What Is The Musical Renaissance?

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According to Greenberg (2009), the musical Renaissance by estimation began around 1400 and ended in 1600, marked by the first opera that was historically recorded which is used to begin the Baroque era. The Baroque era spans from 1600-1750 with Sebastian Bach’s death marking its end. As discussed by Greenberg (2009), the Renaissance saw many changes and advancements over a two hundred year span of evolution in music. The intellectual and social trends strayed from the absolute power of the church and secular music became admired and composed for the beauty of its art. Renaissance composers developed a more expressive style by clearly articulating lyrics “musica reservata” and a process called word painting or tone painting which reflected…show more content…
Renaissance instrumental music which was composed for dances and harmony producing instruments was normally composed just for that purpose. Baroque instrumentation was cultivated as an art form that equaled vocal music and was composed to be just that, instrumental. According to Greenberg (2011), Lutheranism influenced Latin to gradually be replaced by vernacular language in church which had a profound impact on Protestant church music. Because of the nature of the German language and its unique syllabic accentuation, it did not translate well from the more melismatic language of Italian; it was not used as a language musically until the Protestant reformation. Baroque sacred music diversified through Protestant Europe and Catholic Europe each being perceived differently, spiritually and…show more content…
Typically, Renaissance sacred music is; rhythmically moderate, melodically plain (similar to a plainchant) and lacking embellishment, the polyphony “mellifluous and homogeneous with a marked lack of chromaticism and dissonance” and scored for vocals only. The Baroque is substantially different: rhythm of dance music, melodic melodies are long and ornate; Polyphony and harmony full of “chromaticism and dissonance, driving each phrase forward in search of consonance and resolution”; and scored for both vocals and many instruments. The Baroque sacred music expresses itself in its sacred music as much as it’s secular music; “The nature of the religiosity is one of unrestrained joy and celebration, and the emotional impact is almost physical in its energy and exuberance” (Greenberg,
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