Musicians and Composers of the Renaissance Essay example

Musicians and Composers of the Renaissance Essay example

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John Warrack, author of 6 Great Composers, stated, “Any study of a composer, however brief, must have as its only purpose encouragement of the reader to greater enjoyment of the music” (Warrack, p.2). The composers and musicians of the Renaissance period need to be discussed and studied so that listeners, performers, and readers can appreciate and understand the beginnings of music theory and form. The reader can also understand the driving force of the composer, whether sacred or secular, popularity or religious growth. To begin understanding music composition one must begin at the birth, or rebirth of music and the composers who created the great change.
The Renaissance period of history occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries. Renaissance in its basic definition means rebirth. According to Merriam Webster, renaissance formally means, “a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary). Renaissance is the title given to the period of great change in music and art. The Renaissance period ushered in a culture of music that the public could enjoy. Most importantly it was a period that encouraged musicians and composers to create music and take risks with voices, instruments and notes.
The Renaissance period is known primarily for its changes in educating musicians. Composers and musicians alike were trained in choir schools that were held in churches. They were taught music theory, singing and academic courses like grammar and mathematics. Several famous composers were educated in these institutions. One of those who profited from such training was Guillaume Dufay.
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Guillaume Dufay was born an illegitimate son of a priest near Brussels. He be...


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...s, madrigals, and instrumental music for viola and keyboard. Prior to his death in 1623, Byrd composed 140 keyboard pieces, three Latin Masses and a Mass in English. Researchers state that Byrd’s “influence on English music was profound (Matthews, Thompson, p.282).
William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Orlande de Lassus, Giovanni da Palestrina, Josquin de Prez, Johannes Ockeghem and Guillaume Dufay helped shine a light onto the dark ages of music and arts. These men and many more, ushered in a culture of arts
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appreciation. Because of these composers and musicians, music was enjoyed by the public and revered by the church. Because of their creativity and their willingness to take musical risks, these composers were the fathers of the Renaissance, the rebirth, the life of the vigorous and intellectual activity, the beginning of music.

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