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Basic features of Boroque music

Ornamentaion and decoration in the melodic parts

Major/Minor key system established-Replaced modes

Different musical textures

Prevalence of one mood - 'And the glory of the lord' uses the mood of affection

Diatonic harmony

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Terrassed Dynamics

The contrasting of dynamics - Loud and soft

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Basso Continuo

A keyboard instrument (such as a organ or harpsichord) playing a chordal support with a bass line played by the cello

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A musical texture of a single melodic line with no accompaniment

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A musical texture comprising a melody part and accompinament

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A musical texture with two or more parts, each having a melody line and sounding togeother

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Boroque orchestra

String familly






Newly introduced

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notes and chords belonging to or literally 'of a key'

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Compsosers of boroque era





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Structures of the Boroque era

Ternary (A, B, A)

Rondo Form (A, B, C...)

Binary Form (A, B)

Ground Bass

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Handel lived from...


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An oratorio is a musical work based on text (libretto) and storys from the Bible. It is desighned for concert preformance.

The differance between an Oratorio and an opera is that an opera uses staging, acting and dancing.

Oratorios only use words/text from the Bible

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Background of Messiah

Messiah is one of the most famous Oratorios

The Messiah is about jesus' birth, life and ressurection

It took Handel 24 days to write

It was composed within 1741 and 42

It was originally preformend in 1742

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Background 'And the glory of the lord'

it is the 4th movement of the messiah

it is based around four keys

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Hemiola in triple time, this is a harmonic device often used towards a cadence point, in which notes are grouped in two beat units

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Idea 1

First three notes form an A major triad

It has a stepwise/scalic ending

It is sylabic (one note per sylable)

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Idea 2

Two one bar descending sequences

Melismatic (many notes per sylable)

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Idea 3

Repettive - gives the impression of a firm statement

3 statements of the descending fourth idea

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Idea 4

Long (dotted minum) repeated notes

Emphasis on the conviction 'Lord hath spoken it'

To further strengthen the statement, Handel doubles the part with tenors and basses

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'And the glory of the lord' Part 1

the whole movement has joyful words

Allegro tempo (fast tempo)

It is in triple time (3/4) but feels like it's in (2/4)

A major  (tonic)

Modulates to the dominant of E major

Modulates to the dominant of the dominant (the dominant of E major) B major

Minor keys are avoided because the words and affection (mood) are joyous and happy throughout

hemiola rhythms are used when the piece approaches the perfect cadence - this was common practice

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'And the glory of the lord' Part 2

Alto enters with idea 1

Imitative entries of idea 2 started first by tenors

Mixture of Homophonic and polyphonic textures throughout

Altos sing idea three first. Contrasting texture, very sparse.

Idea 4 introduced by tenors and basses, acts as a pedal (Tonic pedal)

Doubling of vocal lines by instruments (violin 1, Viola and continuo bass)

Finishes with a dramatic three beat rest to the final, grand, slow (Adagio) plagal cadence in four part Homophony adding emphasis to the final words 'hath spoken it'

Handel usually did this

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Background to the Messiah

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