During this period music started to become more complex, with sophisticated harmonies and counterpoint, which just means musical parts moving against each other to create interest and excitement. Music was essential to all forms of life in the Renaissance, and it permeated the religious, civic and courtly aspects of society. It was a period of growth in the spread of ideas — political, economic and, of course, religious — and this naturally led to rapid developments in music. It was a period of patronage: as a composer you could only make a living if you were paid either by the church or by a wealthy individual such as the local nobility. It was a period of growing complexity in music, with the advent of ‘polyphony’ — a conjunction of two Latin words: ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and ‘phonos’, meaning ‘sounds’. Put simply, polyphony means music made up of several simultaneous strands — or melodies — to create a complex interwoven tableau of sound.