Composers/Musicians of the Renaissance Period

The Renaissance signifies the rebirth of classical learning and an increased patronage of music. Here are some of the notable musicians during that period:
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Jacob Arcadelt

One of the composers who helped establish the madrigal musical form.
One of the leading English composers of the late Renaissance who helped develop English madrigals. He wrote church, secular, consort and keyboard music, among others. He served as organist at Chapel Royal, a post he shared with his mentor Thomas Tallis. More »
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Claudin de Sermisy

One of the composers who greatly influenced Parisian Chansons.
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Josquin Desprez

One of the most important composers of this period. His music was widely published and appreciated in Europe. Desprez wrote both sacred and secular music, focusing more on motets of which he wrote over a hundred.

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Tomas Luis de Victoria

Spanish composer during the Renaissance who composed mainly sacred music.
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John Dowland

Known for his lute music in Europe and composed beautiful melancholic music.
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Guillaume Dufay

Known as the transitional figure to the Renaissance.
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John Farmer

English madrigal composer whose work titled "Fair Phyllis I Saw Sitting All Alone," was one of the most popular pieces of his time.
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Giovanni Gabrielli

Wrote music for St. Mark's as well as Monteverdi and Stravinsky. Gabrielli experimented with choral and instrumental groups, positioning them in different sides of the basilica and making them perform alternately or in unison.
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Carlo Gesualdo

Carlo Gesualdo (1566 - 1613). Photo Courtesy of Cantate Online
Considered to be an innovative composer of Italian madrigals. Gesualdo is quite a brilliant composer and yet the tragedy that happened in his private life haunted him until his death.
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Clement Janequin

Composer who was also an ordained priest. He specialized in chansons and took it to a new degree by using descriptive elements.
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Orlando Lassus

Composed church and secular voice music.
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Luca Marenzio

One of the most renowned madrigal composers.
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Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi Portrait by Bernardo Strozzi. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Known as the transitional figure to the Baroque music era.
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Jacob Obrecht

One of the well known Franco-Flemish composers of his time.

One of the most influential composers of the Early Renaissance and one of the fathers of Renaissance music. More »

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Wrote secular, liturgical and religious pieces.
Public Domain Image of Thomas Tallis. from Wikimedia Commons
An English composer known for his mastery of contrapuntal techniques. Although there is little information about his early years, it is known that composer William Byrd became one of his pupils. More »
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Adrian Willaert

Founder of the Venetian School, pioneer of abstract instrumental music and one of the most versatile composers of the Renaissance.