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Historical Periods of Music.

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  • Essay length: 1123 words
  • Submitted: 23/10/2003
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AS and A Level Music

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Historical Periods of Music

Renaissance ~

(1500 - 1600)

Byrd, William was England's mot prominent composer during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. His music had great religious belief and a large emotional power of the audience. Due to the period in which he composed, he mainly composed Sacred music for the church. Before Byrd's time, sacred music consisted solely of vocals because people felt that by adding instruments, it would take away from the strength of the words. Later in the Renaissance period, instruments were introduced and they used an antiphonal effect.

I listened to William Byrd's "Pavana for the Earle of Salisbury". It is contrapuntal, which was mainly featured in this period. There are no vocals in the piece, which means that it was composed later in the Renaissance. It has a very slow tempo, which is suggested in it's title suggested; "Pavana" meaning slow. There was a harpsichord, where the chords are followed closely by the main melody. If the two parts were played separately, then it highlighted the equality if the time, where there wasn't a melody and accompaniment, but two equally important lines of music.

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