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Introduction The Renaissance period spans roughly from 1450-1600CE and encompasses a style of music evolved from the Medieval era Renaissance music emanated from Europe and nearly all of it from Italy Holland and England The main movement was although much music for the church was written secular The style structure composers and instruments were different and all helped turn from the Medieval period to the Renaissance The Structure and Style of Renaissance Music In the Renaissance period composers began experimenting with harmony in their work Imitative polyphony monophonic solo and polychoral music was the main style in the Renaissance Imitative polyphony is when all the voices in a piece of music move at the same speed and share the development of the piece in a way that later became known as Fugue Polychoral music is similar to polyphony but is written for choirs usually to be sung in church Monophony is simply a solo piece with one line of music and naturally one voice Medieval and Renaissance styles differ in the way the music is written as well in the order its written Medieval composers built the music up layer upon layer whereas Renaissance composers often preferred to write all the parts simultaneously and blend them together rather than contrast them There is a lot of emphasis on texture in polyphony music Specific instruments were chosen because they had a certain texture in their sound and the composer would use that texture to compliment other textures within the piece Renaissance Instruments The Renaissance saw many new instruments as well as old ones remaining popular Different composers preferred to write for different instruments predominantly but the basic availability remained pretty much the same These are the main instruments that were used in Renaissance music The Lute The lute is the ancestor of the modern day guitar It held the highest respect of all instruments
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