an “off-the-beat” accent (between the counted numbers)
gradually SLOWING DOWN the tempo
gradually SPEEDING UP the tempo
freely and expressively making subtle changes in the tempo. (a technique commonly encountered in music of the Romantic era)
the relative loudness (or quietness) of music
is the element of “TIME” in music.
the speed of the BEAT
Beats organized into recognizable/recurring accent patterns. Meter can
be seen/felt through the standard patterns used by conductors.
the LINEAR/HORIZONTAL presentation of pitch
the word used to
describe the highness or lowness of a musical sound
(families of pitches)
smooth; easy to sing or play)
(disjointedly ragged or jumpy; difficult to sing or play).
is the VERTICALIZATION of pitch. often described in terms of its relative HARSHNESS
(several notes played simultaneously as a
a harsh-sounding harmonic combination
produce musical “tension” which is often “released” by
resolving to consonant chords.
a smooth-sounding harmonic combination
harmony created out of the ancient Medieval/Renaissance modes.
harmony that focuses on a “home” key center.
modern harmony that AVOIDS any sense of a “home” key center.
Different sounds from different instruments playing the same note due to their unique properties.
refers to the number of individual musical lines (melodies) and the relationship these lines have to one another
Music with only one note sounding at a time (having no harmony or accompaniment)
Music with two or more notes sounding at a the same time, but generally featuring a prominent melody in the upper part, supported by a less intricate harmonic accompaniment underneath (often based on homogeneous chords—BLOCKS of sound).
Music with two or more independent melodies sounding at the same time.
canon and fugue
may introduce three, four, five or more independent melodies simultaneously! This manner of writing is called COUNTERPOINT.
a special type of polyphonic texture produced whenever a musical idea is ECHOED from “voice” to “voice”. Although imitation can be used in monophonic styles, it is more prevalent in polyphonic art-music— especially from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
a design in VOCAL music, in which the same music is used for several different verses (strophes) of words. [Example: “Deck the Halls” has many verses of words sung to the same music.]
a structure in which there is no repeat or return of any
large-scale musical section. [Example: Schubert’s “Erlkönig”.]
a two-part form in which both main sections are repeated (as indicated in the diagram by “repeat marks”). The basic premise of this form is CONTRAST:
a three-part form featuring a return of the initial music after a contrasting section. Symmetry and balance are achieved through this return of material
Order of historical periods from earliest to latest
middle ages, renaissance, baroque, classic, romantic, modern
the most important British composer of the 20th century. He wrote over 100 major works including operas, songs, string quartets and other chamber works, a violin concerto, choral works, incidental music, symphonies and other orchestral works. Of these, he
is best known for the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Piano was invented in
the classic era
is a group of musicians playing together
The “type” of piece that a musician
plays (such as symphony, concerto, Mass, motet, etc.)
Orchestra (also called Symphony or Symphony Orchestra)
divided into four main families of instruments: string, woodwind, brass, and percussion.
an orchestra without strings, with more emphasis given to the brass, woodwind and percussion.
provided an improvised harmonic accompaniment for many types of Baroque music
usually comprised of a keyboard instrument and a melodic bass instrument
groups of 1 to 10 players that perform chamber music (usually without a conductor).
The string quartet and the woodwind quintet are the most common examples
the conductor’s greatest responsibility
is to determine the proper interpretation of the music
syllables of chanted prayers that often sound like as “heyah” or “yu-way” Native American
call and response
the leader of the song will improvise a narrative “call” about a past or current event, and then the group at-large will sing a repeated “response,” that remains the same throughout the song. African originally
Improvisation and intricate polyrhythms (the simultaneous combination of
two or more different rhythmic patterns) are richly abundant in African music, and
African musicians have developed these to a much higher level than usually
encountered in traditional Western musical styles.
INDONESIA)) is a colorful instrumental ensemble, comprised primarily of unusual percussion instruments including drums, gongs, and xylophones made of wood (such as the gender) or bronze (such as the
feature pitches that
sound “out-of-tune” to Western ears (microtones)
ragas (melodic patterns) and talas (rhythmic patterns)
Indian music is transferred orally from master-teacher (guru) to the student, who learns by strictly imitating the teacher—not from a written tradition.
long necked lute, important Indian instrument
best known in the West for his performance at Woodstock in 1969.
Mara-Bihag is his song
Japanese 13 string 5 note pentatonic scale
Middle east, short necked pear shaped 5 strings played as a monophonic instrument
Music in the Middle Ages
began as monophonic chant, then around 1000 A.D.,
new types of polyphony developed and gradually expanded in rhythm, harmony and texture until reaching an extremely complex style in the late 1300s.
HILDEGARD of Bingen
This Catholic nun is noted for her expressive chants and hymns. She was also a
visionary/mystic who wrote on theology, politics, medicine, and science
LEONIN and PEROTIN
(c. 1135-1201) and (1180-c.1207—France)
These two composers worked at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and are noted for developing an early type of polyphony called organum.
Guillaume de MACHAUT
(c. 1300-1377; France)
The most important composer of the Middle Ages; He brought Medieval music to its height of
rhythmic and harmonic complexity.
The Mass “Ordinary”
the five standard prayers of the Mass that are used every day—
the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei
The Mass “Proper”
15 prayers that change daily to focus on the specific occasion
being celebrated in the church calendar—the most important church festivals
being Easter and Christmas.
many notes sung to each syllable of the text
(one note sung per syllable of text)
(music sung to a single unaccompanied melody in a free rhythm). Prominent until polyphony around 1000ad
This bold step is perhaps
the single most important occurrence in the history of Western music.
Around the year 1000, composers in Europe began to experiment with polyphony (music based on several simultaneous sounds).
This technique features long-held notes in the lower part (actually a chant melody moving
very slowly), with choppy, faster-moving voices in the upper parts (based on secular
dance rhythms. In organum, the voices often sing extended melismas (many notes
sung on one syllable of text—a technique that expressively emphasizes the most
important words of a prayer).
emerged out of organum—as words were interpolated onto each note of a melisma to create a more syllabic and metrical style.
Note: The biggest difference
between a musical Mass and a motet is the TEXT (a motet can never be based on
a Mass text)
Guillaume de MACHAUT
Missa Notre Dame
This was a major innovation in
Western music—the first time the five prayers of the Mass Ordinary were musically set
into a reusable POLYPHONIC composition
Important Musical Considerations in the Renaissance
• Polyphonic Imitation (a musical idea that is immediately echoed by another
voice part or instrument)
• Word-painting (using musical symbolism to represent the meaning of the text;
most common in the madrigal)
• The Invention of Music Printing (by the Italian printer, Petrucci, in 1501)
• The Rise of Secular Music
• Polyphonic Imitation
(a musical idea that is immediately echoed by another
voice part or instrument)
(using musical symbolism to represent the meaning of the text;
most common in the madrigal)
Medieval vs. Renaissance composition
Renaissance composers began to write in a new way called simultaneous composition, in which all the voice parts were constructed together phrase-by-phrase
Medieval manner of successive composition, in which the chant line was predetermined, an upper melody was constructed next, and the inner voices
were filled in last.
conclusive phrase/section endings analogous to
punctuation/inflection in written/spoken language
(c. 1440-1521; Flanders)
Josquin, the most famous composer of the mid-Renaissance, established a
new, beautifully-expressive sound based on constantly-changing textures in
his Masses, motets and songs.
Giovanni da PALESTRINA
(c. 1524-94; Italy) While working at the Vatican in Rome, Palestrina became the most esteemed master of late-Renaissance sacred music, noted for his rich and
lyrical Masses and motets.
(c. 1575-1623; England) One of several important composers at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. He is
noted for his secular madrigals and Anglican church music.
(c. 1560-1613; Italy)
A transitional figure between late-Renaissance and early-Baroque styles, known especially for his highly intense Italian madrigals.
a polyphonic choral work based on a sacred Latin text
Although a motet can sound like a Mass, a Mass is based on one of the five prayers of the “Ordinary” (see previous chapter), while a motet has some other type of religious text.
n (echoed entrances) was an
essential feature Polyphonic Masses
The most artistic genre of secular vocal music
a polyphonic work for a small group of unaccompanied singers
used a lot of imitation and word painting
hallmark of Baroque musical style
instrumental music became more significant than vocal music, with
the organ, harpsichord, and the violin family being the most favored instruments.
Harmony moved towards tonality (centered around a single “home-key” pitch called a “tonic”). By
1700, motoric rhythm (a constant pulse or beat) was a primary feature of Western music
In the Baroque
music was written in polyphonic counterpoint (with several complex independent melodic lines occurring simultaneously within a work).
a small “back-up” instrumental group that provided an improvised harmonic accompaniment for
many types of Baroque music
(c. 1567-1643; Italy)
Shortly after 1600, Monteverdi initiated the Baroque with a daring and
dramatic new approach to vocal music (particularly opera).
(c. 1659-95; England)
Considered the greatest English composer of his day, Purcell is noted for his
stage works, choral music, songs, and keyboard music.
(c. 1653-1713; Italy)
The first Western composer to write only instrumental music. He is known
for his trio sonatas and concertos.
(c. 1653-1706; Germany)
This Lutheran organist was an influential predecessor of Johann Sebastian
This Catholic priest was the greatest Baroque violinist. He wrote over 500
concertos and over 50 operas.
Johann Sebastian BACH
This Lutheran organist and choir director was the greatest master of
Baroque counterpoint, and one of the most important composers in music
history. He is known for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal works,
especially his cantatas, concertos, and keyboard music.
Georg Frideric HANDEL
This cosmopolitan composer was born in Germany, but spent most of his
career working in Italy and England. His powerful operas and oratorios are
landmarks of the majestic late-Baroque style.
a design used in most large-ensemble Baroque works based on an alternating pattern of opposing performing groups (big vs. small) that contrast
throughout a movement
full orchestra in ritornello
usually small in scope, with a short bit of material stated by the initial “voice” (the “leader”) then echoed strictly by one or more subsequent “voices” (the “follower[s]”)
the most complex polyphonic approach ever conceived in Western art music. In a fugue, a substantial melodic idea (called a “subject”) is stated, then strictly imitated and/or manipulated in sophisticated ways
The greatest master of fugal
technique and Baroque counterpoint was
a multi-movement work “sounded” by instruments only
have three structural lines of music performed by four players—two high instruments plus basso continuo
The most important composer of trio sonatas was
a dramatic multi-movement work that requires an orchestra.
a set of dance movements from various countries, written for orchestra or solo harpsichord
uses solo singers, orchestra, chorus,
costumes, staging, scenery, and a dramatic “libretto” (story).
a large multi-movement vocal work
a multi-movement vocal work with orchestral accompaniment, similar to an oratorio, yet much smaller in scope.
require no staging,
costumes, or scenery.
In the Classic period, the Baroque aesthetic of dramatic contrast was replaced
debate (direct conflict between opposing ideas for the ultimate purpose of
resolving that tension and unifying the structure).
• Franz Josef HAYDN
The most influential innovator of the early Classic style; known primarily for his symphonies, string quartets and piano sonatas.
• Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Arguably the greatest musician in the Western history. This common-born child
prodigy began composing at the age of four; by age seven, he had amazed every
major Head-of-State in Europe with his miraculous abilities as a pianist, violinist and
singer. His undeniable God-given talent directly challenged the supposed superiority
of the upper classes. By the time he died at age 35, Mozart had written nearly 700
works, mastering every genre known to him, and bringing art music to a new height of
personal expression. His operas, concertos, symphonies, sonatas and choral music
are still widely performed around the world.
• Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
In the mid-1790s, while still in his 20s, Beethoven was recognized as the greatest
pianist in the Empire; however, at the height of his performing career—at age 32—he
went deaf! Despite this tremendous obstacle, through raw determination—he
became the most revolutionary musician of the age, especially via his intense
expansion of personal/ political expression through orchestral, chamber and keyboard
Sonata form (also called “sonata-allegro form”)
is a musical debate within a single
movement based on the conflict and ultimate resolution of two opposing key
This unique Classic form has three distinct dramatic aspects within a binary harmonic plan
Three aspects of Sonata form
EXPOSITION (Tonal Opposition)
The two opposing key centers (and associated themes) are introduced:
Theme 1 is in the “home” key; Theme 2 is in a different key.
DEVELOPMENT (Escalation of tension)
The material passes rapidly through many distant keys, and may be fragmented/reworked
in a variety of ways.
RECAPITULATION (Tonal Resolution)
Theme 1 and Theme 2 both appear in the “home” key. (In the tradition of
Classic debate, Theme 2 realizes its weaker stance, and wholeheartedly
throws its support to its opponent’s stronger argument—the “home’ key.)
Weelkes, Josquin Desprez
Vivaldi, Bach, Handel
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven
Missa Notre Dame (Example of a Mass)
As Vesta Was From Latmos Hill Descending (Example of a madrigal)
Ave Maria…virgo serena (Example of a motet)
: Spring, 1st movement, from The 4 Seasons (Example of Ritornello Form)
Cantata No. 80 (example of a cantata that uses a Lutheran “CHORALE” tune)
: Little Fugue in G minor (example of a fugue “Subject”)
: Messiah (example of an Oratorio)
: Symphony No. 94, 2nd movement (Example of Theme & Variations form)
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, 3rd movement (Example of “Minuet & Trio” form)
Symphony No. 5 1st movement (example of Sonata Form)