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Lecture 11

MUS110H1 Lecture 11: Music in Context: Economics of Music

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Gregory S.Johnston

MUS110 – Nov 20, 2014 Music in Context [focused on economics of music] Differences between: court opera and public opera Court Opera • origins • musical style o half way between speech and singing, its sun in tone with a light accompaniment • Peri, Euridice o Singing style and accompaniment is really simple, basso continuo [anything reinforcing the bass, usually plucked instruments] o If its reinforcing the bass line, that is a basso continuo o Large orchestras, many of the pluck instruments would have a full string compliment o And winds and brass o Varied between half song half spoken lines o They didn’t want to upstage the mobility o Written around early 1600s o The singers were professionals o Revolved around the price, usually operas are published o All guest were invited to the palace to show off wealth of patronage o Stories are supposed to be allegory of the prince, so they cannot upstage the prince o The stories are mythological but modified, there are some happy endings • Performance practices Public Opera (Venice 1637) • Carnival [staged during this season] o Produce every season o Pre-Madonna and castrato • Production practice/values • Star singers vs. composer/librettist/instrumentalists • Audience o Nobles to regular citizens, tourists from all walks of life o Effect changes the genre from spectacle o Difference from spectacle from court o In opera house, the singers were competed to have to best singers • 1637 and 1678- they built 9 opera theatres • Public operas are to entertain, not modify, they are comic elements and more historical operas • Less modified • Monteverdi Poppea • o Performed 1643 for Carnival season o One of the first operas to use historical events and people (freely adapted) • Written by Busenello o Opera and politics • Anticlericalism • Libertinism • Portrayals of strong, dangerous women • CD: 16 : Little bit of aria, she’ll talk sing, then sing • The rest instruments played underneath • Why they cannot be Greek tragedy o We have no evidence that they have now call harmony o Wouldn’t have had a big band of instruments accompany them, just a simple melodic line o No triadic harmony or measured rhythm o The notes sitting on the minor second, wanting to go to the home key • A lot of reforms in opera, so they look back to Greek tragedy but they don’t • The instrumental solos were not that important in operas, just the singers • When it sounds song like then it’s an aria and the accompaniment for an aria is: baroque orchestra [strings] Recitative • Speech like singing with very light accompaniment and its meant to move the plot forward • Moving through text or dialogue, light melodic line • Basso continuum Aria • Character stops and talks about some emotion • Where the singer shows off what they can do • More richer sound to the accompaniment • Mozart, Idomeneo (opera seria) th The 18 century • Important change in the role of the composer and performer • Principle employers: Church, Court, Opera Theatre • Beginning of the 18 C: • Composers also set out on their own as independent artists • Examples: Ha
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