GCSE Music: handel and the glory of the lord


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And the Glory Of The Lord- by Handel

composed in 1741, and first performed in Dublin

The messiah is an ORATORIO (A musical composition for voices and orchestra, telling a sacred story without costumes, scenery, or dramatic action)

it was popular because of its uplifting chorus (hallelujah)

the libberetto (text) was put together from text from the new and old testament.

it was written for SATB choir and a full baroque orchestra including the basso continuo ( organ/ harpsichord and cello).

composed in 1741


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there are 3 sections:-




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there are 4 motifs

1) "And the glory the glory of the lord"

- sung by altos in bars 11-14

- sylabic

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2) "shall be revealed"

- introduced by tenors

-a decending sequence     


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3) " and all flesh shall be together"

-sung by altos      

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4) "for the mouth of the lord hath spoken it"

- introduced by tenors and basses

-sung in unison for first 5 bars then in harmony for the last 2

-notes are long and held.

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tonality/ harmony

it is in the key of A major

then modulated to the  key E major (bars 17-22)

then back again to A major

this piece is mostly consonant (at rest- it is not dissonant)

(overall it modulates to E major twice and B major once)

it sounds happy and joyfull and uplifting.    

uses perfect cadences through the piece and a plagal cadence at the end

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rythm and tempo

it is in 3/4

at the end of the piece there is a dramtic 3 beat rest before the final cadence which is lento

dynamics are terraced (loud or soft)

tempo is allegro

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idea 1 is sung by the altos and is a sylabic setting were there is a note for every sylable.

bars 14-17 the melody can be heard from the bass line

"shall be revealed" first time it is introduced used imitation (basses & sopranos)

sopranos sing idea one very high in a monophonic texture

it is mainly homophonic but some parts are homophoic e.g.bars 91-107 alll 4 parts are singin different tunes at the same time.

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the final words "hath spoken it" is homophonic

once all the parts have been introduced , the parts imitate each other. and use different techniques like overlapping and cannon.

The introduction is instrumental and then the instruments double the voice parts which creates a homophonic texture


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