Guillaume Dufay (ca. 1397 – 1474)

See for a performance of his Ave Maris Stella.  Although, as we previously mentioned concerning the harmonies of Medieval and Renaissance choral music, the harmonies do not rise to organized chordal progressions as that later introduced by Monteverdi, he uses a technique common to such chordal progressions: he creates a dissonance just before the close of the piece which resolves into a consonant chord of repose upon the tonic (the first scale degree).

See for another setting of Avé Maris Stella for women’s voices and organ.  You will note that the music is much more refined than is prior medieval music, part of which is attributable to its triadic harmonies, which, toward  the close of phrases or a series of phrases. anticipate a closing cadence.

See for a performance of the Credo from Dufay’s L’homme armé (The Armed Man”) Mass.  L’homme armé was a popular, secular song in the 15th century, with overtones of political satire, which many composers of that century used as a cantus firmus (principal melody upon which the choral piece is built) for sacred works, such, as here, a mass.   See, also, for a performance of the Agnus Dei and for the Gloria from the same Mass.

See for a performance of his Magnificat for voice and instruments.

See for recordings of Dufay’s music available for purchase at Classical Archives.

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