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- Unaccompanied monophonic singing without meter
- set sacred Latin texts in Catholic churches during Middle ages
- Named after Pope Gregory
- Many notes sung to only one syllable
- Opposed to syllabic (one or two notes per syllable)
- Central, most important service of Catholic Church
- Chants whose text changed to suit the feast day
- Chants with unvarying texts sung every day
What did Machaut do with the Mass?
What was the advantage?
- Before Machaut, composers writing polyphony had set only one or two sections of Proper of the Mass
- Machaut set all the chants of the Ordinary
- Could be heard on more than one feast day
- Early polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass
- Composed for Notre Dame Cathedral by Perotinus & Leoninus
- Gregorian chant composer, one of the first named composers
- Music appeals to sensual experience (blood, breath)
- Range huge by chant standards, big leaps of fourths & fifths
- Choirmaster at Notre Dame of Paris
- Created w/ Leoninus new style of chant: polyphony
- Added wholly independent voice(s) above existing chant
- Took centuries-old chant for mass (Viderunt Omnes), added 3 new voices above it
- Jaunty triple-meter rhythm
- The structurally fundamental line in medieval polyphony, moving very slowly, sustaining (holding) one note.
- Provided harmonic foundation
Guillame de Machaut (1300-1377)
- Genius of Medieval music. Pre-eminent poet-compser of 14th-century.
- Associated with Ars Nova- Middle Ages obsessed w/ rhythm, experimented w/ radical rhythmic composition
- Developed motet and was the first to set the Ordinary of the Mass in triple meter (first to use triple meter)
- Eliminated drone, put tenor in the middle, two on top, creating soprano/alto/tenor/bass (Perotinus had put all three above tenor)
- Unlike P., spread out voices over 2.5 octaves, becoming first to use almost full range of chorus
sacred Latin music for multiple voice parts
- Renaissance ideal emphasizing human potential and belief that people could be morally educated
- Belief that people are more than mere conduit for heaven, but have capacity to create & shape world.
Josquin Desprez (1455-1521)
- Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer
- Excelled in motets
- His Ave Maria (Hail Mary) uses standard four voice parts (S/A/T/B). As motet unfolds, voices enter in succession with same music motive (=imitation). Each voice equally important, yielding symmetry/balance.
- Imitation: procedure whereby one more voices duplicate in turn the notes of a melody
- Reform movement promoting more conservative/austere approach to art, in response to Protestant Reformation
- Started w/ Council of Trent
- Against imitative polyphony: arguing it obscures meaning
- Palestrina accomodated its needs
- Master of Sistine Chapel during Council of Trent
- "Saviour of church music"
- Missa Papae Marcelli: set text of Mass w/ exceptional clarity, mostly by homophony: very short, small points of imitation, no fluidity
- Highly ornamental melody w/ solid chordal foundation
- Decoration seems to overrun fundamental harmonic structure. Asymmetry; "misshapen pearl"
- Highly dramatic: singleness of emotion
- Doctrine of Affections: diff. Musical moods influence emotions
- Vocal virtuoso solo singing (monody) supported by basso continuo: bass-driven chordal support
- Italian secular music for (usually) 3-6 voices, text tends to be vernacular love poetry
- 2) Attempt to express musicallythe meaning of a text: so common in madrigals, called "madrigalisms"
- Musical genre originating in late-16th cent Italy wedding music, drama, costumes & scenery
- Emphasizes solo singing to express emotion
Expressive solo singing w/ small instrumental accompaniment, originating in early 17th-cent Italy
- 1) musical speech conveting actions of the plot
- 2) moment of stasis in which characters reflect on plot. Passionate, tuneful, expresses emotion, extending vowels thru melisma
- 3) mix of 2
Florid, melismatic singing w/ elaborate melody of 18th-19th cent, especially Bel Canto period. Came to mean display of physical prowess (sustaining high note, etc)
da capo aria
- Late Baroque era convention
- A. Section
- B. Contrasts in mood, tone, modality
- A. (Not written out) sings it again with : ornaments:
- Argued against Artusi, who wanted Renaissance approach.
- Said words are mistress of harmony. Used dissonance: broke Plato's alignment
- Moved music to Baroque, emphasizing/ elevating the text
- Innovator of monody/ recitative, eg in Orfeo
- Late Baroque imitative polyphony for 2 or more voices involving exposition of subject, episodes of free counterpoint, further appearance of subject and ending w/ strong affirmaton on tonic key
- Subject countersubject freecp
- Answer countersubject
- Then everything becomes free counterpoint
- Then entry (complete statement of subject)
- Then episodes (eg, fragmentation or unrelated to subject)
- Structured way of listening: narrative form
- Musical potential worked out, musical education
Johann Sebastian Bach
- Rigorous contrapuntal music
- Great length & contrapuntal complexity
- Large scale works full of dramatic power, broad gestures, technical mastery - sense of "rightness"
- Helped create church cantata: multimovement sacred works
- Built Wachat auf on chorale: spiritual hymn of Lutheran church, easy to sing
- "something sung" -began as monody, by Bach's time multimovement choir ensemble used in church services
- Includes arias, ariosos, recitatives
- Became musical core in Lutheran church service
Serious opera, most popular: Italian, tragic, mythical themes told in highly conventionalized format
- Key style of opera in classical era: much lighter, slapstick, inside jokes, opera of the common people. Championed middle-class
- More tuneful
- Eroded distinctions btw recitative, etc. More fluid.
- Coincided w/ emergence of musical public: post 1750, before which composed mainly for aristocrats, nobility
- Musical representation of character
- Used spoken dialogue & simple songs in place of da capo arias & recitatives
- 18th-century movement emphasizing reason, secularism, Neoclassicism, human rights, social justice, individual liberties
- Rise of criticism- music as intellectual object: not entertainment but a text to be analyzed. Sheet music cirulated, movement of music from public sphere to infornal spaces
- Clarity, simplicity, grace, quiet, natural: reaction against flamboyance of Baroque
- New genres: symphony, string quartet
- Emerged by 1750 as major Instrumental genre with 4-movements: fast, slow, minuet, fast
- Derived from Italian sinfonia (1 movement in 3 sections)
- First movement in a 4-movement Classical symphony: fast
- Consists of exposition, development and recapitulation
- Presents main themes:
- 1st Theme, always in tonic keyThen transition / bridge from tonic to dominant (or, if in minor key, from tonic to relative major). Prepares arrival of second theme, often rapid figural patterns.
- 2nd Theme contrasts w/ first (slow-fast, etc)
- Ends with closing theme, often just oscillating btw dominant/tonic chords
- Exposition repeats
- Most of the drama occurs: working out of thematic material.
- Themes can be extended, varied, or transformed.
- Dramatic confrontation can occur between several themes
- Contrapuntal possibilities, brief fugatoUnstable and unsettling. Harmony modulates quickly.
- Retransition at the end restores tonal order (often pedal point on dominant)
- Begins when dominant chord gives way to tonic key of exposition
- Presents same musical events as exposition, though not exactly
- One change: transition rewritten, since must end in tonic, stays on tonic
- Imparts return to familiar, harmonic stability
- Slow, stately, filled with ominous chords, provoking wonder about what will follow
- Not part of exposition (not repeated)
- Section added to end of movement to wrap things up
- Ends with by slowing down harmonic motion to just two chords, dominant and tonic, played over and over. Feeling of conclusion. THE END
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