The course will be in two parts (each of six lectures), the first focusing on music from the coronation of Charlemagne (25.12.800) up to the end of the fourteenth century; the main repertoires treated will be Gregorian chant, Parisian polyphony (in the thirteenth century). In the second part, focusing on music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the main repertories will be the music of Dufay, Palestrina and Byrd and their contemporaries. These various musical repertories will be studied through the music itself and through primary and secondary texts. Topics to be explored in the first part of the course will include: in what historical circumstances this music was made, and how it was shaped by those circumstances, how the demands of ritual may have determined form and content, techniques of musical composition, Gregorian chant as a melodic repertory, the development of measured rhythm and how it could be exploited. The second part of the course will build on the first, highlighting the continued importance of chant and liturgy for composers of the Renaissance period, and exploring regional traditions - in particular the contrasting styles and functions of sacred music in England and on the Continent.
Lecturers: Dr Sam Barrett and Dr Edward Wickham
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