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The Rise of Choral Polyphony in Burgundy

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documents in English
7 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. Roots of polyphony
  3. Effects of the new style
  4. The main representatives
    1. Guillaume Dufay
    2. Gilles Binchois
    3. Johannes Ockeghem
    4. Antoine Busnois
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there was a flourishing of culture in the Netherlands with the rise of humanism and the patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy. With the advances in trade and commerce, there was also a general prosperity which contributed to the wealth of artistic endeavors. This extra capital the Netherlanders spent not only on domestic genre paintings for their walls, but also aural stimulation in the form of music. Visitors to Antwerp commented on the omnipresence of music, whether in processions, churches, or flowing out of windows to the pleasure of passersby on the street. Netherlandish music was not just important in the homes of the middle class, however, it was indispensable in the courts of nobles and kings, and Franco-Flemish composers of the time were sought after by rulers from the Pope to the Kings of France. Such composers as Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Johannes Okeghem, and Orlando di Lasso were among those in Netherlandish school who were instrumental in the rise of choral polyphony; they were the indisputable leaders of the style in their time and contributed invaluably to the development of Western music.

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