2/06/15 Follow the Leader: Imitative Polphony

For Monday, 2/09/15:
Read Chapters 13 & 14


Renaissance Polphony:
Listen for how the voices relate to each other as they interweave:

Josquin des Prez, Ave Maria

Musical techniques used:
– Imitation, a.k.a. a round (more below)
– Homorhthym: multiple voices singing same rhythm, but different notes, sounding like a series of chords

Imitative Polphony includes rounds: a melody is sung by multiple voices entering in succession, as in this song:

And going back a bit earlier in history:

Vocal music in the Renaissance was often sung a cappella, meaning without instrumental accompaniment.

Modern examples:

Billy Joel – The Longest Time

Florida State University AcaBelles – “Royals”

– Madrigals: use word painting (a.k.a. text painting) to illustrate what the words say.

John Farmer – c. 1570–c. 1605, English
Fair Phyllis

Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone
Feeding her flock near to the mountain side.
The shepherds knew not,
they knew not whither she was gone,
But after her lover Amyntas hied,
Up and down he wandered
whilst she was missing;
When he found her,
O then they fell a-kissing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *