- Sacred Music
- Secular Music
The Renaissance was an exciting time in the world history. World exploration
by Columbus and Sir Francis Drake, and scientific advancement by Galileo
and Copernicus led the world in new directions. Artists such as Leonardo
da Vinci and Michelangelo flourished while playwrights like Shakespeare
wrote plays and poetry.
The Renaissance saw the rise of the middle class. No longer did all of the wealth belong to the
nobility. People moved to cities, and spent more time seeing plays
and concerts. Music was now part of any good education. With
the invention of the printing press around 1450, sheet music was printed
and made available to everyone. By 1600, popular music of the day
was available across Europe, and the middle class learned to play instruments
using method books for recorder, lute, and guitar.
Composers like Josquin des
Prez and Giovanni Palestrina led the way into
a new way of composing. Man, rather then God, became the new focus in a
great deal of music. Composers now turned to another dimension of
music that had been neglected up to then. The use of harmony changed
music for ever.