Where and Why did the Renaissance Music Period start?

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Between 1400-1600 music was an important part of all facets of Renaissance life including courtly life, civic, and church life. The exchange of ideas, composing methods, development of new musical instruments, and the increased ease of disseminating music occurred during this era.

During the early Renaissance, music was composed for church use. The Burgundian court in the Netherlands attracted composers and musicians from across the European continent. The music consisted of polyphonic masses which employed several simultaneous melodies, and motets which were written in Latin. During the latter years, musical compositions were sold to the Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as to the courts. Music printers and wealthy amateur musicians also enjoyed income from the sale of their music.

From the Netherlands, the center of European music moved to France and Italy with composers and musicians traveling widely throughout Europe. By the end of the 1600’s music was being printed, and France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and England all had distinctive forms of music along with the music of the church.