Musical Interlude

  1. Renaissance (15th- 16th Century)

When people attended the churches, they were singing the songs. The large choirs were
the responsible ones to sing the songs.
* The most popular type of music in choirs of the churches was called Polyphony.
* Polyphony involved different kinds of vocal melodies at the same time.
* Another type of renaissance music is Madrigal. It involved three to six singers that
had to sing it with a lot of emotion. The songs usually contained romantic lyrics or poems.
* The people who lived during the Renaissance era, created the improvement on musical
instruments. In the 1500s, violin was created in Italy for the first time.
* Besides violin, there were many other popular musical instruments created in ancient
Renaissance. The recorder and bagpipe were included as the woodwind instruments. The
popular stringed instruments included the hurdy gurdy and lyre. Other instruments were
cornett, horns, and trumpets.
* Back in the renaissance times, there used to have a musical instrument that you can
compare with a guitar, but it was made with a round back. It was called Lute.
* The famous composers of Renaissance included Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and
Josquin Des Prez.
* Renaissance`s musical instrument that looked like a piano with keys was the Harpsichord. The way the people played it was different than the piano. You did not hit it but pluck the string.


classical music – Retrieved from :


2. Romanticism (1820- 1890)

* Concerts were spectacular events where violin strings snapped or entire instruments were broken. It is said that if Paganini`s E-string broke during a performance, he would continue playing on the other three strings until he had finished.
* “Romanticism” was brought about by the social and political stresses following the French Revolution, and the resulting nationalistic trends. It was a period of dramatic thought and action, also involving contradictions between capitalism and socialism, freedom, and oppression, logic and emotion, science, and faith.
* The piano was the most important instrument of the period and literature mixed with music and became closely connected.


3. Medieval Music (5th/6th-14th Century)

* The oldest surviving musical texts date from the 8th and 9th centuries.
* Neumes from the 9th century were early mnemonic devices written above or next to the text to indicate tonal changes.
* The five-line stave, thought to be a Spanish invention, has indicated pitch since the 13th century, while written musical notes have indicated length since the 14th century.
* There are several types of medieval instruments that you can find in the modern days. However, the old instrument has been modified. You can find that a flute in the medieval times was created from wood. But now the instrument is made from metal or silver.
* There were many kinds of plucked string instruments used by the medieval people to create great music. They often used psaltery, mandore, lute, and gittern.


4. Modern Music (around 1900)

* The decadent, Fin-de-Siècle consciousness created a cult of beauty and a search for exotic sounds. Impressionism experimented with new tonal colors.
* Salome`s “Dance of the Seven Veils” shocked audiences. Never before has a soprano danced so seductively in such a scanty costume.  The modern area opened ways to sexuality.



5. Classical Era (1760-1820)

The music of the Viennese classical era emerged amid the aesthetic and social upheaval that shaped the late 18th century: The Enlightenment, the end of absolutism, and the discovery of the emotional responsiveness. New musical forms were greatly demanded in this new cultural climate.
Thus, this saw the rise of the string quartet as music for the “expert” music lovers as well as the solo concert and symphony for the concert hall, which was open for the first time to all (paying) guests. The most important composers were Mozart and Beethoven.
The classical music followed the ideals of the Enlightenment.


6. Baroque (1600- 1750)


* The music of the Baroque era, named after the elaborate architectural style of the period, reflected the splendor of absolute rule. The new genre of oratorio was
also grandiose, but was based on Biblical themes.
Jean-Baptiste Lully (born 1632 in Florence, Italy and died in 1687 in Paris, France), created comedic ballet- a mixture of comedy, ballet, and song.


Lully conducted with a long, heavy, lavishly decorated baton, reflecting
the opulence of the Court of Versailles. He used to indicate the initial beat by hitting the baton on the floor, but one time he hit his foot instead. The wound did not heal
and inflammation set in. Lully died a few days later of gangrene.
* The oratorio, a type of sacred opera, brought religious themes into the concert hall. Johann Sebastian Bach made the cantata the centerpiece of Protestant Church music.
* The sites for holding performances of oratorios varied as widely as the changes in tonal sound for these sacred operas, which were not equivalent to a Mass and did not have stage sets.

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Catalina Magee

Founder / Owner of Trend Prive Magazine. Romanian-born American, "seasoned" in Italy, "cooked" in Germany and currently serving in Israel. NCIS Special Agent in Charge EA.

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