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The Baroque era (c. 1600-1750) An era of new ideas and innovations in the arts, literature and philosophy Italy led the way in new ideas and fashion Baroque.

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Presentation on theme: "The Baroque era (c. 1600-1750) An era of new ideas and innovations in the arts, literature and philosophy Italy led the way in new ideas and fashion Baroque."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Baroque era (c ) An era of new ideas and innovations in the arts, literature and philosophy Italy led the way in new ideas and fashion Baroque comes from Barocco = Portuguese for ‘pearl’ Most famous baroque composers were

2 George Frideric Handel Born in Germany in 1685 Devoted his life to music at age 18. Famous pieces include ‘Water Music’, Music for the Royal Fireworks’ and ‘Messiah. Went blind towards the end of his life and died in England in Buried in Westminster Abbey, London.

3 Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is an ‘Oratorio’? Musical work based on words and stories from the bible Uses operatic forms such as recitative, chorus and aria and, originally, was acted out with scenery and full costume Similar to opera but only used texts for the story that were taken from the bible By the time of Handel, the ‘acting’ element to the oratorio had ceased.

4 Messiah Most well-known of all the oratorios Libretto (story/words) is in three main parts – telling the story of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Part 1 – prophecies tell of the coming of the Messiah; story of Jesus’ birth Part 2 – ‘passion’ music of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Part 3 – tells of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead

5 Background to Messiah Composed in 1741 in just 24 days Until 1741 Italian operas were very popular but these became less popular – the idea of sacred opera in English proved to be a popular substitute. The church forbade biblical stories to be acted out in the theatre so they were performed in concert performances instead.

6 Features of Baroque music Ornamented melodic parts Major/minor key system (replaced modes) Use of Diatonic chords of I, IV, V, II and VI Basso continuo (continuous bass) Variety of musical textures, such as monophonic, homophonic and polyphonic Baroque orchestra – strings, harpsichord, trumpets, horns and drums. Various woodwind instruments, but not standardized. Prevalence of one mood Contrasting dynamics: Loud/Soft

7 Styles of music found in an Oratorio Recitative – sung by a solo singer - the basic idea is to get the words of the narration over with a minimum use of music. Accompanied by just a few instruments. Aria – a solo song with instrumental accompaniment. The music is more elaborate than in the recitative to display the vocal qualities and expertise of the singer. Chorus – performed by a choir - sums up the action so far at that point in the drama

8 Title: And the Glory of the Lord’ by G.F. Handel

9 Handel uses 4 contrasting musical ideas One for each line of text 1.And the Glory of the Lord 2.shall be revealed 3.and all flesh shall see it together, 4.for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. COPY

10 1. ‘And the Glory of the Lord’ Syllabic = one note per syllable First 3 notes outline triad of A major Stepwise scale ending 2. ‘shall be revealed’ Melismatic = several notes per syllable Use of two descending sequences 3. ‘ and all flesh shall see it together’ Repetitive idea (3 statements of a descending pattern) 4. ‘for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it’. Long, repeated notes COPY

11 Sung by a choir (SATB) S = Soprano High female voices A = Alto Low female voices T = Tenor High male voices B = Bass Low male voices COPY

12 Instruments in ‘And the Glory of The Lord’ Violins 1 Violins 2 Violas Continuo bass (‘cellos, doubles bass, harpsichord) The orchestra would probably been quite small – about 16 players altogether. COPY

13 General Points Tempo -The chorus is marked allegro (fast) Time signature - The chorus is in 3/4 time The lively triple time dance tempo gives a feeling of ‘One in a bar’ Key signature - The home key is A major Dynamics - The music is quite loud throughout COPY

14 Summary of main choral styles Choral styleExample Single-line writing (monophonic) Bars Four-part choir (homophonic) Bars 33 (beat 3) - 38 Simple imitationBars 17 (beat 3) onwards Two ideas togetherBars Doubling of partsBar 51 onwards ‘for the mouth’

15 Copy out the Summary table (p15) Answer questions 1-9 in full sentences. (p15)


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