The highest achievement in Renaissance music is vocal polyphony found in the masses and motets of composers such as Palestrina, Lassus, Tallis, Byrd and Victoria, where the magnificence of the music heightens the sense of religious devotion within the liturgy.  However, the Renaissance was also a period of humanistic thought, and this is reflected in the sharp rise of secular music, in the form of lute songs, madrigals, and keyboard and instrumental music.

Humanism was also responsible for the desire by composers to imbue music with ever greater expression, and this reached its height in musical mannerism, with the complex and often chromatic works of Luzzaschi, Marenzio, and Gesualdo.  The musical Renaissance culminated in the late 1590s with the emergence of opera, which once established, led musical aesthetics into the new era of the 17th century Baroque.


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This lecture is part of a series called Exploring the Periods of Music.  Although the lectures may also be purchased individually, there is a reduction in cost for buying the five lectures together.  Go to the shop to see the offer

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Below are some basic instructions for downloading and installing the free Zoom app on computers and other platforms.  Please remember that these are basic steps only and that you are solely responsible for downloading and installing the app, and for understanding how the app works.  It is essentially very straight forward.

  1. If you are going to use a computer to attend the lecture/study event, then in the web browser type in or click here:  This will take you directly to Zoom and to a page which allows you to download the Zoom app. Make sure that only this address is seen in the web browser. Alternatively, you can download the app by going to and looking in its menu for the downloadable app.
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