Renaissance Beginnings:

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Renaissance Beginnings:




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Renaissance Beginnings: Dufay and His Contemporaries

. . . there does not exist a single piece of music not composed within the last forty years regarded by the learned as worth hearing . . . Remember for the exam: The Beatles Suck!

. . . there does not exist a single piece of music not composed within the last forty years regarded by the learned as worth hearing . . . Johannes Tinctoris, 1477 Dufay: Kyrie from Mass on “Se la face ay pale”

Not Worth Hearing? Machaut: Since You Have Forgotten Me Quirky, nervous rhythms (syncopation) Dissonance 2/3 Cadences on “hollow” 5ths

Worth Hearing? Early Renaissance Composition John Dunstable: How Beautiful You Are ( Quam pulchra es)How beautiful and fair you are, my beloved, Most sweet are your delights. Your stature is like a palm-tree, And your breasts are like fruit.

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance: 1450-1600 or 1400-1600?

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance Period: 1400-1600 or 1450-1600? January 1 st , 1400 Awake, m’lady. Art not thou joyous that the Middle Ages be o’er? Shut up & go back to sleep

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance : 1400-1600 or 1475-1600? The “ Problem ” of Rebirth for Music

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance: 1400-1600 or 1475-1600? The “ Problem ” of Rebirth for Music C. The Geography of Renaissance Music No models of music from ancient Greece or Rome

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance : 1400-1600 or 1475-1600? The “ Problem ” of Rebirth for Music C. The Geography of the Renaissance

Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Busnois, Compère, Obrecht, Mouton When am I coming back?

I. Renaissance Music: Cultural Context Dates for the Renaissance : 1400-1600 or 1475-1600? The “ Problem ” of Rebirth for Music C. The Geography of the Renaissance D. The Rise of Humanism Age of the Burgundians or Netherlanders Composer not mere conduit, but creator What sounds good matters (counterexample = Machaut ’ s “Quant en moy , or “ My End is My Beginning ” ) Scholasticism vs. Humanism Decreasing reliance on authority (chant or pre-existing music)

II. Sounds of the Renaissance:Musical Characteristics A. Preferred Intervals ( “ sweet ” 3rds ” not “hollow” 5ths) & Dissonance Treatment (used carefully, sparingly) B. Voices become more nearly equal in importance C. Predominant Texture: Imitative Polyphony ( melodies presented in imitation) D. Secondary Texture: Block Homophony E. The Sound Ideal: a cappella F. Musical Genres of the Renaissance

Guillaume Dufay B. Dufay ’ s Bio. & the Typical Renaissance Career A. Other Early Renaissance Composers (1400-1475) Gilles Binchois, John Dunstable, Johannes Ockeghem Born in North ( i.e., Burgundy or Netherlands ) Career includes time in Italy Major composers tend to hold posts at secular courts

IV. Dufay’s Veni Creator Spiritus A. Based on a Chant (hymn)

B. Hymns use strophic form : same music for each verse C. Alternatim setting E. Dufay ’ s verses = three voices F. Cadences mark 4 phrases G. Paraphrase Technique D. 4 line poem= 4 phrases in chant IV. Dufay’s Veni Creator Spiritus A. Based on a Chant (hymn)

Dufay ’ s Veni Creator Spiritus (hymn): Paraphrase Technique Top voice of Dufay ’ s setting Chant Paraphrase Technique: 1. Chant in top voice (where most audible) 2. Rhythmicized , but retains audible relationship to chant 3. Notes of chant rewritten or “ paraphrased ”

V. New and Old in Dufay’s Veni Creator Spiritus A. New or Renaissance Features B. Old or Medieval Features 1. “ Sweet ” sounds of 3rds 2. Voices move at equal speed 3. Chant altered via paraphrase 1. syncopation 2. Open 5ths still predominate at cadences 3. Triple meter (perfection) 4. Still based on Gregorian chant


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