instrumental music in the sixteenth century
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Instrumental Music in the Sixteenth Century. Consort or chest — homogeneous groupings. Recorders (bas) Double reeds shawms, racketts (haut) crumhorns, dulcians (bas) — capped reeds Cornett and sackbut V iol or viola da gamba (bas). Instruments. “Broken consort”.

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consort or chest homogeneous groupings
Consort or chest — homogeneous groupings
  • Recorders (bas)
  • Double reeds
    • shawms, racketts (haut)
    • crumhorns, dulcians (bas) — capped reeds
  • Cornett and sackbut
  • Viol or viola da gamba (bas)
broken consort
“Broken consort”
  • Combines various families
  • Standard broken consort included recorder and plucked and bowed strings
keyboard instruments in the sixteenth century
Keyboard instruments in the sixteenth century
  • Clavichord — strings activated by tangents attached to opposite ends of keys
  • Harpsichord — strings plucked by quills set in jacks
  • Organ — portative, positive, and church types
plucked string instruments
Plucked string instruments
  • Lute
  • Archlutes at lower pitches
    • theorbo
    • chitarrone
  • Vihuela
tablature
Tablature
  • Special notation for plucked strings
    • shows placement of fingers on fingerboard rather than pitch
    • rhythm indicated by stems and flags above
  • Sometimes also used for keyboard music
instruments with voices
Instruments with voices
  • Incidental doublings or substitutions
    • informally in secular music
    • church music with brass
  • Independent instrumental parts
    • lute song
    • consort song
    • songs with keyboard
instrumental music derived from vocal genres
Instrumental music derived from vocal genres
  • Transcriptions or ornamented version of vocal pieces
  • Ricercar — polyphonic texture of motet
    • sometimes called fantasia
    • tiento — Spanish equivalent of ricercar
  • Canzona — from chanson type, features familiar style and clearly marked rhythm
  • England — “In nomine” based on c.f. from Benedictus of Taverner Missa Gloria tibi trinitas
  • Variations on vocal melodies
dance music real or stylized
Dance music — real or stylized
  • Often in pairs
    • basse danse, branle — French
    • pavane and gaillarde — French (English pavan and galliard)
    • passamezzo and saltarello — Italian
  • Use of variation principle
improvisatory types
Improvisatory types
  • Intonazione, prelude, preambulum — to tune and introduce more formal pieces
  • Fantasia — free improvisational style (term also used for ricercar type)
  • Toccata — virtuosic
questions for discussion
Questions for discussion
  • What elements of instrumental practice in the sixteenth century are closest to those of the preceding centuries? Which anticipated later instrumental usage in the periods of common practice?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of tablature notation compared to staff notation?
  • How would humanist thought and sound ideals have changed the practice of instrumental music in the church compared to previous centuries?
  • What ideas did vocal music contribute to instrumental musical structures and processes in the sixteenth century? What did dance contribute?
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