This period was a time of great political and social upheaval – events such as the Protestant Reformation had a huge impact upon the life in the Western world.
There was also an increase in humanistic thought, which challenged the supremacy of the church.
The Renaissance Music Period covers the time from c.1400 – 1600.
We are going to look at the key features of Renaissance music so you can get a good basic understanding of the era. It is used to describe an age of new discoveries and exploration from c.1400-1600.
Renaissance music is European music written from about the year 1400 to 1600.
This section of time is called the Renaissance, a word which means “rebirth”.The Renaissance comes between the Middle Ages and the Baroque times.Putting music into time sections does not mean that there were quick changes of type.There were lots of other secular songs such as the chanson, canzonetta and villanelle. Music was an essential part of civic, religious, and courtly life in the Renaissance.The rich interchange of ideas in Europe, as well as political, economic, and religious events in the period 1400–1600 led to major changes in styles of composing, methods of disseminating music, new musical genres, and the development of musical instruments.Ockeghem even composed one piece in which all the parts develop from one idea which was used as a canon.In the 16th century composers started to write music with a clear beat and regular pulse.There were still no barlines in early Renaissance music. the minim (half note) was at one time the shortest note that could be written (the “minimum” length).Only later did crochets (quarter notes) and quavers (eighth notes) come in.An important development during the Renaissance was music notation. They are useful for us because they tell us how music sounded in those days and what people thought about it.Music started to be written on a music staff with five lines.