Gabrieli - Sonata pian'e forte

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  • Created by: Lauren
  • Created on: 01-10-12 10:35


- Sonata Published in 1597

Intended for performance in St Mark's Basilica, Venice on an important liturgical occasion

- Gabrieli could call on services of a relatively large number of instrumentalists, indicating the wealth of the insitution.

- Historically important, it is one of the first to specify dynamic contrasts.

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Rhythm and metre

- The sonata has longer note values at the start progressing to livelier movements towards the end.

-Time signatures inserted editorially.
Most of the piece is notated in duple time with occasional 3/2 bars

-Syncopation and dotted rhythms.

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-   Melodic style gives the impression of a transfer of Motet-like vocal writing to instruments.


-  Ranges are relatively restricted.

- Much of the writing is conjunct, largest interval is an Octave.

4ths and 5ths occur relatively frequently.

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- Root-position and first-inversion chords dominate, occasional consonant 4th.  

- Writing is not functional,
  Cadences frequent, including PERFECT, IMPERFECT (Phrygian) and plagal.

- SuspensionsCircle of 5ths (bars 36-41), tierces de Picardie (bar 80

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  • The music is based on the Dorian mode on G, but cadences on most steps of the mode contribute to the works fluid tonal scheme
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  • The sonata is through-composed with clear breaks into contrasting sections
  • The only repetitions occur within sections, often in the antiphony.
    E.G bar 34. - Where the music of Bar 31 is repeated a 4th lower.     
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  • Two four-part instrumental groups.
  • Free counterpoint, in four parts (most of bars 1-13)
  • Imitation (bars 17-20)
  • Antiphony (bars 37-40)
  • Eight-part counterpoint (Bars 26-31)
  • Eight-part homophony (Bar 40)
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