Music Appreciation

Motets and Madrigals. Briefly compare and contrast these two forms from the Renaissance. Listen to the Josquin Desprez motet and the madrigals of Weelkes and Jannequin and use them as examples for comparison. Your opinion is valuable. Please expand on what you read in the lesson and other sources.

Paraphrase the comparison and refer to the listening examples to help make your point. You will find some descriptions of the Jannequin madrigal in Topic 3: Words and Music in the Lectures section online.

Lesson 5 – Medieval, Gothic & Renaissance
Celtic Cross Celtic Cross Overview

This lesson lets you understand the material more deeply, and offers a big return for your efforts. The lesson focuses on the expansive growth of choral polyphonic music. You will discover the stylistic development of polyphonic music in the Renaissance and look more deeply at the very similar sacred motet and the secular madrigal.

What You Will Learn

After successfully completing this lesson, you should be able to · see (and hear) the development of parallel forms as sacred and secular polyphony. · see the conflict between the church motets and the secular madrigalisms. · discover the growth and importance of dense polyphonic structures. · feel comfortable with methods and resources for investigating musical topics. · have a richer experience of live performances.

Reading Assignment

Search the Internet or the library for the terms motet and madrigal to locate more information.

For additional background, look up “Renaissance music” or “history of Renaissance music” (putting it in quotation marks gives you information on the whole phrase; try different phrases, depending on your area of interest; e.g., “Renaissance instruments” or “Josquin des Prez”).

Listening Assignment

Ave Maria by Josquin Desprez – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUAgAF4Khmg

As Vesta Was Descending – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGTB1q2yEhQ

Song of the Birds (Chant des oiseaux) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-dkdgzYZbQ

Summary

The motet and madrigal claimed solid positions in society–one in the church and the other in secular situations–and imitation and word painting were of primary importance in musical composition. You should now more deeply understand how the move from monophony to polyphony was solidified in the Renaissance and led to a thickening of the multi-voice writing style in both choral and instrumental music. Through the development of notation, musical examples from this period have survived and are now available to performance and appreciation today.

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