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Renaissance Writing Project

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This assignment is broken up into three parts. Please type all three parts, clearly labeling each section and submit in one file through Canvas. It will be graded as follows:


Please write at least 500 words (12 pt. Times New Roman). You may write more, but be as concise as possible. Excessively long papers may not be read in full.


Guillaume Dufay: Missa l'Homme Armé 1. Kyrie


Listen to the Du Fay Mass.It represents the earliest music from the Renaissance. 

Compare it to the music that we studied in the medieval unit. Can you hear the plainchant origins? Describe your reaction to the piece. There is no right or wrong answer but go deeper than just a one word answer.

What made this piece cutting edge when it premiered vs the plainchant that had proceeded it (e.g. what is the difference between Renaissance and Medieval music?)

Tallis Spem in alium


Now listen to the Tallis piece. This represents one of the later stage Renaissance. 

Go through the steps outlined in Listening Stage 1. Write down your answers. Be thorough! 

Main points to consider: What caught your attention? How did you react to the piece? Did you like it? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. 


How does this compare to the Du Fay Mass? What changed and what has stayed the same between the two pieces and throughout the period of the renaissance?

Which of the two styles did you prefer? I understand if you didn’t like either of them but you will still need to pick a favorite. Discuss why you preferred this piece over the other. What drew your attention to it?

Discuss anything else you think is interesting or relevant to explaining this type of music to your roommate or family member.



Renaissance Writing Project

Missa l'Homme Armé 1. Kyrie is a plainchant as one can evidently hear as the song introduces. The song as it starts to the end one can notice that it is composed of only a single line which is done repetitively. On a close attention one can notice that the song has no beet and it does not have metrics; no noticeable underlying pulse. The song is befitting as an early renaissance; the individual polyphonic voices are not imitated. The text is much incomprehensible and the words are stretching over long melismas. There is a note in that a lot of interest has been emphasized on the horizontal relations of the individual voices than harmonizing the voices.  The Renaissance and medieval music have significant differences. There is the most profound distinction between medieval and renaissance music; plainchant for the medieval and first was monophonic and later transformed to polyphonic whereas renaissance was buoyant melodies. There is another significant point of interjection Renaissance had both the use of vocals and instrument unlike Medieval with only vocals.

Tallis spem in alium is a song of the later stage renaissance. The song is a development of monophony to polyphony. The most fascinating thing about this song is how Tallis Thomas managed to record the so many individual forces and come up with constructive voice. The song has each of the participants singing individual voice through each corresponding speaker. What is fascinating in the spem in alium is the “Forty-part-motet.” Tallis had 40 speakers arranged to record simultaneously different voices from own individuals. It is also interesting how there is harmony in spem in alium with a great concern with the progression of chords and with a good flow. The incorporation of set of instruments that marks the transition of early band the later stage renaissance has fitted in the transition for not one to think of the impact that the instrumentals would have had a...


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