European Music, 1520-1640

European Music, 1520-1640

edited by James Haar
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 586
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdk9x
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    European Music, 1520-1640
    Book Description:

    The sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries - the so-called Golden Age of Polyphony - represent a time of great change and development in European music, with the flourishing of Orlando di Lasso, Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria, Monteverdi and Schütz among others. The chapters of this book, contributed by established scholars on subjects within their fields of expertise, deal with polyphonic music - sacred and secular, vocal and instrumental - during this period. The volume offers chronological surveys of national musical cultures (in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Spain); genre studies (Mass, motet, madrigal, chanson, instrumental music, opera); and is completed with essays on intellectual and cultural developments and concepts relevant to music (music theory, printing, the Protestant Reformation and the corresponding Catholic movement, humanism, concepts of "Renaissance" and "Baroque"). It thus provides a complete overview of the music and its context.BR> Contributors: GARY TOMLINSON, JAMES HAAR, TIM CARTER, GIULIO ONGARO, NOEL O'REGAN, ALLAN ATLAS, ANTHONY CUMMINGS, RICHARD FREEDMAN, JEANICE BROOKS, DAVID TUNLEY, KATE VAN ORDEN, KRISTINE FORNEY, IAIN FENLON, KAROL BERGER, PETER BERGQUIST, DAVID CROOK, ROBIN LEAVER, CRAIG MONSON, TODD BORGERDING, LOUISE K. STEIN, GIUSEPPE GERBINO, ROGER BRAY, JONATHAN WAINWRIGHT, VICTOR COELHO, KEITH POLK

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-464-5
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    James Haar
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 RENAISSANCE HUMANISM AND MUSIC
    (pp. 1-19)
    Gary Tomlinson

    For students of the Renaissance, “humanism” is a term that sends up warning flares. its use is entrenched, its usefulness unquestionable, but it remains unsettled in meaning and hence worrisome, begging apology and qualification even from writers who have done much to define it. Thus paul oskar Kristeller opened his watershed oberlin lectures half a century ago by noting that, although “the term ‘Humanism’ has been associated with the Renaissance and its classical studies for more than a hundred years, . . . in recent times it has become the source of much philosophical and historical confusion”; his became, then,...

  6. 2 THE CONCEPT OF THE RENAISSANCE
    (pp. 20-37)
    James Haar

    Once the proudest of words identifying periods of Western history, the term “Renaissance” has in recent years had a bit of a hard time. There are several reasons for this. First, some scholars argue that there have been many periods of political, social, and artistic renewal, many renaissances rather than one to be set apart with an assertive capital letter. This is a useful idea, and we will presently turn to it.

    Next, proponents of continuity in cultural history have pointed out the multiple aspects of medieval life and thought that continued, changing in various ways and at different times,...

  7. 3 THE CONCEPT OF THE BAROQUE
    (pp. 38-57)
    Tim Carter

    When Jean-Jacques Rousseau claimed (in hisDictionnaire de musique, 1768) that “a baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, charged with modulations and dissonances, the melody is harsh and little natural, the intonation difficult, and the movement constrained,” he was writing from the rather smug viewpoint of the French Enlightenment. Here “baroque” is used in an early sense of extravagant, bizarre, even “gothic.” The broader notion of the Baroque as a distinct style-period from the mid or late sixteenth century to the early or mid eighteenth century gained ground instead in the nineteenth century, particularly in art...

  8. 4 ITALY, i: 1520–1560
    (pp. 58-74)
    Giulio M. Ongaro

    The period from 1520 to 1560 was one of profound change in the italian peninsula. an informed observer in the year 1520 could have hardly foreseen some of the political developments that were to take place by 1560. certainly it would have been difficult to guess in 1520 that a bothersome, but somewhat limited, reform movement in Germany would lead by 1560 to a divided Europe and to one of the great internal efforts at reform by the catholic church, arguably the greatest to occur between the Renaissance and the twentieth century ; or that Rome would sacked by the...

  9. 5 ITALY, ii: 1560–1600
    (pp. 75-90)
    Noel O’Regan

    Developments in Italian music during this forty-year period were to prove crucial to the direction Western art music was to take in the following two centuries. In both sacred and secular music, Italy in the late sixteenth century served as a powerhouse for experiments in texture, in harmony, and in vocal and instrumental technique, all of which laid the foundations for stylistic change throughout Europe and beyond. In sacred music this was primarily due to a newly revitalized and centralized catholic church, which in the wake of the council of Trent looked to Rome in particular and Italy in general...

  10. 6 ITALY, iii: 1600–1640
    (pp. 91-100)
    Tim Carter

    For many historians, Italy in the Baroque period presents a rather sorry sight. During the Renaissance, the peninsula had been a major political, economic, and cultural force: by the mid seventeenth century, Venice, Florence, and Rome were seen more as just essential stops on the tourist trail of the “grand tour.” It is generally assumed that the broad factors affecting the “decline” of Italy in the early seventeenth century included the shift of trade from the Mediterranean with the opening up of new routes to the orient and the new World, a series of economic crises (particularly in 1619–22)...

  11. 7 MUSIC FOR THE MASS
    (pp. 101-129)
    Allan W. Atlas

    The polyphonic mass of the Renaissance—especially the cyclic variety in which a single melodic or multi-voice “theme” cuts across and thus unifies all five liturgical “movements”: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei¹—presents a paradox in terms of its reception. While the conventional musicological wisdom of our own day (beginning in the mid nineteenth century with August Wilhelm Ambros and developed in such landmark studies as those by Peter Wagner and Manfred Bukofzer)² has generally granted the cyclic mass“masterwork” status on the grounds of its organically unified structure, the few fifteenth-and sixteenth-century writers who addressed the matter viewed it in...

  12. 8 THE MOTET
    (pp. 130-156)
    Anthony M. Cummings

    We begin with the problem of definition. To paraphrase William S. Newman and Philip Gossett, what is called a motet in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuriesisa motet.¹ I propose, therefore, to survey the characteristics of some representative pieces called motets in sources of the period in order to arrive at a conspectus of features that typify the genre and distinguish it from related genres. My premise is that, although contemporaries may on occasion have used the term inconsistently, they are likelier than we to have known what it meant ; we, therefore, ought to use it in...

  13. 9 FRANCE, i: 1520–1560
    (pp. 157-170)
    Richard Freedman

    Pre-eminently a perishable medium, music is compelled by its very nature to rely upon repetition for enduring effect. In this respect the history of any musical form is inseparable from the larger narrative of the institutions that made such repetition both possible and necessary. For Renaissance Europe this close connection between performance and circumstance seems especially important: in this age musical sounds were not only objects for aesthetic contemplation, they were also the necessary attributes of a civilized community, the persuasive instruments of spiritual enlightenment, and even symbols of social prestige. To retell the central musical developments in France during...

  14. 10 FRANCE, ii: 1560–1600
    (pp. 171-181)
    Jeanice Brooks

    Late-sixteenth-century France—the era of Ronsard and Montaigne—has long been a focus for literary scholarship; but for musicologists, this has been one of the least investigated areas of Renaissance music history. While some repertories from the period (the polyphonic chanson andmusique mesurée, for example) received a certain amount of attention in the middle years of the twentieth century, others (liturgical music,chanson spirituelle, psalm translations) went virtually unstudied. Biographical details for many important composers and performers of the time have been scant, as well as information about those who purchased and listened to their music; the absence...

  15. 11 FRANCE, iii: 1600–1640
    (pp. 182-192)
    David Tunley

    Music in France during the seventeenth century, particularly during the first half, displays a character distinctly different from that of its artistic rival Italy, where at the turn of the century Jacopo peri and others were creating the foundations of opera and where Giulio Caccini had developed a style of singing that could convey the passionate intensity of this new dramatic form. In contrast, French music appears decidedly conservative, despite the opportunity to embrace the Italian innovations afforded by the marriage of Henri iv of France to Maria de’ Medici of Florence. After becoming queen of France, Maria de’ Medici...

  16. 12 CHANSON AND AIR
    (pp. 193-224)
    Kate van Orden

    The chanson flourished in a startling array of forms. From city streets to courtly chambers and from beggars’ songs to princely pastimes, chansons resounded throughout Europe in all circles of society. Squares in Paris, Antwerp, and Lyons had their mountebanks, who sang narrative verse to the accompaniment of a violin, cittern, or guitar. They stood on benches, hanging a painted sheet of paper or fabric behind them with illustrations of the story they sang, pointing to scene after scene with a long stick. In Paris, vendors at Les Halles hawked their wares in song, crying out “allumettes,” “beaux choux blanc,”...

  17. 13 MADRIGAL
    (pp. 225-245)
    James Haar

    In the fifteenth century the French chanson dominated secular musical culture throughout Europe. For the first third of the sixteenth century this dominance was not seriously challenged; but as the century went on the Italian madrigal, nonexistent in 1500, was widely cultivated throughout the peninsula, then spread to the Netherlands, parts of Germany and Scandinavia, even France. At the century’s end came a remarkable development, the sudden appearance and quick flowering of the English madrigal.

    The chanson did not decline; on the contrary, French song flourished throughout the sixteenth century. But in the face of this the madrigal enjoyed a...

  18. 14 THE NETHERLANDS, 1520–1640
    (pp. 246-279)
    Kristine K. Forney

    In the sixteenth century, the Netherlands, or Low Countries, embraced the region including modern-day Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands, as well as, to the south, the French provinces of Artois and Hainault. These lands were drawn into the Habsburg Empire in the late fifteenth century through the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I (r. 1493–1519). During the era 1520–1560, Emperor Charles V (r. 1519–55) ruled the Netherlands from distant Madrid, placing regional authority with the regent of the Low countries. Despite this regency, held by his aunt Marguerite of Austria (r. 1506–30) and his...

  19. 15 MUSIC, PRINT, AND SOCIETY IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE
    (pp. 280-303)
    Iain Fenlon

    During the second half of the fifteenth century, the reproduction of written texts of all kinds began to move from the copyist’s desk to the printer’s workshop. That the impact of Gutenberg’s invention upon all fields of knowledge, learning, and information was profound is generally agreed, though the change was neither as immediate nor as wholesale as is sometimes claimed; throughout the sixteenth century and into the next, some categories of text continued to circulate in manuscript rather than in print. Older studies of the phenomenon tend to concentrate on the technical rather than the cultural aspects of early printing;...

  20. 16 CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENTS IN MUSIC THEORY
    (pp. 304-328)
    Karol Berger

    Today’s understanding of what constitutes music “theory” in the years between 1520 and 1640 differs somewhat from that of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century musicians themselves. We tend to include under the heading “Theory, 1520–1640” all books about music written during the period. contemporaries, however, would be much more likely to label this literature simply “music” (musica) and to consider “theoretical or speculative music” (musica theorica/theoretica or speculativa) to constitute only a part of “music,” namely, the liberal-art part dedicated to the scientific contemplation of the universe of sound (what today we would call “acoustics”), that is, dealing principally with the measurement...

  21. 17 GERMANY AND CENTRAL EUROPE, i: 1520–1600
    (pp. 329-352)
    Peter Bergquist

    German polyphony in the decades before 1520 was dependent on styles and devices from the Dufay–Binchois, Busnois–Ockeghem, and Josquin generations. Its national identity was expressed most notably in the instrumentalists who had been prized throughout Europe during the fifteenth century¹ and in the polyphonic lied, especially those by Paulus Hofhaimer, Heinrich Finck, and Henricus Isaac. The presence of the eminent Netherlander Isaac in this list is symptomatic of strong external influences on German music that continued into the seventeenth century. The tension between distinctive native elements and the eager absorption of external features remained typical of German music...

  22. 18 GERMANY AND CENTRAL EUROPE, ii: 1600–1640
    (pp. 353-370)
    David Crook

    The early seventeenth century has generally been viewed as a period of intense polarization and conflict for Germany and central Europe. Historians speak of an Age of Confessionalization, during which the three principal confessions-Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism—elaborated their separate professions of faith and thereby developed distinct ideologies and cultures. Most German states became confessional, embracing a single religion and regarding toleration as dangerous and destabilizing. Church and state joined forces to define and enforce correct belief and behavior through education, propaganda, and censorship. In this process, music, like the other arts, became both an instrument and an object of...

  23. 19 THE REFORMATION AND MUSIC
    (pp. 371-400)
    Robin A. Leaver

    At the end of the First World War, Karl Straube, the recently appointedThomaskantorin Leipzig, wrote the following in a letter to the young musicologist Wilibald Gurlitt:

    I see hardly anything in Protestant art of the age of the Reformation that I could not also find in the musical masters of Catholic circles. At least, I can find no difference between Joh. Walter, Senfl, and Hassler (all more or less under Lutheran influence) on the one hand, and Orlando di Lasso or Gallus on the other hand. Only much later does the spiritually form-giving influence of Protestantism begin, perhaps...

  24. 20 RENEWAL, REFORM, AND REACTION IN CATHOLIC MUSIC
    (pp. 401-421)
    Craig Monson

    In recent decades historians have frequently questioned the appropriateness of the long-accepted term “Counter-Reformation” within a wider European and world context of Catholicism. Various shifts in terminology, away from “Counter-Reformation,” which originated in northern-European historiography, where it seemed apt for German religious history, and toward Hubert Jedin’s “Catholic Reformation,” Eric Cochrane’s “Tridentine Reformation,” John O’Malley’s “Early Modern Catholicism,” all acknowledged late-sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Catholicism’s greater diversity and more pluralistic character. In addition, Jean Delumeau has chronicled the process of religious reform back long before the Council of Trent, to the thirteenth century, and its continuation down even into the eighteenth century.¹...

  25. 21 SPAIN, i: 1530–1600
    (pp. 422-454)
    Todd M. Borgerding and Louise K. Stein

    During the sixteenth century, Spanish musical culture enjoyed a period of expansion unprecedented in peninsular history. Religious and secular institutions, buoyed by the wealth flowing in from the colonies in the New World, spent lavishly on expanding the vocal and instrumental ensembles that had been established in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Because the church enjoyed immense political and economic power during this period, musical life flourished particularly in such great cathedral cities as Seville, Toledo, and Barcelona, where churchmen favorably inclined to music supported a large number of musicians in a liturgy richly adorned with music. The Spanish...

  26. 22 SPAIN, ii: 1600–1640
    (pp. 455-471)
    Louise K. Stein

    Although the death of Philip ii in 1598 marked the end of an immensely important era in political history, it is difficult to draw a firm line of demarcation around the year 1600 in the history of Spanish music, because so many of the genres and musical techniques of the late sixteenth century were essential to Spanish music through the early seventeenth century, and the social place of music stayed much the same as well. For example, the association between reserved imitative contrapuntal polyphony and sacred Latin texts continued to shape the work of composers within the Church, especially when...

  27. 23 EARLY OPERA: THE INITIAL PHASE
    (pp. 472-486)
    Giuseppe Gerbino and Iain Fenlon

    When Nino Pirrotta wrote that “few other genres have their beginnings as precisely determined as opera,” and that “its landmark is the first performance ofEuridice, with music by Jacopo Peri” (6 october 1600), he was articulating the settlement of a dispute whose claims and interests remain difficult to untangle, both theoretically and descriptively.¹ The solution of the dispute largely depends on what we choose to isolate as the essence of the new musical theater. For Pirrotta it was the development of a declamatory style linking music to speech patterns, that is, of a recitative style. Peri’s achievement in this...

  28. 24 ENGLAND, i: 1485–1600
    (pp. 487-508)
    Roger Bray

    In order to understand the context of the period before 1560 we need to look at the early Tudor period from 1485.¹ The Englishness of the early years of the fifteenth century that had been noted abroad by Martin le Franc and Tinctoris was strongly developed by the early Tudor composers. Continental influence is found growing as the sixteenth century proceeds—from France (the courtly love ethic’s influence on secular music, thepavane, and the influence of the chanson on the early English anthem), Italy (the galliard, and the presence of Italian instrumentalists at Henry VIII’s court), and Spain (in...

  29. 25 ENGLAND, ii: 1603–1642
    (pp. 509-526)
    Jonathan P. Wainwright

    This chapter is concerned with English music during the reigns of the first two Stuart monarchs: James I (James vi of Scotland) who acceded to the throne in 1603 on the death of Queen Elizabeth I, and Charles I who succeeded James I in 1625. The date 1642 is a convenient one at which to conclude, for although Charles I was not to die on the scaffold until 1649, 1642 represents the beginning of the Civil War, the King’s forced withdrawal from London, and the effective closing down of the country’s leading musical institutions. The chapter will concentrate unashamedly on...

  30. 26 INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
    (pp. 527-556)
    Victor Coelho and Keith Polk

    Instrumental music from the beginning of the sixteenth century to roughly 1640 bristled with a new creative energy. in the previous century, many types of musicians—from lutenists and fiddlers to wind and percussion players—had found an increasingly enthusiastic market for their services, thus laying a secure foundation for the subsequent growth of instrumental styles. Yet, the outbursts shortly after 1500 in all branches of activity, and in all regions of Europe, remain astonishing in their scope. Almost all courtly ceremonies and private social rituals called for the participation of instrumentalists, from solo players in private settings to large...

  31. INDEX
    (pp. 557-576)
  32. Back Matter
    (pp. 577-577)