MUMedieval Period * Hildegard von Bingen: Columba aspexit * Genre = plainchant * Text = sacred, Latin * Texture: monophonic throughout * Performance practice: responsorially, that is, the performance alternates between a single singer (soloist) and the larger choir, which “responds” * The piece becomes more melismatic as it continues. * Ensemble: female vocal soloist, female vocal choir, droning instrument that plays out one note (the final) * Guillaume da Machaut: Dame, de qui toute ma joie vient * Genre = chanson (general term for French secular song) * Text = vernacular (language French), secular Texture = non-imitative polyphony (four voices with four independent melodies that never repeat the music of another voice part)
Ensemble: a cappella Renaissance Period * Guillaume Dufay: Ave maris stella * Fauxbordon style: a form of harmonization in three parts in which the second line follows the top line a perfect fourth below. The voices are often “moving in parallel thirds,” a relatively new sound and texture at the time. * Based in the Dorian mode Homophonic/homophonic texture (multiple parts that move mostly in homorhytm, therefore creating a succession of chords) * The top line is an elaborated form of a Gregorian chant melody ie the top line is a cantus firmus. Latin * Genre: Hymn (harmonized hymn) b/c it is sacred and the same music is repeated over and over for changing verses of that sacred text * Josquin Desprez: Kyrie from Pange lingua Mass * Genre: Kyrie from a late Renaissance Mass * Texture: 4 part polyphony; imitative polyphony * Ensemble: a cappella; 4 part choir; SATB Text: Ancient, sacred Greek prayer (only part of Mass in Greek); First part of Mass Ordinary Baroque Period * Henry Purcell: “Thy hand Belinda” from Dido and Aeneas, Act III final scene. * Libretto is an abbreviated English-language adaptation (by librettist Nahum Tate) of an episode from the Aeneid, the Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC (between 29 and 19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the mythical ancestor of the Romans. Aeneas and his men are shipwrecked at Carthage on the northern shore of Africa.
Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and Aeneas fall in love, but Aeneas cannot forget that the gods have commanded him to continue his journey until he reaches Italy (where it has been foretold that he will found a great empire, Rome). A much as he hates to hurt his love, the Queen Dido, he knows that he must leave and continue his quest. He leaves, as heroes must. * In her grief, Dido decides she cannot live with her grief and slashes her wrists. She then sings the moving recitative “Thy hand, Belinda,” and the aria that follows (a Lament aria), which is the culminating point in the opera, followed by a final chorus * Homophonic Antonio Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in G, La stravanganza, op. 4 no. 2, first and second movements http://youtu. be/WftbiFpZszU * First movement: Spirito e non presto (spirited but not presto) The first movement of this work is a RITORNELLO FORM: the music played by the orchestra appears both at the beginning, end, and several times during the movement. This ritornello is alternated with the SOLOS, played by the featured violin soloist. * Second movement: Largo (slowly)
There is no accompaniment Cantata No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, nos. 4, 5 & 8 http://youtu. be/aVaV0spMDVg * Bach based this cantata on the words and music of a chorale composed by Martin Luther in 1524. Luther’s chorale melody was based on an Easter hymn from the 12th century. Bach used the melody of Luther’s chorale in every movement of his cantata as a cantus firmus. Text is proper, for certain times of the year * Sacred Cantata * 0:00-1:55 4th movement: tenor aria, “Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn . . . Note the texture of this movement: the tenor voice and the busy ‘obbligato’ violin part both move rather independently over the accompaniment provided by the basso continuo. Therefore, the movement is basically homophonic, because it has an accompaniment, despite the fact that there are multiple ‘upper parts’ (the tenor voice and violin). The texture of High Baroque music (1700-1750) can often be complicated in this manner—a combination of both polyphony (in the upper parts) and homophony (because of the accompaniment). * 1:59-4:24 5th movement: SATB quartet w/ continuo, “Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg.
The texture of this movement is much more polyphonic than the first, and the four vocal parts (soprano, also, tenor and bass) ‘imitate’ each other contrapuntally; in other words, the texture of this movement is ‘imitative polyphony. ’ Note also that the instrumental parts ‘move parallel to the voice parts’ (meaning that the instrumental parts play the exact same thing the three vocal soloists are singing); therefore the instruments take part in the polyphony * 7:04-8:23 8th movement: chorale with orchestra, “Wir essen und leben wohl . . ” This final movement is set very simply, in a purely homophonic texture. All of the voice parts move in homorhythm—i. e. , they all move to the same rhythm nearly all of the time. However, they are not singing the same part, but are singing different pitches at the same time, thereby creating a series of chords. The continuo players (the instrumental accompaniment) follow along with the voices, adding there timbres to the overall sound. * Bach’s sacred cantatas often end with a homophonic presentation of the chorale melody: i. e. in a presentation of a harmonized chorale. The final movement is set in this simple style so that the congregation could participate in singing the final movement. All of the earlier movements are much more complicated, and would have been performed by professional singers employed by the church. * Note regarding this work on Exam #1: You need to be able to identify the texture and subgenre (aria, SATN quartet, and chorus) of each movement
George Frideric Handel * La giustizia” from Julius Caesar “There were Shepherds” and “Glory to God” from Messiah * http://youtu. be/SZN6VmKBxPQ * 0:00 – 0:10 secco (‘dry’) recitative; the continuo accompaniment here is very sparse and sometimes completely absent. * 0:10 – 0:29 accompanied recitative (entire orchestra accompanies) * 0:30 – 1:32 secco recitative again (continuo only again; cello and harpsichord) * 1:13 – 1:32 accompanied recitative (entire orchestra); note that this portion goes straight into the following choral number. * 1:33 – 3:23 “Glory to God” chorus TERM LIST Medieval Period: 450-1450 Sacred Culture: anything intended to serve as part of worship. Earliest musical manuscripts contain sacred music exclusively because only members of the church was literate, peasants couldn’t write down secular music * Secular Culture: everything else (ie not serving as a part of worship, including art for entertainment only) * Liturgy (as in Roman Catholic liturgy): the system of prayers and worship of a particular religion, dictates how to worship, when to worship, what songs to sing and when.
Considered a higher authority * Plainchant / chant / Gregorian Chant: Text: Latin (language) and SACRED (function) * Nonmetrical (ie rhythmically free, no discernible beat or meter) * Based on church modes of the Medieval Musical/Theoretical System * Usually performed with a MONOPHIC TEXTURE (texture: how many parts and what is their relationship), although other practices are possible * Usually performed A CAPPELLA (type of ensemble) * Metrical (has a discernable beat) /Nonmetrical (has no discernible beat or meter) * Divine Office Mass: relatively private worship service in convents and monasteries * Mass: large worship service for all Proper of Mass (or Mass Proper): of material into those parts of the text that always remain the same * Ordinary of Mass (Mass Ordinary) material that change according to the particular day in the liturgical year. * Kyrie (a simple prayer), Gloria (a long hymn, beginning), Credo (A recital of the Christian’s list of beliefs, beginning), Sanctus (another, shorter hymn), Agnus dei (Another simple prayer) * Church modes (Medieval Modes): the basis of the harmonic system. A collection of pitches that are organized within a piece of music to emphasize one particular pitch, called the final.
These pitches also represent a collection of specific intervals * Responsorial Performance: a manner of performing chant in which a solo singer or leader performed verses of the text and the entire congregation answered each verse with the following verse or with a response or refrain. Common responses were amen and hallelujah, but others were more expansiveu * Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179): was well known in her day and her musical works poetry and other writings were widely copied and disseminated. Visionary, mystic, and prolific writer.
CONVENT ABBESS: founded her own convent in Rupertsburg (eastern Germany). Her visions and prophecies made her famous throughout Europe, also known for her writings on science and music, very well educated and powerful woman in her time * Drone: a single two note chord running continuously. Found in Hildegard von Bingen’s Columba Aspexit * Also in the 12th C * Earliest manuscripts of secular music: musical settings of original poetry written by learned men and women (courtiers, monks, nuns, priests) for entertainment in royal courts.
Composers were known as troubadours, trouveres, or minnesangers. These secular songs were notated monophonically, but were probably performed with improvised instrumental accompaniment. The poetry of these songs is most often in the vernacular language of the court. Songs dealt with courtly love/chivalry, as well as war and some deal with topics of sexual love * Earliest manuscripts of instrumental music: nearly are all courtly dances such as the Estampie or Salterello, notation suggests a regular rhythmic organization: metric or metered.
These manuscripts were created by literate musicians, although dance music was often performed by jongleurs * Earliest manuscripts of polyphonic music: organum the earliest genre of medieval polyphony music (the simultaneous combination of two or more melodies) * Organum: the earliest genre of medieval polyphony music (the simultaneous combination of two or more melodies) * Troubadour (south of France)/trouvere (in the north)/Minnesanger (Germany): noble poet composers of court songs who also performed the songs themselves.
Among them were kings, prices, and even kings. Troubadour society (but not trouvere) allowed for women composers and performers. Literate classes of people (typically are courtiers). Not for public * Jongleur: popular musicians – Some noble songwriters only penned the words, leaving music to be composed by jongleurs. Popular musicians at the time, the music is relatively simple. Jongleurs played instruments while trouveres sang.
Musicians of common status, typically illiterate, who traveled played a memorized repertory, improvising, getting paid when possible, occasionally organizing into guilds * Courtier: someone at a royal count, music for elite class * Chanson: French for song, a genre of French secular vocal music * Cantus Firmus: the way to create new sacred music, in the medieval era, a cantus firmus was a pre-existing plainchant melody (therefore a sacred melody setting a sacred text) that has been recycled into a new composition ie a cantus firmus is chant melody that serves the basis for new musical creation * Notre Dame School: school of polyphonic music, not actual school setting, but they did influence one another. Group of composers working at or near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in late 12th and 13th centuries. * Ars antiqua/ars nova: contemporary terms for the “old technique” of the 13th century organum and the new polyphonic music of the 14th C. * Guillaume da Machaut (c. 1300 – 1377): was cleric and courtier, a widely celebrated poet and musician. Active at a variety of courts, including the Court of Charles, Duke of Normandy, who later became king of France.
Widely known as the greatest musician of his time; renowned ever long after his death – the foremost composer of the ars nova style: the new style of complicated polyphonic music in the late 14th C. This term was used to contrast the new music with the older Notre Dame polyphonic music of the 13th C. known as the ars antiqua * Notre Dame Mass (significance): composed the earliest extant complete setting of the mass ordinary. The five individual parts are based on some of the same borrowed and original musical material so they are musically liked to one another. Earlier complete settings were no doubt created as well, but this is the oldest to survive intact, due to its popularity and wide dissemination Renaissance Period: 1450-1600 Humanism: an intellectual movement and ethical system centered on humans and their values, needs, interests, abilities, dignity, and freedom, emphasizing secular culture in a rejection of the sacred * Moveable type printing press c. 1450: music printing soon followed, greatly expanded affordable access to vocal and instrumental music of all genres, both sacred and secular
Lutheran Reformation early 16th C: Martin Luther. The separation of protestant Christian sects from the Roman Catholic Church leads to a great diversity in post 1500 sacred music (not all sacred music is Latin) * Counter Reformation, late 16th C. : The Roman Catholic Church responded to the revolt led by Martin Luther by reforming church practices in the spirit of “true Christian piety. This was the RCC’s attempt to regain the loyalty of its people, as well as regain the loss of power and wealth that had resulted from the “split” of the church (MUSIC REFORM) * Council of Trent (musical significance): issued general recommendations in favor a pure vocal style that would respect the integrity of the sacred text. (The composer considered to best uphold the reformed ideal of church music was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)
Fascination with and study of Greek and Roman antiquity: once the concern of medieval theologians and scholars only—becomes more common among the ever-larger literate classes; the architecture, visual arts, poetry, and music of the renaissance demonstrates this influence. Word Painting: the music itself is composed in such a manner that the sound of the music reflects the meaning of the text (words such as fly and glitter were set to rapid notes, up and heaven to even higher ones) * Point of Imitation: a brief passage of imitative polyphony usually using a single musical motive (based on a single theme, or on two used together (used by Josquin Desprez) * Guillaume Dufay (c. 1400-1474): Born and received early musical training in northern France. However, he spent more than 25 years in Italy, as a musician and composer at the courts of various powerful families, or in major cathedrals, including the Papal Chapel in Rome.
Dufay composed music in all the sacred and secular genres common to his day— masses, motets, Magnificats, hymns, and chants in fauxbordon style (see below), as well as secular songs of all types—using a rich musical language that combined techniques of earlier masters (the Ars Nova) with the new techniques, textures and textual sensitivity of the emerging Renaissance aesthetics. Fauxbourdon passage in Dufay’s harmonized hymn, Ave maris stella * Harmonized hymn: it has a sacred text, and (2) the same music is repeated over and over for changing verses of that sacred text. Works intended for congregational singing often use this simply form. * Josquin des Prez (1440 – 1521) Born and received early musical training in northern France, moved to Italy where he served in several courts. He composed both sacred and secular music, setting both sacred texts and contemporary poetry. Achieve international fame; known to Martin Luther as the greatest living composer.
Returned to northern France in his late life * Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643): the most important musician in the late 16th and early 17th century Italy. Wrote nine books of madrigals, composed operas. Composed high Renaissance and early Baroque music, was a transitional composer who bridged between these two musical style periods writing in and epitomizing the styles and genres of both periods. * Madrigal: a polyphonic secular vocal genre of the Renaissance, a short composition set to a one stanza poem – typically a love poem, with rapid turnover of ideas and images). The most important secular vocal genre of the late renaissance and early baroque.
Madrigals were settings of secular poetry on a variety of topics in the vernacular language (originally Italian). Were a genre of “high art” meaning it was intended for the entertainment of royalty, commoners would rarely be exposed to such music * Giovanni Palestrina (1525 – 1594): worked as an organist and choirmaster at various churches including St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Julius II appointed him to the Sistine Chapel Choir, wrote over 100 settings of he Roman Catholic Mass, Palestrina’s music was known to later generations, most importantly Bach who considered it the epitome of sacred music in the “old style,” was considered the best composer to uphold the reformed ideal of church music Baroque Period: 1600-1750 Monody: literally ‘one song’ characterized by a solo vocal melody with instrumental accompaniment * basso continuo / continuo / figured bass : one, two or more instruments that provide an accompaniment for one or more vocal or instrumental soloists, reading from a musical part that is called the figured bass, because it is notated as a single line of music (the base line) over which numbers (the figures) indicate the other notes to be played on.
At least one of the basso continuo instruments plays the bass line as written by the composer, while the other (or others) improvises chords on that bass line * In the Baroque and early Classical periods, the keyboard instrument in the basso continuo was almost always the harpsichord * ‘continuo group’: the instrumentation of the basso continuo (also called the continuo r the continuo group) was never specified in the music. Musicians and composers of the period were very practical with regard to performance practices. Therefore, their music was designed to accommodate a wide variety of performance situations * to ‘realize a figured bass’ * improvisation * Ornamentation: the practice (both vocal and instrumental) of spontaneously adding (improvising) short decorative flourishes to the written music during performances). These additional notes are generally called ornaments or embellishments * Score (as in musical score): a piece of music that shows all of the parts in a given piece, all together on each page: also called a full score.
Some small ensemble music commonly appears in such a format, but it is not practical for larger ensembles. Full scores of large ensemble works are generally used only by conductors and for study * Part (as in printed musical part): a piece of music that shows only one portion of the overall performing ensemble, usually just the music of a single instrument or vocalist * Opera (time & place of its invention): Opera was originally created in the wealthy Italian courts of Florence in approximately 1600 by a group of intellectuals; poets and musicians who were attempting to recreate the ancient Greek dramas, which they determined had been sung in a very declamatory (i. e. , speech-like) style. * Two types/subgenres of song in opera:
Recitative: a song that imitates and rhythms and pitch patterns of natural speech; usually carries the action and dialogue of an opera; used to forward the action of drama. Not very lyrical and melodious; sounds more like speech or recitation. Good for expressing text, in which the meaning is important, usually does not have long melismas or repetitions of texts. Rhythmically free or nonmetrical. Usually accompanied by only one or two instruments, the basso continuo, which closely follows the singer * Aria: a song for solo voice, often with a larger ensemble playing the accompaniment. Strongly metrical (ie has a strong and recognizable beat).
A melodious or lyrical song which expresses an outpouring of emotion, thereby developing the character of the person singing the aria; very lyrical often epeating fragments of the text and containing melismas that ‘show off’ the technical and expressive abilities of the star singers * Both recitatives and arias were also composed as ‘stand alone’ works: as works that were performed alone without being part of a larger work * Libretto / librettist: the libretto is story or text of an opera, written by the librettist almost never the composer himself, but rather someone with literary and poetic skills. Operas were intended as entertainment and use secular text in a vernacular language. The subject matter of librettos vary widely, the earliest operas drew their subject matter from the myths, dramas, and histories of ancient Greece and Rome. * Castrato: Male singer castrated before puberty in order to retain the pre-adolescent high vocal range. The most important category of vocal soloists in opera (and other vocal genres) during the baroque, although most of them were employed by Italian churches.
Many leading operatic roles for men—whether hero or romantic lead—were written for castrati. Castrati also commonly performed women’s roles. The “rock stars” of their day, the most successful castrati enjoyed great popularity and financial reward. We know many of their names, careers, and personal exploits today. Today, the operatic roles and other vocal parts originally composed for castrati are sung by (1) women or (2) countertenors or falsettists (male sopranos). * Overture (as in opera): the instrumental piece (for the orchestra alone) that introduces an opera. It is the first thing you hear at the beginning of the opera, often before the main opera characters come on stage.
Overtures often contain musical themes from the vocal pieces to follow, sort of ‘foreshadowing’ the action of the opera * Traits of the baroque orchestra: During the Baroque Era that our modern conception of the orchestra, as a group centered around a group of bowed strings, was first developed. However, baroque orchestras were much smaller than the orchestras used in later art music, usually included only 10 to 25 people, and often consisted of nothing but bowed strings and perhaps a harpsichord or organ. Wind instruments (brass and woodwinds) could be used and often were, including a limited array of percussion, but the bowed strings were the CORE of the orchestra from its earliest inception. Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Often referred to as the first great English composer of international acclaim. Worked as a singer, organist and composer in the courts of Charles II (reigned 1660-85), James II (r. 1685-88), and William and Mary (r. 1689- 1702). Purcell’s instrumental works rank among the finest musical achievements of the middle Baroque. * Lament / lament aria: A poem (or, when set to music, a song) expressing grief, regret or mourning. As a musical subcategory of recitative and aria, it was very popular in the 17th century and after. * Basso ostinato / ground bass: Baroque lament arias often feature a basso ostinato (also known as a ground bass), which is a bass theme that repeats over and over.
The basso ostinatos or ground basses of lament arias typically consists of a descending, chromatic figure (often descending from tonic to dominant in the key of the piece) in a slow triple meter. * Recorder: * Harpsichord * Lute (archlute) * Organ viol (viola da gamba) * MULTI-MOVEMENT WORK: a musical work under one title that is actually several separate musical pieces that are always played together in the same order. Each of the individual pieces that comprise a multi-movement genre is called a MOVEMENT. It is typical that the various movements of a multi-movement instrumental work all employ the same ensemble, although there are some exceptions.
On the other hand, large-scale vocal/instrumental genres (such as operas, cantatas and oratorios) often contain movements that contrast with regard to the ensemble used. The individual movements with any multi-movement genre are designed both to complement and contrast with one another with regard to key, tempo, and musical material. * Sonata * Trio sonata: multi-movement genre for TWO instrumental soloists and basso continuo. Be careful about this one, because the ensemble can vary widely. Since the basso continuo part might be played by one, two or three people, the total ensemble of a trio sonata could include from 3 players (2 soloists + 1 continuo player) to 5 players (2 soloists + 3 continuo players) or even more.
Solo concerto: multi-movement (usually three but not standardized in the baroque era) genre for a single instrumental soloist (of any type) and orchestra (including basso continuo) * Concerto grosso: multi-movement (usually three but could be more) genre for two or more instrumental soloists and orchestra (including the basso continuo). Many such works were written for two violinists and basso continuo (the solo group) accompanied by a larger group (the orchestra, which usually also consisted of strings only). Part of the interest in such works is the exciting contrast of the smaller solo group with the larger orchestra. During the Baroque Era, concerto grosso (concerto grossi is the Italian plural) were NEVER titled Concerto Grosso.
They were usually titled simply ‘concerto,’ and are therefore difficult to differentiate from a solo concerto by title alone. * Suite / dance suite / baroque dance suite: a multi-movement genre for orchestra without any particular featured soloists. Usually each movement is named after and is an example of a particular dance type, although some movements might have other inspirations and be unrelated to dance. SUITE, by definition, means a multi-movement collection of dances. Dance suites could be used for dancing or simply as concert works for listening enjoyment. * Multi-movement instrumental work for orchestra alone (in baroque also w/ continuo group) * The number of movements was not very standardized during the Baroque period.
Some examples of the genre have as many as nine (for instance, Handel’s Suite No. 2 in D major, popularly known as part of the Water Music). * The individual movements are often evocative of DANCE TYPES and have dance-related names (Minuet, Bourree, Gigue, Hornpipe, etc. ), although there are also other types of names as well (especially ‘Air,’ a title that implies a lyrical, slow piece with song-like qualities). * The prominence of this genre during the baroque period highlights the importance of dance during the period. * Fugue * An entire piece or distinct subsection of music that employs imitative polyphony in a strictly prescribed manner.
A fugue can be a genre (if an entire piece or movement contains nothing but that fugue), but it is also possible for a subsection of a piece to be described as a ‘fugue’. * Fugues may be written for any instrument capable of polyphonic solo playing, or for any combination of voices or instruments, or instruments and voices together. * The first musical theme of a fugue is called the SUBJECT. After its first appearance in a single voice or part, you will then hear that same melody again and again in the other parts. Not really a genre because it doesn’t tell you the ensemble. * J. S. Bach’s music is generally regarded as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the Baroque Period.
At the end of his life, however, his musical style was rather old fashioned, for the newer style of the early classic period was already being composed by a number of younger composers, including Bach’s own sons. These younger composers of the new classical style were not sympathetic to complex polyphony, preferring a more simple, homophonic texture. Ritornello form: the music played by the orchestra appears both at the beginning, end, and several times during the movement. * Theme & variations form: the melody (theme) heard at the beginning is followed by alternative versions of that same melody. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) * Must know J. S. Bach’s death date (1750) marks the end of the Baroque Period.
German, Lutheran composer and one of the most influential figures in western music history. Born into a family of musicians. Eventually known as a virtuoso organist (expert of construction and maintance). * At age 23, J. S. Bach was appointed his first important position: court organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Weimar. He later worked for five years at the court of the Prince of Anhalt-Cothen, where he wrote some of his most famous instrumental works, including The Brandenburg Concertos. * J. S. Bach also composed his very famous suites (a multi-movement collection of dances) for unaccompanied violoncello (i. e. , cello) during his time working for the Prince of Anhalt-Cothen. * At age 38 J. S.
Bach was appointed his most prestigious position when he became CANTOR (i. e. , the music director) at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig * Cantor: music director, head of choir * Sacred Cantata (as composed by J. S. Bach between 1700 and 1750) * A fairly large-scale, multi-movement vocal/instrumental genre, typically consisting of six to eight movements, used in the worship services of German Lutheran Churches. * Sacred cantatas are NOT a dramatic presentation like opera; a cantata (whether sacred or secular) features no plot, acting, costumes, stage movement, etc. ), although it is divided into choruses, arias, recitatives, duets, and instrumental pieces etc. just like an opera or oratorio.
The ensemble of a sacred cantata consists of a smallish choir (12 or so), vocal soloists, an orchestra (10-20 or so) and an organ, although larger groups of singers and instrumentalists were used on special occasions (like major feast days in the liturgical calendar). * Texts are in the vernacular language (German) * Lutheran chorale * Hymn-like songs used for congregational singing in the Lutheran Church, composed in a rather simple, four-part (SATB) texture. It is a sacred genre that was (and is) sung during the worship service by the congregation along with the professional choir (the latter of whom would have performed the sacred cantata during the worship service). Many chorales date back to Martin Luther (1483-1546) himself, although new ones were continuously composed for centuries. *
Chorales are STROPHIC: i. e. , each verse of text is sung to the same repeated music. * George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) * German-born composer who created numerous works in every genre of his day, including orchestral dance suites, organ concertos, and concerti grossi, but he is most remembered for his 39 Italian-style operas and his oratorios for English audiences. * Unlike most professional musicians of his day, Handel was not from a musical family, but he studied with a local organist and composer from a young age. At 18 he worked as a violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of an opera house in Hamburg; at 20 he produced his first successful opera. * At 21 he went to Italy, where he further studied the Italian opera style; he also composed and successfully produced operas in Italy. * In 1710 Handel took a well-paid position as music director for Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover, who became Handel’s patron. A friend of the arts, this patron allowed Handel to travel extensively and promote his music on the international stage. * Handel made several trips to London to produce his operas, and he eventually moved there in 1712 and remained in England for the rest of his life. * Handel became London’s most important composer and a favorite of Queen Anne.
* Oratorio: Much like n opera, a large-scale music drama for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra; oratorios are multi-movement works that contain arias, recitatives, duets, trios, choral numbers, and interludes for orchestra alone. * Usually based on a narrative libretto with plots and characters (one of whom is usually a narrator); however, unlike an opera there is no acting, scenery, or costumes. * Handel’s oratorios are usually based on stories from the Old Testament: for example Handel’s oratorios Israel in Egypt and Joshua. * Secular genre composed and performed for entertainment purposes; usually performed in an opera theater or other large, secular, public venue. * Da capo aria form: a specific type of ternary form (A—B—A). Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): The “Red Priest” Famous and influential as a virtuoso violinist and composer. Born in Venice, Italy, the son of a violinist employed at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Known as the “Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest and had rather wild red hair. Worked as a violin teacher, composer, and conductor at the Music School of the Pieta, orphanage for girls. The orchestra and chorus at this school was one of the finest in Italy, and much of Vivaldi’s music was composed for them to perform. Although he composed operas and church music, he is best known for his 450 or so concertos (both solo concertos and concertos grosso; see following notes).
General Terminology & Concepts Genre: a specific category of musical composition as defined by its musical characteristics or traits; for instance a Gregorian chant, a string quartet, an art song * Ensemble/medium: the instruments, voices, or anything else that makes sound and takes part in music making. A. k. a. instrumentation (but don’t forget about the voices). Some particular types of ensembles became standardized within a given genre culture and become associated with more or less specific social settings, functions, or musical styles * Range of Human Voices (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Base) * SATB choir: defining the voices required by a chorus or choir to perform a particular musical work. Pieces written for SATB, the commonest combination and that used by most Hymn tunes, can be sung by choruses of mixed genders, by choirs of men and boys, or by four soloists. A cappella: (Italian for “in the manner of the church” or “in the manner of the chapel”) music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound *
Monophony/monophonic texture: a musical texture involving a single melodic line, as in Gregorian chant, as opposed to polyphony * Polyphony/polyphonic texture: musical texture in which two or more melodic lines are played or sung simultaneously * Imitative polyphony: (continuous imitation) brief usually fragments of melody (motives) are passed from voice to voice (or instrument to instrument) within the performing group, so that these motives are heard again and again within close proximity of each other making the music easier to comprehend and follow * Non-imitative polyphony: four voices with four independent melodies that never repeat the music of another voice part. Non-imitative polyphony is the ideal and most common texture in Medieval polyphonic music * Homophony/homophonic texture: music that is harmonic, chordal texture, a musical texture that involves only one melody of real interest combined with chords or other subsidiary sounds * Melody + accompaniment * Homorhythm/homorhythmic texture: a musical texture in which all of the parts move together rhythmically.
Renaissance music often alternates between polyphonic passages (in which all of the parts are independent) and homorhythmic passages (in which all of the parts move together) * Two types of text setting * Syllabic: each syllable of text is set to only one pitch (syllable by syllable) * Melismatic: text setting that contains melismas; a melisma is a single syllable of text that is set to large groups of pitches * Pitch: a sound producing vibration that oscillates at a definite and prescribed rate of speed. Are named using the first seven letters of the alphabet (A B C D E F G) * Equal Temperament * The man made division of the octave into 12 equal intervals (measured in ? steps) * The man made division of the octave in 12 half steps (12 half steps per octave) *
Equal temperament tuning Accidentals: a note whose pitch is not a member of a scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the symbols used to mark such notes, sharps (? ), flats (? ), and naturals (? ), may also be called accidentals. An accidental sign raises or lowers the following note from its normal pitch, * Sharp, raises half step ? * Flat, lowers half step ? * Natural, cancels sharp and flat ? * Metrical (has a discernable beat) /Nonmetrical (has no discernible beat or meter) * Tempo: refers to the relative speed of the beat in music * Presto: very fast * Allegro: fast * Moderato: at a moderate rate * Adagio/adante: slow * Dynamics: refers to the relative loudness or softness of the music. * Forte = f = play loudly Mezzo forte = mf = somewhat loudly (less loud than f) * Mezzo piano = mp = somewhat softly (less loud than mf) * Piano = p = play softly * Crescendo = < = to become gradually louder * Descrescendo = > = to become gradually softer Recap of Genres Studied * Chanson: French Secular Song * chorale (Lutheran chorale): * concerto grosso * fugue * hymn / harmonized hymn * madrigal * Mass * motet * opera * oratorio * organum * plainchant / chant / Gregorian Chant * sacred cantata * solo concerto * sonata (solo sonata) * suite / dance suite / baroque dance suite * trio sonata Sinfonia: in the 18th Century sinfonia and overture were used interchangeably. Later on the symphony was a genre was created