Please see this YouTube video starting from 0:00 to 0:19s.

All of Ezio's "Requiescat in Pace's"

Now, this Assassin's Creed game covers the life of Ezio Auditore, an assassin who lived in Italy during the Renaissance period. All the buildings, like the Colosseum, different churches, etc. are all in their correct position in the game. The date and place of death of the Pope (Rodrigo Borgia) in the game is also correct. The buildings in the game and the dresses of different characters, all give a feel of Italy of those times.

Question: Does the music in the video, that I linked above, also follow typical Renaissance music structure?

2 Answers 2


I believe the tune in that extract is "Ezio's family" by Jesper Kyd, who composed the music for AC 1 and 2

I don't believe the structure or composition techniques of the extract have anything particularly to do with Rennaissance. More about evoking a mood, I think. Renaissance music may evoke a mood, but that isn't usually the primary purpose. So far as I know, Renaissance music has a particular purpose - it's for a choir to sing in a church service, or it's to accompany dancing or entertainment, or it's a song.

So I think the intent and structure have more in common with the 19th C "Romantic" time ("program music"), or the modern day too - film scores etc.

Some examples of Rennaissance music and structure on youtube :

1) Structure - "polyphony" or many parts interweaving, rather than a melody with accompaniment. Usually a text in Latin for use in a religious service

"Qui habitat" by French/Flemish composer Josquin des Prez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNm9tNZePew

2) Structure : dance music, with repeated tunes, similar to folk music

Selection of instrumental https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hYwiPmQlD8

3) Instrumental music. Has its roots in dance music, or songs, which is why individual pieces are named after dances e.g. "Pavane"

Dead links replaced 15.jun.2020

Strings : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZkOZpFhfVA

Lute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxD8FrR7uco


Excellent answer from Angst!

On an harmonic perspective, the piece inquired about is also far from typical renaissance music, which tends to be somewhat static or obey to basic tonal progressions.

The piece inquired about uses a descending progression sometimes called Andaluzian progression for its reminiscence of flamenco music. There are a few notable examples of the Andalusian progression in music from the renaissance, but they are isolated cases, not typical of the music of the era.

For those who care, the progression can be seen as part of the Phrygian mode, and modal harmony was sometimes used in renaissance music, as opposed to the classical or romantic periods.

Jazz music is the main responsible for the more generalized use of modal harmony in modern music, but the use has been generalized to all genres of music, so nowadays in you can find examples of chord progressions outside of the more common major and minor tonalities in rock, pop, classical and, perhaps especially in film and game music, as the use of modal harmony helps to establish specific moods and enviroments.

This type of progression, explained in this video, has been used (battered, I should say) in many many pieces.

One of my favourite examples of the usage of this same progression is from Rick Wakeman's 1973 album the Six Wifes of Henry VIII, in the beginning of the track "Catherine Parr", although the progression here used is only the first 3 chord of the "andaluzian" progression.

Funny, the subject of this album is also about a renaissance character, but unless the composer of Assassins Creed was inspired by the album, that's just a coincidence.


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