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Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance Music Essay

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2021

In the Middle Ages, music was the prerogative of the church, and most of the musical works were sacred and based on chants, which were part of the religion from the very beginning of Christianity. All vocals were performed by professional singers who were specially trained for this purpose. One of the famous composers of that era was Philippe de Vitry, a French theologian who specialized in writing motets. His most famous work was “Ars Nova,” and de Vitry made a significant contribution to the formation of notation and rhythm systems. Another representative was Albert of Paris, who also worked in the church music genre and was the author of “The Age of Cathedrals.”

The Renaissance followed the Middle Ages, and it was the era of discovery, innovations, and research for musicians. The weakening of church control over society opened to composers and performers greater freedom in the manifestation of their talents. With the invention of the printing press, it became possible to distribute notes, and since this point, classical music history began. The list of composers of this era was longer than that in the Middle Ages, and one of the representatives was Emilio de’ Cavalieri, the Italian composer, and author of the famous oratorio “Representation of Soul and Body.” Another figure of the musical genre was Antoine Brumel, the Dutchman who was known for his work “Tandernac.”

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