The Renaissance era, lasting from the mid 1400s to about 1630, is one of the most distinctive and revolutionary periods in the arts, and music is no exception. Composers like Dufay, Josquin, Tallis, Victoria, Palestrina, Gabrieli, Praetorius, and Byrd were visionaries whose transformational music developed alongside the paintings and sculptures of Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
In this remarkable book, a companion to Performance Practices in the Classical Era and Performance Practices in the Baroque Era, noted scholar and conductor Dennis Shrock draws from primary sources to document and explain authentic performance practices of Renaissance era music—in many cases eye opening and rarely employed today.
Insightful chapters cover topics including vocal and instrumental sound, tempo, articulation, phrasing, ornamentation, and expression. Like a restorer uncovering the original brilliance of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Shrock’s work reveals the rich and colorful nature of this wonderful music as originally intended.
Performing Renaissance Music—together with Shrock’s companion recording Renaissance Reborn—is an insightful, colorful, and comprehensive portrait, certain to assist anyone who seeks to better understand the music of the great Renaissance composers. This book is a vital resource for any conductor, performer, or aficionado of Renaissance music.
Dennis Shrock is author of six books published by GIA: Performing Renaissance Music (2018); Performance Practices in the Baroque Era (2013); Performance Practices in the Classical Era (2011); Handel’s Messiah: A Performance Practice Handbook (2013); Music for Beginning Conductors (2011); and A Conductor’s Guide to Choral/Orchestral Repertoire, co-authored with James Moyer (2017). In addition, Dr. Shrock is author of three books published by Oxford University Press: Choral Repertoire (2009); Choral Scores (2015); and Choral Monuments (2017).
Dr. Shrock has held faculty positions at Boston University, Westminster Choir College, the University of Oklahoma, and Texas Christian University, and has had residencies at Baylor University, the University of Southern California, the University of Mississippi, and Yale University. He has also served as Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Canterbury Choral Society of Oklahoma City, Interim Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and Editor of The Choral Journal. In addition, he has been a frequent All-State conductor and lecturer at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association.
He has received a number of awards and recognitions for his work. The City of Santa Fe declared December 22, 2003 “Dennis Shrock Day,” Westminster Choir College granted him an “Alumni Merit Award,” the state of Oklahoma conferred on him a citation for “Contributions of Excellence,” and the University of Oklahoma granted him two “Distinguished Lectureships” and named him a “Presidential Professor.” Dr. Shrock received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster Choir College and both master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from Indiana University.
The cover artwork is a depiction of monks singing the office from a Gradual illuminated in the 1440s and used by the Olivetan Benedictines.