music of the renaissance

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music of the renaissance

Music of the Renaissance

The Music

The Musicians.

In elizabethan times, music was an incredibly important form of entertainment. Music could be performed for others by musicians, or simply sung by the lower towns folk to ease the burden of work. Church songs and hymns were especially popular since all elizabethans would attend church on sundays. The Elizabethan era was a golden age for music, as it grew more sophisticated and branched out into different groups.>Church Music: Mainly songs of praising and hymns.>Court Music: To live in the queens court it was essential to know how to play an instrument as well as know how to dance.>Street music: Music played at fairs and festivals. Much less refined than court music.>Town music: Played by hired musicians known as waits at town gatherings and ceremonies.> Theater music: Greatly enhanced the feeling and emotion of the evergrowing populairity of the theater. Able to induce feelings and emotions that mirror the acting in a play.

The Elizabethan era was a great time for music. It gave way to many music teaching schools, thus leading to many great musicians including; John Dowland, William Byrd, and Orlando Gibbons. John Dowland was without a doubt the most famous lute player known. He lived from 1563-1626. Dowland succefully created the first published collection of English lute songs called: The First Booke of Songes or Ayres of Foure Partes with Tableture for the Lute. He was also the first to use the table layout in music allowing it to be played in many different ways. His most popular song is called Flow My Tears.William Byrd Was is one of the more famous Elizabethan musicians and is believed to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth. He lived from 1540- 1623 and was an incredible accomplished organist in the queens court. He is renown for writing anthems such as, "Sing Joyfully". He is referred to as the "Father of Music". His Believed to be best work is called, "Ave Verum Corpus "Orlando Gibbons was an incredibly talented polyphonic composer. He lived from 1583 to 1625. Gibbons focused more on chruch music and was rewarded with a doctorate of music from Oxford. he was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey and played at the funeral of Jame I. His most reknown work is, "The SIlver Swan"

Orlando Gibbons

William Byrd

John Dowland

Elizabethan theatres were did not have areas for Orchestras to play. Musicians would normally appear on stage as actors or would play the music in the balcony. A group of instruments was known as a consort, and would actually consist mostly of the same type of instrument. The type of show that was going to be given would determine the instruments you had in the consort. For instance: Tragedies would normally have military type insturments such as trumpets and drums. Here are a few of the instruments you would have seen playing back in those days.

The Instruments

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.Sometimes a thousand twangling instrumentsWill hum about mine ears; and sometime voices.--The Tempest (3.2)







A stringed instrument and ancestor of the violin.

A straight flute made from wood.

Like a guitar with 3-strings and flat body.

A flute. The player had to twist his head slightly for the mouth piece. Merchant of Venice “wry-necked fife”

a tiny and older piano on which the strings were plucked by quills instead of being hit with small hammers.

a String instrument with a flat base. Its plucked with a quail feather.

By Kristoffer Bailey 2A


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