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Lecture 2

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Queen's University
MUSC 102
Kip Pegley

Week 2 – January 13, 2014 1) The musical historical periods roughly break down into a) Medieval Period, ca. 400 to 1400 b) Renaissance Period, 1400-1600 c) Baroque Period, 1600-1750 d) Classical Period, 1750-1800 e) Romantic Period, 1800-1900 f) 20th-century Music 2) The Renaissance a) Meaning of the term • Started to see themselves different from those behind them • Human progress • Interest in previous eras and what they did o The Greek empire • Renaissance means “rebirth” o A going back to, a coming again, rediscovery • Shift from a more religious-based society to a more secular society • b) Important technological innovations • More about science • An increased appeal to the senses • A time of innovation o 1450: printing press  Books and music more widely available • Important for people to have some sort of musical training o Social and cultural capital c) Shifts from Medieval to Renaissance thought • More focus on individual achievements • People start to show an interest in what’s around them • The masses start to be able to come to the fore • The people have more of a say in what’s happening d) Developments in Renaissance Art • pg. 56 A medieval depiction of Pope Gregory vs. pg. 85 a page from a Renaissance manuscript o More colour in the Renaissance piece o Pope Gregory – Gregorian chant (Holy Spirit in the form of a dove whispering chants in the Pope’s ear) o Focal point in the top left corner in the Renaissance piece o Medieval piece more flattened out; field of depth in the Renaissance piece  More line of perception in later art • pg. 70 Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait o 3D, depth, but also use of shadow o Lines in his skin – detailed human figure • A whole new interest and passion around human achievements and the human body • Significant advancements in art in the Renaissance o Use of oil o Perspective o Use of light and shadow • Leonardo da Vinci, “Mona Lisa” (1505-1506) o The hands o Hard to know her emotions o Use of depth o Interest in anatomy and the human • Michelangelo, “The Creation of Adam” (c. 1512) o The beauty of the human body o How to make things more beautiful for people, not just for God • Musical counterpoint to all this! o Make music beautiful for people, not just for God e) Developments in Renaissance Architecture f) Developments in Renaissance Music • Find ways to make it accessible to people and beautiful i. Use of the voice • “heavenly harmonies” ii. Changes to “Cantus Firmus” (melody) • The melody in church pieces could be in any of the voices • To make it the most beautiful, they decided to put the melody in the top voice, the soprano voice, so it would be reaching up to God and so people would be able to hear it iii. Imitation and homophony (quintessential elements of Renaissance music) • Homophony – melody up top, other voices supporting it • Imitation – a type of polyphony, a soft form, not rigid iv. The motet g) Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594) Exsultate Deo • A motet – a musical setting of a sacred Latin text • Date of composition: 1584 • Sopranos, altos, tenors, basses • Uses the first three lines of Psalm 81 o Exuberant opening verses of the psalm o Music is bright and joyful, filled with march rhythms and running eighth notes which work to enliven the work o Uses word painting  Taking individual words and building the piece around them  Opening word “Exsultate” – musical line rises triumphantly o Many entries, suggesting a crowd acclaiming 0:28 o Quite homophonic, becoming more imitative; dotted rhythm on “tympanum” (drum) 0:49 o Slower, lower, more solemn at “solemnitatis” 0:23 (mistake in text) 3) The Early Baroque (1600 – 1700) a) The term “Baroque” • Began as a term of disapproval o Pearls of irregular shape • First applied to music in the eighteenth century • Rousseau: “the harmony is confused, full of modulations and dissonances; the melody is harsh and unnatural; the intonation is remote; and the motion is constrained” b) Shifts from Renaissance to Baroque thought • Newton – discovered gravity o Started to change the way people think about where they are and their bodies o Things we took for granted start to turn on their hands – excitement and anxiousness • Ideas start to become more organized • The arts become above all else about order and organization • We start to have dynamic markings, tempo markings – codifying, controlling • Even when it came to emotions! o As they start to enforce more order on the music, the music also starts to become more emotional o Controlling and manipulating emotion in music c) Developments in Baroque Art (and Music) • What are the primary Baroque features? o Strong gestures, drama o Heightened emotions o Masses o Movement o Music has a sharp, expressive quality o Animated, lifelike expressions o Figures with a feeling of weight and solidity • What’s the first opera? Why was it popular? o Grandiose spectacle and intense expression o Orfeo by Monteverdi (1607)  Composed as part of the carnival season of entertainment • Caravaggio – what’s his contribution? o Dramatic, realistic religious imagery
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