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James Haar Editor. Iain Fenlon Editor ,. Kenneth Levy Contribution by. Margaret Bent Contribution by. Gallo Contribution by. Wulf Arlt Contribution by.
Essay on italian renaissance humanism
Lorenzo Bianconi Contribution by. James Haar ,. Timothy Striplin. Sean Gallagher Editor. Andrea Gabrieli ,.
Giovan Tomaso di Maio
One of the scholarly rituals that anyone interested in understanding the breadth of Renaissance poetry must perform is to read the historical overviews Lewis and Bush the third and fifth volumes of the Oxford History of English Literature on 16th- and 17th-century verse. You will probably find grounds for disagreement with their surveys, but you also will have to admire their skill in covering an immense number of works in different genres, while presenting a literary transition that takes readers from the late Middle Ages to the Restoration.
Although, by turns, quaint, quirky, and weathered, Lewis was a voracious reader who still provides the best comprehensive study of the development of English Renaissance poetry in the 16th century: and he does this in alternating chapters that parallel philosophical and stylistic changes in verse and prose. Of the many more recent guides, Waller and Cheney provide excellent introductions to the earlier Renaissance, while Parfitt , with a few questionable evaluations, renders a similarly comprehensive account of later developments.
Essays on Italian Poetry and Music in the Renaissance, 1350-1600
Bush, Douglas. English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, — Oxford History of English Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Bush provides an expert analysis of how Renaissance poetry was shaped by the concerns of its age, as he situates poetic form within the literary, social, political, and religious tendencies of Stuart culture. Cheney, Patrick.
Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, DOI: Cheney divides his study among Henrician, Edwardian, and Marian poetry from to and Elizabethan poetry from to Focusing on the pleasures and uses of poetry, he organizes his book around a series of historical changes that can be seen in the key categories of voice, perception, world, form, and career.
A helpful bibliography is appended. Lewis, C. Oxford: Clarendon, This is an excellent starting point for students who want to secure a firmer knowledge of 16th-century English verse in its various permutations. Parfitt, George. English Poetry of the Seventeenth Century.
Madrigal singing is different from the kind of singing by a trained choir that one would hear in church. While both kinds of music had multiple parts that created harmony, in a church choir there would be several people singing together in Latin on each part, creating a moderate-sized ensemble. In madrigal singing, there is only one person singing each line of music by him- or herself in Italian, the everyday language of the people; typically there is no instrument playing the same lines along with the voices, and no independent instrumental accompaniment.
Italian Renaissance Learning Resources - The National Gallery of Art
It is also a very intimate kind of performing, requiring subtle communication among the singers to establish tempo, dynamics, starting and stopping, and creating emotional sense in the music. Why do madrigals vary in style so much? Musical composition did not remain static throughout the Renaissance because composers were always trying new ways of writing their music. Some of the changes came through the influence of composers from different regions who brought new methods of writing; other changes came about because of developments external to music itself.
Differences in these theories spurred new ideas on how to treat poetry in music. When did these different styles occur, and who wrote them? Northern madrigal writers living in Italy started the ball rolling around , with relatively simple four-part settings of witty Italian texts or poems about carefree aspects of love. They introduced some of their sacred motet style into the secular compositions, making the pieces somewhat contrapuntal and imitative at times, or simply a melody supported by chords homophonic at others.
In the humanist poet and scholar Pietro Bembo published Prose della volgar lingua Prose on Vernacular Eloquence , a long dialogue discussing poetic categories, the importance of the sounds of words, and matters of poetic structure; equally important, he also held up the 14th-century Italian poet Francesco Petrarcho—Petrarch—as the literary ideal.
Very soon after the appearance of Prosa , composersbegan choosing poetry of Petrarch as texts for their madrigals. The texts were varied, alternating between seriousness and playfulness, pleasing and severe content. Many of these madrigals had not just four but five or six lines of music.
These characteristics would endure in Italian madrigals through the rest of the century. By mid-century, another northerner—Cipriano de Rore—began intensifying the music to suit increasingly vivid texts by introducing more dissonant and out-of-scale chromatic notes, more varied rhythms, and changes in the number of voices singing at any one time.
His practices influenced the extension of the musical style of the slightly later northerners Orlando di Lasso, Philippe de Monte, and Giaches de Wert. Lasso and Wert began writing madrigals in Italy but then went to courts in northern cities, spreading the fashion for madrigal-writing abroad.
Finally, Italian composers of madrigals had their heyday. Luca Marenzio, Carlo Gesualdo, prince of Venosa, and Claudio Monteverdi are the undisputed masters of the late 16th-century madrigal. Up to that time madrigal composers had gradually expanded the list of poets whose works they chose to set to music; these late 16th-century Italians selected from not only Petrarch but also the most modern writers of their day such as Torquato Tasso and Giovanni Battista Guarini.
Tortured chromaticism contrasted with simple harmonies for effect. Rhythms varied enormously to reflect varieties of action in the text. Of these three Italians, Monteverdi takes the prize for moving the madrigal forward in an entirely new direction.