Music M401
History and Literature of Music I:
Antiquity to 1750

Indiana University School of Music

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Renaissance Instruments

Be sure to visit the Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Instruments at the website of Iowa State University's Musica Antiqua for descriptions, pictures, and sound examples of Medieval and Renaissance instruments.


Plucked Strings

Bowed Strings



Instruments, such as viols and most wind instruments, were often built in families of different sizes. Consorts of like instruments were common, as were ensembles of like timbre or sound production such as the wind band. When instruments of different timbres were mixed for contrast in an ensemble, it was known in English as a broken consort.

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Last updated: 23 October 2005

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