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Renaissance music

Renaissance music is vocal and instrumental music written and performed in Europe during the Renaissance era. Consensus among music historians has been to start the era around 1400, with the end of the medieval era, to close it around 1600, with the beginning of the Baroque period, therefore commencing the musical Renaissance about a hundred years after the beginning of the Renaissance as it is understood in other disciplines; as in the other arts, the music of the period was influenced by the developments which define the Early Modern period: the rise of humanistic thought. From this changing society emerged a common, unifying musical language, in particular, the polyphonic style of the Franco-Flemish school, whose greatest master was Josquin des Prez; the invention of the printing press in 1439 made it cheaper and easier to distribute music and music theory texts on a wider geographic scale and to more people. Prior to the invention of printing, written music and music theory texts had to be hand-copied, a time-consuming and expensive process.

Demand for music as entertainment and as a leisure activity for educated amateurs increased with the emergence of a bourgeois class. Dissemination of chansons and masses throughout Europe coincided with the unification of polyphonic practice into the fluid style which culminated in the second half of the sixteenth century in the work of composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Orlande de Lassus, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and Tomás Luis de Victoria. Relative political stability and prosperity in the Low Countries, along with a flourishing system of music education in the area's many churches and cathedrals allowed the training of large numbers of singers and composers; these musicians were sought throughout Europe in Italy, where churches and aristocratic courts hired them as composers and teachers. Since the printing press made it easier to disseminate printed music, by the end of the 16th century, Italy had absorbed the northern musical influences with Venice and other cities becoming centers of musical activity.

This reversed the situation from a hundred years earlier. Opera, a dramatic staged genre in which singers are accompanied by instruments, arose at this time in Florence. Opera was developed as a deliberate attempt to resurrect the music of ancient Greece. Music was freed from medieval constraints, more variety was permitted in range, harmony and notation. On the other hand, rules of counterpoint became more constrained with regard to treatment of dissonances. In the Renaissance, music became a vehicle for personal expression. Composers found ways to make vocal music more expressive of the texts. Secular music absorbed techniques from sacred music, vice versa. Popular secular forms such as the madrigal spread throughout Europe. Courts employed both singers and instrumentalists. Music became more self-sufficient with its availability in printed form, existing for its own sake. Precursor versions of many familiar modern instruments developed into new forms during the Renaissance; these instruments were modified to respond to the evolution of musical ideas, they presented new possibilities for composers and musicians to explore.

Early forms of modern woodwind and brass instruments like the bassoon and trombone appeared. During the 15th century, the sound of full triads became common, towards the end of the 16th century the system of church modes began to break down giving way to the functional tonality, which would dominate Western art music for the next three centuries. From the Renaissance era, notated secular and sacred music survives in quantity, including vocal and instrumental works and mixed vocal/instrumental works. An enormous diversity of musical styles and genres flourished during the Renaissance; these can be heard on recordings made in the 20th and 21st century, including masses, madrigals, accompanied songs, instrumental dances, many others. Beginning in the late 20th century, numerous early music ensembles were formed. Early music ensembles specializing in music of the Renaissance era give concert tours and make recordings, using modern reproductions of historical instruments and using singing and performing styles which musicologists believe were used during the era.

One of the most pronounced features of early Renaissance European art music was the increasing reliance on the interval of the third and its inversion, the sixth. Polyphony – the use of multiple, independent melodic lines, performed – became elaborate throughout the 14th century, with independent voices; the beginning of the 15th century showed simplification, with the composers striving for smoothness in the melodic parts. This was possible because of a increased vocal range in music – in the Middle Ages, the narrow range made necessary frequent crossing of parts, thus requiring a greater contrast be

Michael Whinney

Michael Humphrey Dickens Whinney was a Church of England bishop who served in two episcopal posts. He was born in Chelsea, London on 8 July 1930 and educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1957 after an earlier career as an accountant. His first ministry position was as a curate at Rainham after which he held two posts in Bermondsey, firstly as priest in charge of the Cambridge University Mission Settlement and as the vicar of St James' with Christ Church, he became the Archdeacon of Southwark before being ordained to the episcopate in 1982 as the Bishop of Aston. After three years he was translated to be the Bishop of Southwell where he remained until 1988. Taking temporary early retirement from Southwell with an injury in early 1988, he returned to Birmingham for a sabbatical year. In February 1989, he was invited to become a stipendiary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Birmingham. In retirement he continued to serve as an honorary assistant bishop in Birmingham.

He died on 3 February 2017 at the age of 86

Emma Eleonora Kendrick

Emma Eleonora Kendrick was a British miniature-painter, prominent during the reigns of Kings George IV and William IV. Emma Eleonora Kendrick was born around 1788, daughter of the sculptor Joseph Kendrick. Emma's elder sister Josephia Jane Mary Kendrick was an accomplished harpist who performed in public, gave harp lessons. Both Emma and Josephia became life members of the New Musical Fund in 1822. Between 1810 and 1817 Emma won several prizes from the Society of Arts. In 1831 she was appointed miniature painter to Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Homburg and to William IV, she painted miniature portraits of eminent people. She was the Society of British Artists. Between 1811 and 1840 her work was exhibited by the Royal Academy of Arts, she did not exhibit after 1840. In her years she taught miniature painting to the daughters of the nobility. Emma Eleanor Kendrick died on 6 April 1871, aged 83. Apart from portraits, Kendrick painted watercolors of classical and literary subjects. In 1830 she published.

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