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Discuss the development of instrumental music from 1430 to 1750

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Emily A. Singh S10 Discuss the development of instrumental music from 1430 to 1750. The Renaissance period was approximately from 1400 to 1600. Translating as ?rebirth?, the Renaissance saw an explosion of culture. Knowledge, literature, and the arts all flourished, and the invention of the printing press in the Holy Roman Empire in 1440 helped to disperse this movement across Europe. The music of the Renaissance was quite distinct. For one thing, it was fundamentally modal. The Ancient Greeks applied the names Dorian, Ionian, Lydian, Aeolian and Phrygian to the modal scales, some of which contain accidentals depending on the intervals between each note. Without accidentals on certain notes on scales, the tonality of this music was quite ambiguous. It was only when musica ficta made an appearance that this trait was lost. This was the introduction of sharps, flats, or other accidentals to avoid strange-sounding intervals and note clashes. Johannes de Garlandia, the French 13th century music theorist, wrote that ficta was essential in polyphony as it was necessary to forestall said dissonances and to properly arrange cadences. ...read more.


Instruments in the Renaissance were mostly wind instruments, ranging from the brash double-reeded shawm to the softer-toned sackbut, the ancestor of the modern trombone. The wooden recorder received great popularity in the Renaissance, as well as the wooden flute. Other popular instruments include the cornett was a wooden or ivory curving instrument with finger holes and a similar mouthpiece to present-day brass. The serpent (the bass cornett), was also a curving wind instrument with six finger holes arranged in two sets of three. The crumhorn was a special development in the 15th century because although it contained a double reed, the player?s lips did not touch it because the reed was enclosed inside a protective cap. The viol was the common string instrument at the time. They were very much like the modern violin as they were played with a bow, but viols had six strings with frets rather four strings and no frets. The virginal was a keyboard instrument similar to the harpsichord and was particularly popular in Elizabethan England. Unlike the modern piano, the strings run parallel to the long side of the case. ...read more.


Baroque was became much more virtuosic, for singers and instrumentalists alike. This meant that music was characteristically harder to perform than Renaissance music, but it also led to the appearance of sonatas for solo instruments, and concertos for soloists of groups of soloists (concerto grosso). The other common Baroque genres were the sonata and the chorale. The sonata (from Latin and Italian ?sonare? meaning ?to sound?) grew from the Venetian instrumental genre the ricercari and canzoni and came in many presentations from solo to orchestral. Choral music generally had grown even more since the Renaissance as composers kept becoming more and more elaborate. As well as operas, oratorios appeared which were more religiously based. To change with the times, Lutheran Mass was written for the reformed church. It was now normal to find, not an a cappella performance as heard in Renaissance times, but a full performance for soloists, chorus and orchestra. The cantata also came into view, which was a shorter version of the oratorio. The Renaissance laid the way for many features of Baroque music such as the forms of pieces, the instruments used and in which ensembles they were used. Both eras have been incredibly important in influencing the music we know today. ...read more.

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