Music and Society

  • Iain Fenlon
Part of the Man & Music book series


As one scholar has put it, ‘Renaissance music is not a set of compositional techniques but a complex of social conditions, intellectual states of mind, attitudes, aspirations, habits of performers, artistic support systems, intra-cultural communication, and many other ingredients which add up to a thriving matrix of musical energy’. It is the purpose of the present book to explore some of these features as they can be observed in different places and at different times in Europe during the Renaissance. As a glance at the table of contents makes clear, it is not our intention to do this in an encyclopedic way, but rather to proceed by contrast and analogy in order to tease out the common structural elements that were at work, while at the same time characterizing in quite a detailed way some of the more important differences between the musical life of various urban centres — Nuremberg and Venice, London and Naples — at various important moments in their histories. At the same time, while this book is emphatically not about Renaissance music seen merely as a set of compositional techniques, nor seen as a sequence of masterpieces, nor even as the aggregation of the biographies of great composers, that does not mean that we are not concerned with the activities of individuals or with details of musical styles and forms.


Sixteenth Century Fifteenth Century Musical Style Henry VIII Musical Culture 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Iain Fenlon

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