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Classical2: Renaissance Period
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 - 1600.
The increasing reliance on the interval of the third as a consonance is one of the most pronounced features of early Renaissance European art music (in the Middle Ages, thirds had been considered dissonances). Polyphony, in use since the 12th century, became increasingly elaborate with highly independent voices throughout the 14th century: the beginning of the 15th century showed simplification, with the voices often striving for smoothness. This was possible because of a greatly increased vocal range in music – in the Middle Ages, the narrow range made necessary frequent crossing of parts, thus requiring a greater contrast between them.
The modal (as opposed to tonal) characteristics of Renaissance music began to break down towards the end of the period with the increased use of root motions of fifths. This later developed into one of the defining characteristics of tonality.