Demanding remarkable technical ability.
Baroque practice consisting of an independent bass line that often includes numerals indicating the harmony to be supplied by the performer. Also thorough-bass.
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Italian for “continuous bass.” See figured bass.
Also refers to a performance group with a chordal instrument (harpsichord, organ) and one bass melody instrument (cello, bassoon); also continuo.
major minor tonality
A harmonic system based on the use of major and minor scales, widely practiced from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth century. See also tonality.
Tuning system (used today) based on the division of the octave into twelve equal half steps.
Music drama that is generally sung throughout, combining the resources of vocal and instrumental music with poetry and drama, acting and dancing, scenery and costumes.
Male singer who was castrated during boyhood to preserve his soprano or alto vocal register; prominent in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century opera.
chapter 20 key points
Music has often been a means through which marginalized individuals and groups can express their perspective to the broader society.? Women in seventeenth-century Italian convents were dedicated to singing as an integral part of their role as spiritual servants and advocates.? Nuns adapted standard vocal music scorings to their needs by transposing parts and adding instruments.? Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, a Benedictine nun who was a musician and composer, was one of a few whose works were published and circulated beyond the convent. Her Magnificat exemplifies both a common genre and an individual approach to text setting.
A prayer of thanks to God, sung after a psalm or at the close of the Magnificat.
chpater 21 key points
The most important new genre of the Baroque era was opera, a large-scale music drama that combines poetry, acting, scenery, and costumes with singing and instrumental music.? The principal components of opera include the orchestral overture, solo arias (lyrical songs) and recitatives (speechlike declamations of the text), and ensemble numbers, including choruses.? The text of an opera is called a libretto.
The earliest opera libretti were base on mythology, epic poetry, and ancient history.? Henry Purcell wrote Dido and Aeneas, based on The Aeneid, a Roman epic by Virgil. The closing Lament by Dido is a powerful expression of grief that reflects contemporary ideals about womanhood.
Solo vocal declamation that follows the inflections of the text, often resulting in a disjunct vocal style; found in opera, cantata, and oratorio. Can be secco or accompagnato.
Lyric song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, generally expressing intense emotion; found in opera, cantata, and oratorio.
An introductory movement, as in an opera or oratorio, often presenting melodies from arias to come. Also an orchestral work for concert performance.
Short instrumental work, found in Baroque opera, to facilitate scene changes.
Text or script of an opera, oratorio, cantata, or musical (also called the “book” in a musical).
English genre of aristocratic entertainment that combined vocal and instrumental music with poetry and dance, developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Country dance of the British Isles, often in a lively triple meter; optional dance movement of solo and orchestral Baroque suites.
A type of duple-meter hornpipe is still popular in Irish traditional dance music.
A repeating melody, usually in the bass, throughout a vocal or instrumental composition.
chapter 22 key points
Lutheran musical worship is structured around congregational hymns, known as chorales, which are specific to each Sunday service.
? The church cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach were mostly written for the Lutheran church service; they are multimovement works with solo arias, recitatives, and choruses, all with orchestral accompaniment.? Bach’s cantata Wachet auf (Sleepers, Awake) is based on a well-known Lutheran chorale tune.
The resulting elaboration-of-chorale, a sort of musical sermon on the original hymn,
An association of amateur musicians, popular in the Baroque era. Also a modern university ensemble dedicated to the performance of early music.
Three-part A-A-B form, frequently used in music and poetry, particularly in Germany.
chpater 23 key points
The oratorio is a large-scale dramatic genre with a sacred text performed by solo voices, chorus, and orchestra; it is not staged or costumed.? Originally conceived to put forth the message of the Catholic Church, the oratorio bears many similarities to opera.? George Frideric Handel built his career as a composer of Italian-style opera; later in life, he invented the English oratorio, combining elements of Italian and English musical style.? Handel’s oratorios (including Messiah) have remained popular up to the present day.
Large-scale dramatic genre originating in the Baroque, based on a text of religious or serious character, performed by solo voices, chorus, and orchestra; similar to opera but without scenery, costumes, or action.
de cappo aria
Lyric song in ternary, or A-B-A, form, commonly found in operas, cantatas, and oratorios.
Short, recurring instrumental passage found in both the aria and the Baroque concerto.