Introduction

Table Summary

Summary the Medieval and also Renaissance Music
Dark Agesca. 500-1000later center Agesca. 1000-1400Renaissanceca. 1400-1600
musicGregorian chantpolyphonic vocal music (sacred and secular)
notationcrude notation (approximate point out of pitch)staff notation (precise point out of pitch and rhythm)

General Features

The medieval and also Renaissance durations each witnessed a crucial transition in the structure of west music. During the middle Ages, monophony advanced into polyphony (see music Texture). During the Renaissance, the shell harmony the the Middle ages was prospered by true harmony.

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Transitions in the framework of western Music
Middle AgesRenaissanceBaroque
monophony > polyphonyshell harmony > true harmonychurch modes > major/minor scales

Throughout the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, Western arts music was based on two kinds of scales: major and also minor (see Tonality). Medieval and Renaissance music, on the various other hand, was based upon a collection of eight scales, well-known as the church modes.4


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Credit: Zman
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Credit: Mezzofortist

To recap: the principal kind of Western arts music in the Dark periods was Gregorian chant, which was monophonic. Polyphonic music emerged as chants to be embellished with added melody lines; in time, completely original polyphonic music was likewise composed (along with polyphonic music developed on optimal of Gregorian chants). The convention of structure polyphonic music top top an existing melody would linger for centuries, however; only in the Baroque era go it come to be standard exercise to create wholly original music.

Secular Music

Throughout the middle Ages, developments in music practice and theory were driven greatly by sacred music. Over the centuries, these breakthroughs diffused come secular music (non-religious music).I61,3

Since ancient times, secular vocal music had been created for popular entertainment. From antiquity through the early Middle Ages, this compositions featured monophonic structure (see music Texture); usual subjects to be heroic legends, love stories, and satirical observations. In the Dark Ages, minstrels (a basic term for hike performers) to be the principal team of skilled secular musicians.I18,3

In the later medieval period, minstrels were joined by such teams as the troubadours (of southern France), trouveres (northern France), and minnesingers and meistersingers (Germany). In enhancement to writing monophonic works, these groups introduced polyphony to secular music. Choose their sacred counterparts, polyphonic secular functions were often built upon one existing melody (rather 보다 being composed completely from scratch) up till the Baroque era.

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Renaissance Music


The hatchet "Renaissance" denotes the revival of classical culture (i.e. Greco-Roman culture). In some cases this resurgence was fairly direct; sculptors, because that instance, reawakened the timeless statue through studying old originals. Through no surviving old music come emulate, however, composers took component in the Renaissance through embracing the general classical principles the simplicity, balance, order, and clarity (see west Aesthetics).

Throughout the later on medieval period, composers elevated polyphonic music come staggering heights of complexity. Renaissance composers reigned in this tendency, to like melodies and harmonies of greater simplicity and also clarity. Renaissance music is additionally notable for its ample usage of imitation (the repetition or variation of a melody, regularly at a different pitch), which has remained a vital element of western music ever before since. Imitation expands and amplifies the result of a melody, and also serves as a unifying pressure throughout a music work.I113-17,3

The Renaissance also witnessed the adopt of sweet true harmony in ar of dried shell harmony. "Shell harmony" has actually two parts: a source note and also its fifth. "True harmony" has actually three parts: a source note, that is third, and its fifth.I86-89,3

shell harmonytrue harmony
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Generally speaking, leadership the Western society belonged come France throughout the later on Middle Ages, then to Italy during the Renaissance. Music is an exception to this general account. While later medieval music was without doubt led by France, Renaissance music was led by 3 regions, consecutively: Burgundy, climate the Low Countries, climate Italy.3

Instrumental Music

Vocal works (sacred and also secular) to be the predominant form of music transparent the medieval and Renaissance periods; critical music offered chiefly together accompaniment because that singers or dancers. Nonetheless, the Renaissance walk witness the climb of independent instrumental music. Critical works of the Renaissance duration were greatly composed for lute, keyboard (organ, harpsichord, or clavichord), or small ensembles (strings, woodwinds, and/or brass).I142,3