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

    In this video 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.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Bransle

    In this video viewers watch as 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. The segment was recorded by KET in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Shakespeare. Kentucky Shakespeare also provided the costumes worn by the dancers.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: About the Pavane

    In this video Carrie Nath, director of education for the Kentucky Arts Council, explains the purpose and form of the Pavane, an Elizabethan processional dance.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Pavane

    In this video viewers watch as 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.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Upon a Summer's Day

    In this video Instructor Jennifer Rose teaches a group of fifth grade students a Renaissance dance, Upon a Summer’s Day, from John Playford’s book The English Dancing Master. Rose explains that the dance originated in England during the 17th century but was still being danced in the 1920s in the Appalachian Mountain region of Kentucky.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Palestrina

    After a brief introduction to Renaissance music and the composer Palestrina, Bruce Heim, music professor at the University of Louisville, discusses key characteristics of Renaissance music. The segment concludes with the Louisville Brass performing an instrumental arrangement of Palestrina's "Sicut cervus."

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arts in the Renaissance: Scene from Much Ado About Nothing

    This video presents viewers with an explanation of  Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing. This scene, performed by Joe Gatton and Patti Heying, features the more mature lovers from the play’s subplot—Beatrice and Benedick—and their “merry war.”

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    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 the Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Hardesty opens the segment with a brief introduction to the scene: Hamlet’s father, the King of Denmark, has mysteriously died, and his brother Claudius has assumed the throne and married the King’s wife (Hamlet’s mother). Hamlet meets the Ghost of the dead king, who accuses Claudius of murder. Hamlet must decide the truth of the accusation and what course of action to take.

    This resource is part of the Arts in the Renaissance collection.

    Grades: 9-12

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