Ann Moyer

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Scholarship on Renaissance music has developed enormously from the mid-20th century onward. Still important is the traditional heart of the field, studies of composers and of styles, forms, and compositions. Formal musical scholarship existed during the Renaissance; its history, the history of music theory, extends from compositional practice and notation to Renaissance natural philosophy. The social contexts of both writing and performing music comprise another large research sector. Studies of performance practice expanded as a field with the overall interest in “early music.” The history of the book, especially of music and print culture, has become a significant subject. Intersections with literary history can be seen especially in studies of vocal music in general as well as studies of musical theater, not only in the development of new genres such as opera but also in the rise of commercial theater and of public, secular musical performances as social and cultural phenomena. Music became one of many contested practices during the Reformation, issues nearly inseparable from those involved with the spread of humanist scholarship and culture. A persistent question has been the degree to which Renaissance music should be understood as part of the cultural movement of the Renaissance, as opposed to music of the same chronological era. Many scholars of Renaissance music over the past two decades and more have reacted against efforts to apply broad labels or characterizations. They have produced instead an abundance of focused studies that have remained close to the sources.

Article.  8576 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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