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Secular music

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Title: Secular music  
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Subject: Cancioneiro de Paris, Claudio Veggio, Cancioneiro de Elvas, Pierluigi Giombini, French classical music
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Secular music


Secular music; Secular means being separate from (not associated or concerned with) religion. In the West, secular music developed in the Medieval period and was used in the Renaissance. Swaying authority from the Church that focused more on Common Law influenced all aspects of Medieval life, including music. Secular music in the Middle Ages included love songs, political satire, dances, and dramatic works. Drums, harps, recorders, and bagpipes were the instruments used in secular music because they were easy for the traveling musicians to tote about. Instruments were taught through oral tradition and provided great dancing music and accompanied the stanzas well.

Words are an important part of secular music. Words were added for most and many common people to sing songs together for entertainment. Music styles were changed by secularization. The motet, for example, moved out of the Church and into the courts of nobility which then caused the motet to be forbidden in the Church. The largest collection of secular music from this period comes from poems of celebration and chivalry of the troubadours from the south of France. These poems contain clever rhyme-schemes, varied use of refrain-lines or words, and different metric patterns.

Composers like Josquin des Prez wrote sacred and secular music. He composed 86 highly successful secular works and 119 sacred pieces. Secular music also was aided by the formation of literature during the reign of Charlemagne that included a collection of secular and semi-secular songs.

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