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MU 1710 Sept 19

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Western University
Music 1710F/G
Cameron Johnston

September 19 Readings/Class Notes – History Wright 53-55, 66 Texture – the density and disposition of musical lines that make a composition. Monophonic texture – a single line of melodic texture; no accompaniment eg. Singing by yourself, Gregorian Chant in the Middle Ages – chanting in unison Polyphonic texture – two or more lines are sung. The lines are independent of each other. Compete equally for attention from one who listens to the piece Counterpoint – two or more melodic lines that are independent of each other and are harmonious Imitative counterpoint – Melodic material shared b/w the two lines. Free counterpoint – counterpoint without any imitation in the voices. May begin together or separately No melodic relationship Most counterpoint does not fall into these two categories strictly Canon – A melody reproducing the initial melody exactly. Strictest form of imitative counterpoint. eg. “Are You Sleeping” JS Bach, Sinfonia No 4 in B flat Major (BWV 800) - Counterpoint is both free and imitative – often involve imitation, but almost never completely perfect in imitation Homophony - “same sounding” - voices or lines move to new pitches at about the same time Form – an artist's way of organizing their materials in a meaningful and intentional way Texture Case Study: Palestrina's Missa Brevis 1. In the church decree drafted on Sept 10, 1562, what do church elders suggest the role of music should be in relation to the text? – People need to understand the words – People were so into having contrapuntal texture, the words got confused – too many musical lines at once – Music should have a purpose - “not to give empty pleasure to the ears, but in such a way that the words may be understood by all” Only hymns and divine praises Palestrina agrees – he changes his view that music should be simple...“ a new manner” Nicolas Gombert (1495-1560) Credo (a 8) – beautiful, but focus is not on words, which the church did not like – Counter-Reformation How does Palestrina use texture to highlight the text? Use Wright’s taxonomy of textures to guide your listening. What textures does he define that you hear in this piece? Palestrina (1525-1594) Missa Brevis (1570) I believe in one God - monophony – one voice, one God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. - contrapuntal, imitative cou
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