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Renaissance Music

Renaissance Music - In the Renaissance period instrumental...

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In these compositions, passages are played in fast, repetitive patterns designed to show off the instrument's capabilities and the player's skill. During the Renaissance, musicians became increasingly aware of the possibilities of purely instrumental music, as opposed to the use of instruments as mere accompaniment for voices. Popular instruments of this period were woodwinds (oboe and recorders of various sizes), strings (the viol family, which is the predecessor of the violin family), brass (trumpets and trombones), plucked instruments (lute), percussion, and keyboard instruments (organ, harpsichord, and clavichord). In Rodrigo Martinez, an anonymous Spanish composer combines voices, woodwind, strings, and percussion instruments. Keyboard instruments, especially the clavichord, harpsichord, and organ were also popular during the Renaissance. Keyboard music began as accompaniment to vocal music and evolved to dance music. Eventually, original solo compositions of increasing complexity were created based on the dance forms.
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Unformatted text preview: In the Renaissance period, instrumental ensembles were referred to as consorts, and often consisted of instruments from the same family. For example, there were consorts of recorders, consorts of viols, etc. Galliard a 5, by John Dowland (1563-1626), exemplifies a string consort. As well as being one of the most published composers of his time, Dowland's First Book of Songs or Ayres (1597) was the most often reprinted music book of its time. Dowland, who traveled extensively, was also a lutenist and singer. Many consider him among the most important and influential musicians, and possibly one of the greatest songwriters of the Renaissance. He worked in Paris and Germany, and, from 1598 to 1606, was lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark. In 1612, after many failed attempts, he was finally appointed as a lutenist in the Court of James I of England, a post he held until his death. As so many other great composers, Dowland, despite his fame, died in poverty and neglect....
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