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The Italian Madrigal - Lesson 6 The Italian Madrigal Chief...

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Lesson 6 The Italian Madrigal Chief genre of Renaissance secular music Popularized in Florence in 1520’s Serious Italian texts o Reaction to light-hearted poetry of the frottola o Usually features stark contrasts in imagery (life/death, love/hate, dark/light, etc.) 4-5-voice a capella texture Word painting: expressing text through music Printed and sold to upper-middle class people Sung at home for entertainment The English Madrigal Italian Madrigals became popular in England Soon English composers adapted the genre to suit English tastes o English texts o Lighter poetry o Still plenty of word painting Example: John Farmer’s Fair Phyllis (1599) o English Madrigal o Published in 1599 o 4-voice a cappella texture o Word painting “sitting all alone” sung by single voice “up and down” has up-and-down melodies. o Text for Fair Phyllis Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone, Feeding her flock near to the mountain side. The shepherds knew not whiter she was gone, But after her lover Amyntas hied. Up and down he wandered, whilst she was missing; When he found her, oh, then they fell a-kissing. Ex.: Thomas Weelkes (ca. 1575-1623) As Vesta Was Descending (1601) o CD 1, track 59 (Kamien pp. 84-84) o 6-voice English Madrigal o Publish in collection The Triumphes of Oriana , an homage to Queen Elizabeth o Word Painting “Descending” has downward scales “first two-by-two then three-by-three” goes from 2 to 3 voices “running down amain” cascading downward scales
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Lesson 6 Renaissance Instrumental Music Great variety of styles and instrumentations o Instruments grouped into consorts (families) of viols, recorders, etc.
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