Arts in the Renaissance

Expand/Collapse Arts in the Renaissance


The arts flourished during the Renaissance, a period of cultural revival and growth which began in early 15th century Florence. This KET collection provides examples of Renaissance music, dance, and drama.

The music segment includes an explanation of polyphony and a performance of a work by an Italian composer who greatly influenced the music of the Roman Catholic Church.

Elizabethan drama is represented by two excerpts from Shakespeare, a soliloquy from Hamlet and a scene from Much Ado About Nothing.

The collection also features two Elizabethan court dances as well as a dance that was popular with British upper classes in the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • Arts in the Renaissance: About the Bransle

    Carrie Nath, director of education for the Kentucky Arts Council, explains the purpose and structure of the Maltese Bransle, a country dance that was popular in the courts of England and France during the Renaissance.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Bransle

    Kentucky students perform the Maltese Bransle (pronounced brahwl), a country dance that was popular in the royal courts of France and England during the Renaissance.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: About the Pavane

    Carrie Nath, director of education for the Kentucky Arts Council, explains the purpose and form of the Pavane, an Elizabethan processional dance.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Pavane

    Kentucky students dance the Pavane, a processional dance from the Renaissance. The segment was recorded by KET in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Shakespeare. Kentucky Shakespeare also provided the costumes.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Upon a Summer's Day

    Instructor Jennifer Rose teaches students a Renaissance dance, Upon a Summer's Day, from John Playford's book The English Dancing Master. They perform the dance's three figures and chorus.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Palestrina

    Bruce Heim discusses and demonstrates key characteristics of Renaissance music. The segment concludes with the Louisville Brass performing an arrangement of Renaissance composer Palestrina's "Sicut cervus."
    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Scene from Much Ado About Nothing

    The main plot in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing revolves around Claudio and Hero. This scene features the more mature lovers from the play—Beatrice and Benedick.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Scene from Hamlet

    Actor Kevin Hardesty performs the famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from Act III, Scene I of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Hardesty opens the segment with an introduction to the scene.

    Grades: 9-12

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