What you'll find here is the music I love: mostly madrigals (primarily English, but also Italian and German), earlier Italian frottola
, French chansons
and Spanish villancico
and Renaissance sacred music. What holds it all together? They're all from the Renaissance, and all use the same theoretical considerations (except for two extra pieces on the English page).
Having sung in choirs and consorts since 1957, I've sung everything from Victorian English Church music to Old Church Slavonic Chant, Randall Thompson to all of the four "B's" (I never forget the originator of the concerto form: William Byrd). But, I keep coming back to Renaissance music, because it speaks to my soul.
You'll find these files arranged by nationality and the composer's surname (the Flemish are shown in the language of the composition, so you will find Isaac in German, Arcadelt and Lasso in French AND Italian).
I have included both MIDI files and NoteWorthy Composer2 format. Noteworthy allows you to see the words as well as play the music (which you can't do with MIDI), and even print it out, but you'll need the Noteworthy Composer2 Viewer software to read them. It's free, from NoteWorthy.com
, but you'll need to use a PC. (Sorry, MAC users, but I still haven't found an inexpensive program for the Macintosh platform.) The Viewer takes ~360KB of hard-drive space but it's well worth it.
I have, in past, included PDF files at a different site for all of the pieces posted here, but problems with servers, and the size of PDF files forced a curtailment of that scheme. PDF files are naturally bloated due to their carrying information like fonts required to recreate the base files. The Noteworthy files here take only 2 - 3% of the space of the corresponding PDF file (even the MIDI files take 10-15% of the space of PDF files). I get more files in a limited space by excluding the PDF file, and with the increase in the number of pieces that I am plannng, I find that I can no longer supply PDFs, especially with the size of just one of the Byrd Masses exceeding the size of the Viewer.
Many visitors to this page have been directed from the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL)
, and they may be able to find PDFs for many of these pieces there. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change in site policy.