The Development Of Harmony In The Renaissance
Essay, Research Paper
The Development of Harony in the Renaissance
The development of harmony in the Renaissance came from John Dunstable, Josquin des Prez and Adriaan Willaert. John Dunstable significant contribution to the theory and practice of composition was the introduction of more melodic music and outlining chords as a part of the melody. This incorporated a more tonal center in his works and in the music as a whole. This also introduced leaps of a third or even the sixth as consonant and pleasing sounds to the ear. Dunstable’s influence on the European music is seen in his flowing, gently asymmetrical rhythms and, above all, in his harmonies. He represents a culimination of the English tradition of full, sonorous harmonies based on the third and sixth.
The second was Josquin des Prez. In his musical techniques he stands at the summit of the Renaissance, blending traditional forms with innovations that later became standards. The expressiveness of his music marks a break with the medieval tradition of more abstract music. He used music expressively so that the sounds matched the words of the text. Josquin also organized music in the modern way using major and minor scales with their related harmonies. His pieces consisted of religious Masses and motets along with secular chansons. He balanced the act between music and words resulted in a clearly sung text. It was evident of classical restraint of the High Renaissance.
Least of all, there is Adriaan Willaert. He developed a style of polyphony in which two four-part choirs sing alternately, but occasionally combine in an eight-part section. This led directly to the polychoral writing that characterized Venetian music in the second half of the 16th century. He created beautiful and expressive sounds. Which resulted in a variety of musical mechanism, such as alternating and combining voices, contrasting soft and loud, and arranging echo effects. The instrumental music played a second role to human voice. What had the most promise was the development of families of instruments. These families are called consorts. They consisted of either recorders and viols. The consorts represented the principle of the mixed instrumental ensemble and this would start the orchestra. Recorders and viols can be blended to make an agreeable sound and when human voices were added to the mixture, the conditions were riped for opera.