Monteverdi - Ohime se tanto amate

In depth study of Vocal music

Focusing on

  • Context
  • Style
  • Instrumentation
  • Structure
  • Tonality
  • Melody
  • Harmony

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Monteverdi - Ohime

Context

  • The piece is a Madrigal
  • A poem for voices
  • The Poem is written by Guarini
  • Unaccompanied
  • Written in Venice 1603
  • The music is word-painted
  • Representational Style
  • 'Ohime' can mean a sigh of frustration or passion
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Monteverdi - Ohime

Style

  • Typical of a Madrigal....
    - Every nuance of the text is expressed
    - The piece is in Gminor and the Bb is given for the time signature at the start and Eb are added when needed through out the piece
  • Typical Baroque...
    - Modulations to related keys
  • Untypical of Baroque
    - Canto sings tritone at Bar 12
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Monteverdi - Ohime

Instrumentation

  • 5 solo parts
  • Canto - First Soprano
  • Quinto - Second Soprano
  • Alto
  • Tenor
  • Bass
  • Each part is technically demanding and would not have been written for amateurs
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Monteverdi - Ohime

Structure

  • The piece is through-composed
  • There are three main sections
    - Bars 1-19 - gradual build up of texture
    - Bars 20-38 - different music with varied repeat
    - Bars 39-67 - 5 part harmony for the most part

(NOTE: Through-composed = Each phrase of the poem had new music)

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Monteverdi - Ohime

Texture

  • Dialogue between parts
  • Polyphonic Bars 24 - 28
  • Homophonic Bars 20 - 25
  • Antiphonal Bars 47 +
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Monteverdi - Ohime

Melody

  • Conjunct movement
  • "Ohime" in falling thirds
  • Small leaps
  • Syllabic
  • Chromatic writing
  • Unprepared dissonances illustrate words
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Monteverdi - Ohime

Harmony

  • Root position chords & 1st inversion triads at cadence points
  • Final cadence is a variation of perfect IIIb - I
  • False relations
  • Tierce de Picardi
  • Suspensions
  • Pedal notes
  • Modal chord progressions VII - III
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