1440 – 1521
Desprez was considered one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. Josquin Desprez was born in 1440. Desprez was born in an area ruled by a duke. It was named the Duchy of Burgundy in modern day Belgium. He lived mainly in Italy. Desprez died in 1521. Josquin Desprez did a lot of music work. He was involved with church work. Josquin was very religious. Desprez was employed in Milan. He was also a singer at the Papal Chapel in Rome. He was a music teacher. He belonged to a group of composers known as the Netherlands School.
Josquin Desprez had the ability to express words through music. He had command of musical technique. Desprez was skillful in the use of the canon (repetition of a melody.) Desprez wrote music for four voices. He composed secular songs. He also wrote love songs. His love songs were in French and Italian. Desprez composed eighteen masses. He wrote a lament for the death of his composer, Orkegtem. Josquin wrote a song called “Imitation of the Cricket.” His music was published. Josquin’s command of text and structure makes his music one of the great legacies of Western Society.
Guillaume Dufay was a famous Renaissance composer. Dufay was born in Cambrai, France, in the year of 1399 and died in 1474. He spent the majority of his career in Cambria. He joined a choir with fifteen to twenty other members, originally. As the years passed, members, including Dufay, moved to other choirs for money and other such reasons. Guillaume Dufay was a chief figure of music schools because of his completion of education as a choir master, as well as being very well-educated in most aspects of music.
Dufay’s large musical output contained masterpieces of every genre, or style and type of music. Some types of his were: dramatic cycles, cyclic masses, isorhythmic motets and simply ornamented hymns. Some of Dufay’s main changes in music were: paths toward modern day harmonies, use of third intervals and a new structure of staffs. He introduced harmonies which then brought out the melody in his works. Dufay made the rules and imitations for the cannon. The cannon is a song or melody with two or more parts. The first group plays the melody, then the second group repeats it while the first plays a new melody or harmony, followed by the second group and the song continues in this fashion. Guillaume Dufay was the first composer to use a folk song in mass. A mass is a group of songs sung to honour God in the Roman Catholic Church. Four of Dufay’s most famous Cantus Firmus Masses were: “Se la face ay pale” ,”Ecce ancilla Domini” , “L’homme arme” and “Ave regina caelorum” .Dufay wrote eighty-seven motets, which were sacred vocal compositions in sontrapuntal style, without instrumental accompaniment. He also wrote fifty-nine chansons, which were songs, (originally ballad-like) most being French love songs. Seven Italian chansons were written as well. He made seven complete masses as well as thirty-five mass selections.
Guillaume Dufay was a Dutch composer, who started a new generation in music. Dufay was not only a musician, but he also taught famous composers how to work with instruments and other music related things. One of Dufay’s most famous breakthroughs was to write music for instruments and not just for singing. Some of these instruments included the lute, spinetto, viol, virginal, recorder and lira de braccio. Even today these instruments have been modified into newer versions like the piano, clarinet, oboe, harpsicord, modern day recorder as well as guitars. Another one of his accomplishments was the change of chants to harmonies, which made the music flow more smoothly than the complex rhythmic textures of the late Medieval Period. The impact of Guillaume Dufay’s music changed music forever and also inspired more people to write music since his time.
1500 – 1571
Cellini had a very strong, but strange, impression on the Italian High Renaissance. Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence in 1500. He was apprenticed to a goldsmith at the age of 15. At the age of 16, continual duelling and brawling caused him to