2.4- Music During the Northern Renaissance

Rise in Secular Music

  • Secular – No association with religious meaning or ceremonies
  • Lyrics in the vernacular

The Madrigal

  • A vocal composition for a small group of singers
  • Usually a capella
  • Usually polyphonic
  • Appealed to education, courtly audiences
  • Topics of love, and frivolity
  • Witty settings of text
  • Word painting
  • Madrigals flourished in England

Important Madrigal Composers in England

Thomas Weelkes

As Vesta Was Descending
Hark All Ye Lovely Saints

Thomas Morely

Now is the Month of Maying

Philis, I Fain Would Die Now
Click here to view.

John Dowland

A historical video (dated but still good) about the madrigal:
A Fine Knack for Ladies

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments have evolved substantially since the Renaissance.   Take a quick tour of some of the instruments that were used during this era.

6 Responses to “2.4- Music During the Northern Renaissance”

  1. Melvin Baird writes:

    Secular music called magical was aimed toward people with class.

  2. sarah ledoux writes:

    I love the website with the information about and examples of all of the instruments. Wow!

  3. Ted Graham writes:

    My favorite instrument is the recorder

  4. Rebecka writes:

    WOW, Interesting how many of those instruments sound like some of our modern instruments. I personally liked the sound of the gemshorn; very mellow and smooth sounding. I thought the Hurdy-Gurdy had a unique sound that I had never really heard before, plus it has a great name. 🙂

  5. Miles Dinstel writes:

    A Lute, in the hands of a skilled player, is the most epic of all Renaissance instruments.

  6. Jody writes:

    I enjoy the musical skill both in voice, music, and composition reflected in this music.