9/17/14 Renaissance to Baroque

Sections of the Mass:

Kyrie: “Lord have mercy…”
Gloria “Glory to God…”
Credo “I believe…”
Sanctus “Holy, holy, holy…”
Agnus Dei “Lamb of God… Have mercy on us”

√ 1 summary of beliefs
√ 2 pleas for mercy
√ 2 songs of praise

This set of texts is important because many composers will write settings of it in every historical period, including the present. Some settings are used in services, and some are performed as concert music.

Palestrina: Pope Marcellus Mass: Gloria (listening guide p. 89

Baroque Era: 1600-1750

The term “baroque” comes from the Portuguese word “barroco:” irregularly-shaped pearl. It was used to mean elaborate, embellished, or even bizarre.

Emotion: beyond text-painting to conveying inner feeings
Drama: using music to tell stories
Virtuosity: new and/or improved instruments expanded what performers could do

Venues for musical performance:
– In Church, as in the Renaissance
– At court: in the homes of aristocratic rulers, such as dukes, princes, and kings
– In middle class homes
– In public concert halls

Baroque concepts:

Virtuosity! (Being really, really good)

“Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s Messiah
Renée Fleming, soprano

Chaconne, J.S. Bach
Joshua Bell, violin

By the way… Context is crucial in music!

A Chaconne is a type of dance. The word comes from the Basque language, meaning “pretty.”

Origin of opera: the Florentine Camerata
Transition from Renaissance polyphony to homophonic texture: emphasis on melody in order to “heighten the emotional power of the text.”

Improvisation: filling in and expanding upon a basic structure
New form of notation: figured bass

Figured Bass: the Baroque Rhythm Section

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Jazz Rhythm Section (video)

Jazz Lead Sheet

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Opera: Large-scale drama that is sung

Elements of opera:
Overture
Recitative
Aria
Chorus
Libretto

Modern example of an overture:

Recitative & Aria

Possible modern comparison: rapping & singing

Baroque version: Dido’s Lament (listening guide, p. 104)


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