Wednesday January 26, 2011
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Example of a chorale texture
o Chorales are supposed to be very simple
o In this example, there are 4 parts (SATB texture), indicated by
brackets on sheet music
o Syllabic text setting, homorhymic (all moving together
rhythmically), it’s conjunct (the pitches are not far from each
other, not for professional singers)
Disjunct melody would have wide leaps in it, the intervals
would be large (for professional singers)
o Its strophic, meaning that every verse of the text has the same
music, it has repeated music (finishing the text, go back to the top
for the second verse and the music does not change)
o Often the very last thing in a cantata is a chorale
In the 16 thcentury (Renaissance), one of the things that Martin Luther
wanted to encourage was more congregational singing (everyone singing
Violin has a flat back, lute has a curved back.
The ars nova was a type of music and musical notation invented in the 1300s. All of
the music we use today (system of music) was invented then. It shows us pitch (how
high or low the note you’re trying to play is) accurately, duration (short, ½ beat,
1/16 beat, etc). This is what we get in the notated music from 14-1600s, and that’s
about all we get (as well as a text). We don’t get the loudness of the music, the
timbre, from music before 1600s. No music told us what instruments played
It would say that it was for “4 voices”, for example, in which any
combination could be used (1 voice, 3 recorders, etc).
This was done to not narrow down the way in which the music could be
Monteverdi and Vivaldi were among the first to start notating which instruments to
Increasingly common after 1600 is that everything about the music is
specified (including loudness and timbre).
Score: piece of music that showed you all of the parts. If there’s a voice and a piano,
it would show both parts, for example.
The individual players got Parts, which showed what each person did.
At first, conductors had to make their own scores.
Sometimes if it’s just a very small ensemble, sometimes its practical to
play from a score
But from the most part, people who read scores to do for either
conducting or for studying purposes
Dynamic markings (know 6 terms as well as the symbols, that will appear either
above or below the music), and the tempo terms (know all five).
Ornamentation is something that we assume is a very old practice.
It’s an improvisational practice that later became a notated practice. Early Baroque recordings can be boring because at first, no one knew they
There are also manuals about how to play the instruments (also in the
Renaissance), and it explains ornamentation for each instrument as