EQ: What kinds of instruments were used during the Renaissance?
- Humanism - A cultural movement that created a "throw-back" in thought to Ancient Greek and Roman times.
- Printing Press - a machine for printing text or pictures.
- Viol - a musical instrument from the Renaissance period, typically has 6 stringed, held vertically and played with a bow.
- Recorder - a musical instrument that is shaped like a tube with holes and is played by blowing into the top.
- Sackbut - Medieval and Renaissance ancestor to the Trombone.
In this lesson you are going to learn more about the Renaissance time period, especially the instrumental music performed.
Instrumental music was more important in the Renaissance than Medieval times. Some instruments include the Viol, recorder and sackbut. You might have seen or heard of these instruments before because of The Renaissance Fairs that are quite popular around the United States (especially in Pennsylvania).
Below is an example of people playing the viol. Notice how most of them hold the box (fingers up as opposed to down like cello players). Some people still use this method today for playing cello or string bass.
Below is an example of the many different sized recorders found in Renaissance music.
The video below is a piece by Diego Ortiz and is named "Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse".
Society of the time
Humanism is a movement in which people started studying tangible topics. They wanted to understand things they could touch, instead of only what they could speculate. This movement causes classes to be divided according to education instead of wealth.
With humanism heading the "rebirth", the printing press was invented by Johann Gutenburg. This invention made it easier to print music and books. These goods became cheaper and therefore were more available to the middle class.
- Read through/listen to the entire lesson.
- Visit the website of Renaissance instruments above and look up at least three different instruments we did not discuss.
- Once you have finished, complete the quiz below.
You will need to know:
- All vocabulary
- Meaning of Renaissance
- Importance of dance
- Texture in vocal music