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Renaissance_16th c


Τhe term "madrigal" refers to different types of Italian vocal music. One type could be found during the 14th century and the other in the 16th. It is this second type  in which the term "Madrigal" is referred more frequently.

Madrigal during 16th cenury
Italian Madrigal

The term refers  both to  poetic and to musical composition. Musically, the madrigal  derived from frottola. The madrigal's evolution  in Italy is distinguished into three phases.
a) early Madrigal, until  the mid-16th century. The style  was mainly homophonic despite the imitation to a large extent. It was composed in two or three parts.
b) Classic Madrigal. Representatives: Andrea Gabrieli you tube, Orlando di Lasso you tube lyrics & comments score, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina you tube scores. The style of these works was  polyphonic and mimetic in general. It approached  the contemporary motets of those times.
c) late madrigal. Those works tended to be experimental. There were  colorful and dramatic effects. On the other hand,  skillful  voices of soloists were needed.
It is Important to say that the Madrigal at that time was flexible enough to reject the traditional polyphonic style in order to  adopt the  new style of monody (see Florentine Camerata).
This transition is obvious in the works of Claudio Monteverdi . His books of madrigals I  II, III, IV you tube (written during:1587,1590,1592,1603 respectively) are written in pure polyphonic and a capella style, while the next (V -1605 and VI-1614 you tube) were composed for a soloist and instrumental accompaniment, often requiring basso continuo. The eight book (VIII) you tube was entirely composed in style representativo with basso continuo.

English Madrigal

Madrigal had an important influence in England. It was significant  the Italian influence. The English Madrigal appears with names such as: Song, sonet, canzonet, etc.

                                    Monteverdi, "Parlo Miser o Taccio"
                           cecular madrigal for 3  voices and basso continuo.

                                 vii book of madrigals published in 1619

                                      Monteverdi, "Si dolce e 'l tormento"
                                soprano ( or contre- tenore) and basso continuo.
                                                 vi book of madrigals

Willi Apel: Harvard dictionary of music, second edition, eighth printing

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