History of Classical Music

The Renaissance

Previous (Middle Ages) Next (Baroque)
(1400-1600CE)

Subtopics:

  1. Sacred Music
  2. Secular Music
  3. Reformation
  4. Instrumental
  5. Composers
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.



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