There Is No Such Thing as a Norm

Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI:
There Is No Such Thing as a Norm

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The mainstream repertory is so heavily Germanic that a novice of an earlier generation might easily have imagined that classical music had always been Teutonic territory. But in the art music of the Renaissance, the crucial region was what is now Belgium and northern France. Franco-Flemings like Dufay and Ockeghem dominated the 15th century, and their follower Josquin Desprez established the polyphonic style that dominated the 16th-century. This chapter presents an interview with Paul Hillier on Renaissance sacred music, the concept of definitive realization, size of an ensemble, how to perform a Renaissance piece, William Byrd’s Anglican works, instrumental accompaniment, voice production during the Renaissance, use of unwritten accidentals, barline as a musically significant element, transposition, intonation, improvisation, and authenticity and articulation in Renaissance music.

Keywords: sacred music; Renaissance music; Paul Hillier; definitive realization; authenticity; articulation; William Byrd; unwritten accidentals; improvisation; intonation

Chapter.  8224 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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