MOTIFS OF THE MESSIAH

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  • Four Main Musical Ideas
    • The first motif
      • First sung by the altos
        • In bars 11-14
      • Most of this phrase is syllabic
        • - each syllable has its own note
    • The second motif
      • Introduced by the tenors
        • In bars 17-20
      • The words 'be revealed' are spread over a DESCENDING SEQUENCE.
        • A sequence that goes down
      • The syllables of the words 'revealed' are spread over lots of notes
        • This is melismatic (opposite of syllabic)
    • The third motif
      • Is first sung by the altos
        • In bars 43-46
      • The same bit of melody is repeated 3 times
    • The fourth motif
      • Introduced by the tenors and basses (the only motif that is introduced by two parts)
        • In bars 51-57
      • Sing in unison for the first 5 bars - then in harmony for the last two
      • The motif is mostly on the same note. This is a pedal note
        • - a held on note
      • The notes are fairly long. It sounds serious and important
    • Once the motifs have been introduced
      • The parts imitate eachother - bars 79 - 83.
      • The parts overlap - singing in canon
    • The ending
      • Last four bars are Adagio
      • Plagal cadence (IV - I) makes it sound like its finsihed
  • First sung by the altos
    • In bars 11-14

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