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Important Stylistic Features Mood and Emotional Expression: Renaissance composer

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Important Stylistic Features Mood and Emotional Expression: Renaissance composers wrote vocal music to enhance the meaning and emotion of a text. Renaissance madrigals express a wide range of emotions and imagery through word painting. Secular vocal music contains more rapid shifts of mood than sacred music. Rhythm: Rhythm is more of a gentle flow than a sharply defined beat, particularly in a-cappella choral music. Each line of music has great rhythmic independence. Secular music, both vocal and instrumental, usually has a more clearly defined beat. Dynamics: Dynamics are not indicated in Renaissance manuscripts or printed music. Tone Color: In Renaissance music, instruments may or may not accompany vocal music by doubling one or more of the parts. Even in Purely instrumental music, the specific instruments are rarely specified. Melody and Harmony: Compared with music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance music sounds mild and relaxed because stable, consonant chords occur frequently; triads (3-note chords) are favored over dissonances. Melodies usually move step-wise along a scale, with few large leaps. The bass register was used for the first time, resulting in a fuller sound and richer harmonies. In Renaissance vocal music especially, each melodic line has great independence; phrases often overlap to create a seamless flow of sound among the parts. Texture: The main musical texture of Renaissance vocal music is polyphonic, with a typical choral piece having four to six different parts of nearly equal melodic interest. Imitation among voices is common, particularly in a-cappella choral music. The bass register is used for the first time. Homophonic texture is also used, especially in light music, like dances. Secular music written for solo voices and for solo voice with accompaniment of one or more instruments was popular.

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