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Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale: A Renaissance Journey

posted May 30, 2016, 7:19 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated May 30, 2016, 7:21 AM ]
Next Sunday, June 5, I’ll be singing with the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale as they present A Renaissance Journey at the Church of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity at 3:30
PM. This group continues a more than twenty-year-old tradition of choral music at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

European Renaissance music starts around 1400, following the end of the medieval era and ends with the beginning of the Baroque period around 1600. The invention of the Gutenberg press in 1440 made it easy to distribute written music. And the emergence of a bourgeois class created a demand for music not just as entertainment, but as an activity for this new educated middle class. Relative political stability and prosperity allowed a flourishing system of music education in many churches, providing training for hundreds of singers and composers such as Josquin Des Préz; Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlande de Lassus; as well as John Dowland and Thomas Morley of the English Madrigal School. 

These composers found ways to make music expressive of the texts they were setting. Polyphony (two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody) flourished. Popular secular forms such as the chanson and madrigal spread throughout Europe. Modern woodwind and brass instruments like the bassoon and trombone appear; extending the range of sonic color and power. During the 15
th century the sound of full triads, or chords, becomes common. I hope you can join us as we journey through some of this periods greatest music...