The Baroque Era. c.1600-1750. Portuguese for Pearl…. Referring to the ornate architecture, art, melodies. This period saw many new ideas and innovations. Characteristics of Baroque Music. Unity of Mood: a piece usually expresses one mood or affection Rhythm:
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The Baroque Era c.1600-1750
Portuguese for Pearl… • Referring to the ornate architecture, art, melodies. • This period saw many new ideas and innovations
Characteristics of Baroque Music • Unity of Mood: a piece usually expresses one mood or affection • Rhythm: • patterns are repeated through out • the beat is emphasized • Melody: repeated, ornamented • Use of Diatonic chords of I,IV,V,II,VI
Characteristics of Baroque Music continued • Terraced Dynamics: • alternation between loud and soft dynamics • organ and harpsichord could not crescendo
Musical textures • Monophonic • Homophonic • Polyphonic
Ornaments • Trill • Turn • Mordent • Acciaccatura/Appoggiatura • Grace note
Basso Continuo • Common type of accompaniment • Bass line with improvised chords • cello or bassoon on bass • harpsichord or organ on harmony
The Baroque Orchestra • small (10 to 40 players) • basso continuo and violin family strings • brass, woodwinds and percussion used occasionally, but vary from piece to piece. • tone color was subordinate to the melody, rhythm or harmony
Music in Baroque Society • Music written to order: demand for new music. • Main source of diversion in the courts of the aristocracy. • Music Director’s job • Pay and prestige were high • compositions were performed • Still a servant of the patron
Music in Baroque Society • Church musicians • earned less than the court and lower status • supplemented with weddings and funerals • Town musicians • Opera houses
Important composers • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) • George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) • Henry Purcell (c.1659-1695) • Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
George Frideric Handel • b. Halle, Germany (one month before Bach) in 1685 • Devoted his life to music from age 18 • First Opera –Rodrigo- was performed in 1710 • Appointed Kapellmeister to Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover (Later becoming George I of England) • Promoted with George I to Royal Composer
Handel in London • Favorite of Queen Anne • Wrote ‘Water Music’ in 1717 • English Oratorios after failure of Italian Opera • Blind - from cataracts • Died in 1759 and Buried in Westminster Abbey
Handel - Music • Instrumental • suites • organ concerti • concerti grossi • Vocal Music • 39 Italian operas • Oratorios (mostly in English)
The Oratorio • a large-scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra • uses choruses, arias, duets, recitatives, and orchestral interludes • chorus acts as commentary • last approximately 2 hours
The Oratorio • Set to a narrative text • No acting or scenery • Based on the Bible • Originally performed in prayer halls called oratorios
Handel - Oratorios • generally Old Testament • for the paying public, not church • have plots, but no scenery or acting • chorus is the focus
Listening: Messiah • lasts 2 1/2 hours • composed in 24 days • Premiered in Dublin, Ireland in 1742 as a benefit for people in debtor's prison • later tradition as London orphanage benefit concert • Only one to use New Testament verses
Messiah - Three Acts • Part 1 • Prophesies telling of the coming of Christ • His Birth
Easter • Part 2 • The Passion of Christ • Set mainly to words from the Old Testament
Pentecost • Part 3 • The Resurrection
Pentecost • Part 3 • The Resurrection
Structure of an Oratorio • Recitative • Aria • Chorus
And the Glory of the Lord • Idea 1
And the Glory of the Lord • Idea 2
And the glory of the Lord • Idea 3
And the glory of the Lord • Idea 4
The whole movement is in A major • Modulates to the dominant (Emaj) and the Dominant – Dominant (Bmaj) • No minor keys to kepp one ‘affection’
Introduction • Lively ¾ - Feels like one-in-a-bar • Orchestral introduction • Hemiola at the end of the introduction • Descending sequences (bars 5-6 and 7-8) • Instruments double voice parts throughout
Analysis: Bar 1-11 • Orchestral introduction • States ideas 1 and 2 • Example of descending sequence (bar 5-6 and 7-8) • Hemiola rhythm in bar 9-10. Very common as a cadence approach in Baroque music • Ends with a perfect cadence, (V-I) • Orchestra always doubles the voices • Music is driven by the regular on-beat crotchet rhythms (look at the bass part)
Analysis: Bar 11-14 • Alto entry with motif 1 • mf = Mezzo Forte (Quite loud) • Syllabic setting of the text • Perfect cadence in bar 13-14
Analysis: Bar 14-17 • f chordal respone by soprano, tenor and bass • Homophonic texture • The bass often has the melody if the texture is homophonic • Perfect cadence in bar 16-17 (Vb-I)
Analysis: Bars 17-22 • Imitative entries of motif 2, by tenor, bass, then soprano. • Built up on the 2 one-bar descendingsequence on ‘revealed’ • Modulating from A major to E major, using the chords Vb-I
Analysis: Bar 22-33 • In E major, the dominant key • First time that motif 1 and 2 are combined • Tenor and Soprano have motif 1 (an octave apart) • Alto and bass have motif 2 • The result = 2 part counterpoint (tune vs tune) • Contrast of texture is created so we have variety, keeping the listener interested. It is a major feature of the whole movement! • Bass and tenor = low (bars 22-25) • Soprano and alto = high (bars 25-28) • Alto and tenor = middle (bars 28-31)
Analysis: Bar 33-38 • Strong, 4-part homophonic texture of motif 1 in E major • Melody is in the bass with ‘shall be revealed’ tagged onto the end
Analysis: Bar 38-43 • Orchestral link using motif 2 • Use of sequences (bar 38-39) • Use of hemiola rhythms (bar 41-42) • Use of a suspension (bar 42) • These features are all found in the introduction
Analysis: Bars 43-50 • Alto makes the first statement of motif 3. • Tenor follows in bar47-50. • Contrast in texture – Thin with one line at a time contrasting with the 4-part homophonic sections. • Modulate back to A major (tonic/I) • Note strong crotchet bass line (E-C#-A) • A major is confirmed by a perfect cadence in bars 46-47
Analysis: Bars 51-57 • Tenor and bass introduce motif 4. Adds weight and gravitas to the statement by being low and dotted minims. • Repeated notes in the motif act as a pedal (in this case a tonic pedal) • This 2-part texture becomes a 4-part texture in bars 53-57 with sopranos and altos singing motif 3 (in sixths) • Perfect cadence ends the section (V7c-I) • Suspension in bar 56 (7-6 suspension between alto and bass)
Analysis: Bars 58-73 • Sopranos sing motif 4 on a dominant pedal (an inverted pedal at the top of the texture) • Alto, tenor, bass sing motif 3 and ends with a plagal cadence. (IV-I) • Imitative entries in these parts as we modulate to E major. • Bar 68-73 = Tenor/Bass on motif 4 and soprano/alto with idea 3 one bar later. Ends with a perfect cadence in B major (Dominant-Dominant)
Bars 74-83 • Short orchestral link based on motif 1 • Leads to 4-part homophonic rendition of motif 1 in B major • Note original melody is in the bass. • This then leads to motif 3, arranged in a new texture. • All parts return for a homophonic ‘Together’ on chord I-V (imperfect cadence). • Momentum is carried on immediately by the sopranos.
Bar 83-102 • Dovetails with last section with sopranos singing motif 4 on an F# - NB every time we hear this motif it is higher in pitch. (A-E-F#). • Over the next dozen bars, all 4 motifs come together • Bar 84 = Altos sing motifs 1 and 2 • Decending pitch as alto-tenor-bass sing short melodies • Bar 89-92 – Motif 3 is shortened by one bar • Breakdown of texture is short lived as Handel brings in all voices at 93-94.
Bar 83-102 continued... • Bars 93-102: Handel uses motif 1, 2 and 4 in different parts. • Music modulates back to E major in this section. • This section ends with a perfect cadence in E major (V-I) • Modulate straight away back to A major (Tonic key)
Bars 102-124 • Altos sing motif 3, fragmented to one bar echoes in the tenor and bass. • This reduces the texture to a minimum beofre the final section. • Parts added quickly in bars 105/6, reaffirming words ‘see it together’. • Climax of movement = Sopranos singing motif 1 ending on a top A • This is answered by the other 3 parts, with the tune in the bass.
Bars 102-124 • Imitative entries follow • Bar 118 = Alto, Bar 119 = soprano and tenor = motif 3 • This is underpinned by basses singing motif 4 on a E (Dominant pedal). • Section ends on an imperfect cadence (I-V) at bars 123-124.
Bars 124-134 • Sopranos begin the final section by taking over idea 4 from the basses. • All other parts answer with motif 4 • Firmly stated on the tonic, A. • Bar 129-134 is heard at 51-55. This time soprano/altos and tenor/bass have swapped parts = Invertible Counterpoint. • 3 parts start with motif 4 before coming to a dramatic halt at bar 133 (Handel does this quite often at the end of a chorus e.g Hallelujah Chorus)
Bars 134-138 • A dramatic 3 beat rest in all voices and instruments • Tempo changes to Adagio for the final plagal cadence in A major. • In 4-part homophony adding emphasis to the final words ‘Hath Spoken it’.