Intro to the Renaissance

(Text in LARGE Print for Class Projection)

Introduction to the Renaissance

(c. 1450-1600)

"Renaissance" is the French word for "Rebirth"

And rebirth it was. A new age of discovery and the exploration of what it meant to be human (humanism). A period of innovation and invention with greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Shakespeare. The spirit of humanism led to intellectual pursuits and study of the classics of Greek and Roman times. There was an explosion of talent in literature, the sciences, music, and fine arts.

The idea of the "Renaissance Man" or the "Universal Man" led to an education that was well-rounded in the sciences, philosophy, literature, art, and music. Music was an integral part of the Renaissance. William Shakespeare referred to music in his works well over three hundred times.

Quote from the Merchant of Venice:

"The Man that hath no music in himself
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds
Is fit for Treasons, Strategem, and Spoils"

Classicism: The study of Greek and Roman literature/philosophy (Written music was not available from Greek/Roman times. A return to the roots of Western Classical music did not occur until much later in the Classical Era (1750-1830)

Some famous artists of the Renaissance: Michelangelo, Cellini, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci

Art of the Renaissance

History of Painters

Leonardo da Vinci

Art of Leonardo da Vinci

The Renaissance brought new authors to light, as well: Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Thomas More

Shakespeare and other dramatists created real life and blood characters for their plays (unlike the "symbolic" characters of the Devil and such in earlier dramas. For example, Hildegard von Bingen's morality play).

The most influential invention of this time was printing with moveable metal type around 1450. Instead of having to rely on handwritten copies of plays, music, sacred text, and political texts, now the words could go out to the masses relatively quickly and at a lower cost. By the turn of the century (1500) music publishing had become a profitable business for composers. Furthermore, now music could travel beyond the city walls and out to the world (or at least as far as the known world).

Basic Video on Printing Press

(Ok, so this has nothing to do with anything, but I can't believe someone came up with a musical for Gutenberg)

Gutenberg's invention paved the way for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation

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Protestant Reformation

Part II


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