are practical books written in the vernacular
  2. Instruments
    1. Musica getutscht und ausgezogen (1511, 'A Summary of Music in German)
      1. Written by Sebastian Virdung
    2. Syntagma musicum (1618, 'Treatise of Music')
      1. Written by Michael Praetorius
      2. Descriptions and woodcuts of various 16th c. instruments
    3. Two items of importance:
      1. Extraordinary number and variety of wind instruments
      2. Instruments built in sets or families, one uniform timbre available throughout entire range from bass to soprano (recorders, viols, for example)
    4. Principal instruments
      1. Winds
        1. Recorders
        2. Shawms (double-reed)
        3. Krummhorns (double-reed)
        4. Kortholt and Rauschpfeife (capped-reed)
        5. Transverse flute
        6. Cornetts (made of wood or ivory)
        7. Trumpets
        8. Sakbuts (ancestor to the modern trombone)
      2. Stings
        1. Viols
          1. Fretted neck
          2. Six strings (tuned a 4th apart, w/maj. 3rd in the middle A-d-g-b-e-a)
      3. Organs
        1. Church organ of 1500 essentially the same as today
        2. Portative organ, disappears in 15th c.
      4. Keyboards
        1. Clavichord
          1. Generally used as a solo instrument
        2. Harpsichord
          1. Other names: virginal, spinet, clavecin, clavicembalo
          2. Used for both solo and ensemble playing
      5. Lute
        1. The most popular household solo instrument of the Renaissance
        2. Fretted neck
        3. Used special notation: tablature
  3. Relation of Instrumental to Vocal Music
    1. At the beginning of the 16th c. inst. music was closely associated in style and performance with vocal music.
      1. Instrumental often doubled or replaced voices in sacred and secular polyphonic pieces
      2. In the Office, the Magnificat was frequently performed in alternation btw. the choir and the organ, even number verses being sung, odd being played
      3. Short organ pieces used as substitutes for portions of the service normally sung were called verses or versets
    2. Organ hymns
      1. Example of organ hymn based on a vocal cantus firmus: Pange lingua by Jean Titelouze (1563-1633)
      2. In nomine, found only in English sources
        1. John Tevarner arranged for instruments the section composed on the words 'in nomine Domine' from the Benedictus of his Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas
        2. His model was followed by other composers
      3. English composers also used the six notes of the hexachord as organ cantus firmus for contrapuntal elaboration
        1. John Bull's (1562-1628) 'hexachord fancy'
  4. Vocal Models
    1. Canzona
      1. Instrumental canzona in Italy was called a canzon da sonar (song to be played)
      2. Also called canzona alla francese (chanson in the French style)
      3. Canzonas written both for ensembles and solo instruments
      4. Development of genre took place from 1550-1600
    2. Musical style of the canzona
      1. Originally modelled after the French chanson
        1. Light, fast-moving, strongly rhythmic
        2. Fairly contrapuntal texture
        3. Standard opening rhythmic figure consisting of a single note followed by two of half the value of the first (half-note followed by two quarters)
      2. Canzona becomes the leading form of contrapuntal music
      3. Earliest Italian examples (apart from mere transcriptions of vocal pieces) dates from 1580 for organ
        1. Organ canzonas were the forerunners of the fugue
        2. Fugue and canzona were synonymous in Germany as early as 1607
      4. Ensemble canzonas eventually develop into the sonata da chiesa of the 17th c.
    3. Formal aspects of the canzona
      1. Multisectional
      2. Contrasting sections and themes
  5. Dance Music
    1. Social dancing was widespread and highly regarded in the Renaissance
    2. Printed collections, partbooks and tablatures published by Petrucci, Attaingnant and others
    3. Musical style
      1. Regular rhythmic patterns
      2. Distinct sections
      3. Little contrapuntal interplay of lines
      4. Principal melody often highly ornamented
      5. Dance pieces typically grouped in pairs or threes, precursors to the dance suite
      6. Dance pieces owed little to vocal models
    4. A typical combination was a slow dance in duple meter, followed by fast triple meter piece based on the same tune
      1. Frequent pairing in 16th c. French publications: pavane and galliard
      2. Passamezzo and saltarello
    5. Ballet comique de la reine (The Queen's Dramatic Ballet)
      1. Earliest extant French ballet
      2. Given at Paris in 1581
    6. Other dances
      1. Allemande: dance in moderate duple meter
      2. Courante
      3. Morley's Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) describes the popular dances of the 16th c.
  6. Improvisatory Pieces
    1. Characteristic intrumental traits crept into music through improvisation
    2. 16th c. improvisation
      1. Ornamentation: elaboration of a given melodic line
      2. Discant: polyphonic elaboration, improvising a counter-melody
    3. Basse danse
      1. 15th-16th c. improvised dance over a borrowed tenor
      2. Later basses danses publ. by Attaingnant in the 1530s have melody in top line
    4. Preludes, preambulum, fantasia or ricercare: terms for improvisatory pieces
    5. Toccata
      1. Chief form for keyboard improvisation of the late 16th c.
      2. Name comes from the Italian verb 'to touch'
      3. Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) early composer of toccatas
  7. Ricercar
    1. The instrumental counterpart to the motet (just as the canzona is the counterpart to the chanson)
    2. Use of imitative counterpoint, textless imitative motet
    3. Sometimes for ensemble playing, smoetimes for solo inst.
  8. Sonata
    1. 15th c. term for instrumental pieces (solo and ensemble)
    2. 16th Italian usage refers to sacred counterpart of the canzona
    3. St.Mark's in Venice as an important center for inst. music in the 16th c.
      1. Merulo, A.Garbrieli both organists at St.Mark's
      2. Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612)
        1. Nephew of A.Gabrieli
        2. Wrote 7 sonatas and 36 canzone
        3. The famous Sonata pian'e forte from Sacrae symphoniae (1597)
          1. Double-chorus motet for instruments
          2. One of the earliest uses of dynamic indications
  9. Variations
    1. Evolved from improvisation on a tune as an accompaniment to dancing
    2. Intabulatura di lauto (Venice, 1508)
      1. Lute-tablatures published by Joan Ambrosio Dalza
      2. Includes written out variations on Venetian and Ferrarese pavane tunes
    3. Improvisation and composition of variations on short ostinato patters
      1. Pasamezzo antico
      2. Moderno
      3. Romanesca, Ruggiero and Guardame las vacas
      4. These were prototypes for the later chaconne and passacaglia
    4. Virginalists
      1. English keyboard composers of the late 16th century
        1. William Byrd
        2. John Bull
        3. Orlando Gibbons
        4. Thomas Tomkins
      2. Mulliner Book (ca. 1540-1585)
        1. Important manuscript collection of keyboard music
        2. Published in England
      3. Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (ca.1609-1619)
        1. A manuscript copied by Francis Tregian
        2. Contains nearly 300 compositions from the late 16th early 17th c.
          1. Transcriptions of madrigals
          2. Contrapuntal fantasias
          3. Dances and preludes
          4. Sets of variations
        3. Folk melodies often used for variations

I wish you found this page useful. Please feel free to browse the rest of this site.

Thank you!