IV. The High Renaissance (16th Century)

With Josquin des Prés (died 1521) and Heinrich Isaac (died 1517) the two outstanding masters of the third generation of the Netherlands School, the influence of the Netherlanders extended over the whole of Europe. The contact of their art with the music of other nations, led to a variety of characteristic national genres: the glorious development of the social art of the madrigal, chanson and lied: the climax of Catholic and the rise of Evangelical church music: the independent development of domestic music for the organ, lute, clavichord, spinet and gamba, and of instrumental ensemble music: the development of the Venetian music for several groups of choirs and instruments, with its splendid ostentation, and the Golden Age of church and secular music in England (Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Morley, John Dowland, William Byrd and many others). The Netherlander Lassus (died 1594) in Munich and the Italian Palestrina (died 1594) in Rome were the two outstanding masters of the second half of the century, and the Royal Courts, from that of the German Emperor Maximilian I to that of Queen Elizabeth I of England, were the main centres of music making.

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IVA: The Netherlanders from Josquin des Pres | IVB: At the Imperial Court of Maximilian I | IVC: Evangelical Church Music | IVD: Social Music In Italy | IVE: Music for Organ and Lute | IVF: Palestrina and his School | IVH: The German Lied | IVI: The French Chanson | IVK: Orlandus Lassus and Catholic Polyphony in late 16th Century Germany | IVL: The Spanish Masters | IVM:England Through 1635 | IVN: The Venetian Style | IVO: Sacred Music in the Italian Cinquecentooutside Venice and Rome | Return to the Research Periods