Saturday, November 10, 2007

1435 – 1455 Burgundian School

1435 Florence cathedral; Alberti treatise on perspective
1419-67 Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy
1453 End of the 100 Year War; Constantinople fell to Turks

Vocal Music




|Latin text -- animated—Triplum
|Latin text -- animated—Motetus
|Latin text -- slow, cantus firmus—Tenor
|Latin text -- slow—Contratenor

Dufay's Missa Caput (c. 1440) showed two significant changes:

(a) English cantus firmus technique had been adopted with the use of a sacred c.f. (cantus firmus) in the tenor, and
(b) four-part texture became standard and harmonic flexibility was maintained by adding a contratenor below the tenor.
He used secular c.f.'s in his fifth, Missa La Mort de St. Gothard, and sixth, Missa Se la face ay pale, masses in chanson-like settings. Full triads, occasional imitation and Landini cadences were other traits. Also, Johannes de Limburgia.


Two types were:

(1) the isorhythmic motet, used for large ceremonial functions, died out around mid-century, and

(2) the free motet as in the previous generation. One type used a Latin chant melody in the treble (not as c.f.), varied and embellished this melody and gave it a homophonic accompaniment in the style called paraphrase.


The outstanding Burgundian chanson composer was Gilles Binchois (c. 1400-60) who composed about 50 examples, usually in rondeau form. Accompanied songs in three-part polyphony, his chansons had clear cadences, simple rhythms and beautiful, folk-like style; also Robert Morton (c. 1440-75) and Dufay.

Binchois chanson |French---- vocal—Cantus
|------------ instrumental filler—Contratenor
|------------ melodic instrumental—Tenor


The bergerette was a virelai with only one stanza in chanson style, by Grenon and Binchois.

Instrumental Music

Organ manuscripts from Germany, Sagan MS (c. 1425) and Winsem MS (c. 1430), were tablatures in a style like melismatic organum. Ileborgh MS (c. 1448) contained tablatures of two- and three-part free preludes by Adam Ileborgh. This was the beginning of the German Renaissance organ school.

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