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Music of the Renaissance and the Mannerism Periods

Code: 100640 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500240 Musicology OB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Francesc Xavier Alern Vazquez

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Knowledge of theory and musical practice equivalent, at least, to the average degree of Conservatory. Ability to read English, French and Italian.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The subject proposes to get to know the student the history of music and the European musical repertoire of the period between 1400 and 1600, approximately. All this based on the chronological thread of the various generations of Franco-Flemish composers, their relationship with Italy, and the evolution of musical styles in accordance with vocal, instrumental, and religious and secular music.



1. Obtain a complete vision of this period of the Music History.

2. To know the different historiographic criteria about the Renaissance and Mannerism, with their theoretical foundations.

3. Learn to recognize their different styles, aesthetic characteristics and musical genres.

4. Awareness of the relationship between music and the artistic currents and thought of this period.

5. Be aware of the fundamental features of the Renaissance music system. 


  • Critically analyse musical works from any of the points of view of the discipline of musicology.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Identify and compare the different channels of reception and consumption of music in society and in culture in each period.
  • Know and understand the historical evolution of music, its technical, stylistic, aesthetic and interpretative characteristics from a diachronic perspective.
  • Relate concepts and information from different humanistic, scientific and social disciplines, especially the interactions which are established between music and philosophy, history, art, literature and anthropology.
  • Relate knowledge acquired to musical praxis, working with musicians through the analysis and contextualisation of different repertoires, both related to historical music and to the different manifestations of contemporary music.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon in a given cultural context.
  2. Analysing the creators of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  3. Analysing the recipients of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  4. Apply the conceptualisation of philosophy, history, literature and anthropology to musical research.
  5. Consider the subject as a whole and identify the context in which the processes studied are inscribed and their interrelationship with the elements and factors that are involved in their sociohistorical development.
  6. Contextualise musical works in their hsitorical and cultural setting from a critical perspective.
  7. Correctly identify the essential repertoire and the main composers of each historical period.
  8. Critically identify the different orientations of musical praxis that musicians apply to the music of each hsitorical period.
  9. Define the processes of periodisation and stylistic classification and usual typology in the historical conceptualisation of the musical fact.
  10. Identify and critically place different musical typologies in their historical periods.
  11. Identify phenomena of the circulation of ideas in music proficiency.
  12. Identify the complexity of music reception processes.
  13. Identify the stylistic properties of each historical period.
  14. Identifying the context of the historical processes.
  15. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  16. Identifying the specific methods of history and their relationship with the analysis of particular facts.
  17. Integrate knowledge acquired in the production of clear and concise appropriate to the academic and specialist communication.
  18. Interpret the most important theoretical texts of each period.
  19. Interrelate technological and scientific changes in each period with the creation and reception of music.
  20. Link the periods of the history of music to periods of the history of art, in their similarities and differences.
  21. Present knowledge about the history, art or other cultural movements.
  22. Produce correct, precise and clear argumental and terminological writing of knowledge acquired, both in the area of musical specialisation and dissemination.
  23. Recognise in musical praxis element of different cultures and different historical periods.
  24. Solve problems of a methodological nature in the area of musicology.
  25. Use specific vocabulary of history correctly.
  26. Use the vocabulary of musicology related to each period of history.


1. Renaissance and Mannerism: reflections on concepts and chronology.

2. The renovation of the Ancient World.

3. The persistence of the medieval tradition.

4. Music and Renaissance society.

5. Music for God.

6. Music for man.

7. Teach, learn, play. The musician's craft.


The role of the professor in this subject, apart from providing the theoretical and historiographical basis for the knowledge, understanding and study of the music of the 15th and 16th centuries, consists in provoking in the students the discovery and the critical knowledge of the musical repertoire of that time through the audition commented on the repertoire and the analysis of the respective scores.

The programming of this subject is due to the international conventions on which the scientific community structures the fields and boundaries of the respective periods of the history of Western European music.

The student will be responsible for their learning process by seeking complementary information that is preferable to the manuals, books and articles reviewed in the general Bibliography and the complementary bibliographies of each thematic unit. The students will have a complete Virtual Campus with all class materials, bibliographies and links to the playlist of Spotify and the YouTube Channel of the subject. The classes are complemented with the reading of relevant texts about the subject and the realization of written questionnaires.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Master classes 35.5 1.42 5, 9, 7, 16, 13, 18, 26
Tutorial 20 0.8 5, 12, 11, 14, 24
Type: Supervised      
Score analysis 15 0.6 2, 3, 1, 6, 18, 24, 25, 26
Type: Autonomous      
Bibliography 21 0.84 4, 12, 11, 14, 16, 20
Personal study 33 1.32 4, 6, 9, 7, 14, 16, 10, 13, 19, 20


A system of continuous evaluation is proposed in which the following training activities will be weighted:

  • Completion of the Virtual Campus questionnaires (25% of the final grade).
  • A partial exam where the reading and comprehension of texts and the analysis of scores will be evaluated (25% of the final grade).
  • Two partial exams where auditions and theoretical contents will be evaluated (25% of the final mark, each of them).

Clarifications to the evaluation

  • If the average mark of the partial exams is less than five in the first call, it will be necessary to re-evaluate the contents suspended in the resit exam.
  • If the final grade is suspended in the first call for the qualification of the questionnaires of the Virtual Campus, it will be necessary to re-evaluate these activities (understood as a single block) in the resit exam. Class activities are not recoverable.
  • In no case will it be possible to pass the subject with the global of the failed partial exams. If the final mark in the second call was higher than five (5) for the qualification of the questionnaires being the average mark of the exams lower than this figure, the subject will be suspended with a final mark of four (4).
  • To be able to access the resit exam, you must have taken all the partial exams, obtaining a minimum mark of three and a half (3.5). At least half of the Virtual Campus questionnaires must also have been completed. No minimum grade point average is set for these last activities. In case of confinement, these percentages can be modified.
  • The day and time of the revision of the exams will be communicated through the calendar of the Virtual Campus of the subject. In the event of confinement, a telematic review procedure will be established for students who request it.
  • Only the suspended contents will be re-evaluated in the resit exam and it will not be possible to obtain a mark higher than six (6). 
  • Extraordinary work or exercises will not be accepted to compensate for the suspension or non-performance of the proposed activities in the established time and manner. Nor will individual examinations be held outside the day and time established for the group-class as a whole, except in cases of documented force majeure.
  • Students who have not carried out any scoring activity will be considered "non-assessable".

Other clarifications

  • In case of total or partial confinement, a dispatch schedule will be established by videoconference.
  • In the exams, students will only be able to have the essential material to write. Notes, books or mobile phones must be stored in backpacks and there can be nothing in the drawers in the classroom. Otherwise, the exam will be suspended with a zero (0).

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Three Partial Examns 25 % each 4.5 0.18 3, 4, 22, 5, 6, 9, 12, 11, 21, 7, 15, 13, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 20
Virtual Campus Questions 25% 21 0.84 2, 3, 1, 4, 22, 5, 6, 9, 12, 11, 21, 7, 8, 14, 16, 10, 15, 13, 17, 18, 23, 19, 24, 25, 26, 20



  • ABRAHAM, Gerald i HUGUES, Dom Anselm. (ed.). The New Oxford History of Music. Londres: Oxford UP, 1960.- Vol. III: Ars Nova and The Renaissance, 1300-1540. Vol. IV:The Age of Humanism, 1540-1630.
  • ATLAS, Allan, Renaissance Music. Music in Western Europe, 1400-1600. London: Norton & Company, 1998. (Traducció castellana: La música del Renacimiento, Madrid: Akal, 2003)
  • BROWN, Howard Mayer, Music in the Renaissance. N. Yersey: Englewood, 1976.
  • BUSSE BERGER, Anna Maria i RODIN, Jeese (eds.), The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music.
  • FENLON, Iain (ed.), The Renaissance: From the 1470s to the End of the 16th Century, Prentice Hall, 1989.
  • Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge UP, 1981.
  • GALLICO, Claudio, La época del Humanismo y del Renacimiento. Madrid: Turner, 1986.
  • GREGORI, Josep Maria, "Renaixement i Manierisme”, dins Història Crítica de la Música Catalana. Barcelona: Publicacions de la UAB, 2010.
  • GÓMEZ MUNTANÉ, Maricarmen (ed.), Historia de la música en España e Hispanoamérica (vol. 2), Madrid, FCE, 2012.
  • HAAR, James, (ed.), European Music 1520 - 1640, Woodbridge: Bodyell Press, 2006.
  • KNIGHTON, Tess, I FALLOWS, David, (ed.) Companion to Medieval & Renaissance Music, Londres:Dent, 1992.
  • KREITNER, Kenneth (ed.), Renaissance Music, Ashgate, 2011.
  • PERKINS, Leeman, Music in the Age of the Renaissance. New York: Norton, 1999.
  • REESE, Gustave, Music in the Renaissance, Londres: Dent, 1959. (Trad. Cast.: La música en el Renacimiento. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1988).
  • STROHM, Reinhard, The Rise of European Music 1380 - 1500, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • TARUSKIN, Richard, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century.Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford UP, 2009.



No specific software is required to take this course.