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date: 16 October 2019


  • Lewis Lockwood


In the conventional periodization of Western music history, a term denoting the era from about 1430 to about 1600; this period coincides with the later phases of the broad historical development in Western culture, society, art and technology (c1300–1600) for which the French term ‘Renaissance’ has been in use since Michelet (1855), who coined it for general history.

The perspective adopted by Michelet was given worldwide currency by Burckhardt (1860), whose influential essay portrayed Italy as the source of a vast cultural transformation that began in the 14th century, gradually spread new forms of thought to northern Europe after 1500 and marked the emergence of a period of civilization that extended in some spheres until the later 17th century.

That the term literally means ‘rebirth’ is not an anachronistic exaggeration but is justified by the tendency of influential thinkers and writers in the period ...

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