APPROACH OF THE MONODIC STYLE
THAT a certain appreciation of the expressive power of the solo voice, or at least an enjoyment of its comparatively free utterance, existed during the years when the polyphonic method of composition was approaching its highest development is evident. The ecclesiastic writers were the scholars and their art was the product of intense concentration upon the technical resources of vocal composition. But even while the people of Italy were singing part songs, the charm of a predominant melody, to which other parts were subject, made itself felt. The influence of folk music could never be completely abolished, and in those singular contrapuntal pieces in which secular songs were employed as counterpoint to chants its battle for recognition was carried on in an extraordinary manner.
The revolution effected by the young coterie of Florentines in the final years of the sixteenth century was not the sudden outburst of a crea-