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Lecture 18

MUSIC 140A Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Lingua Franca, Kapellmeister, Recitative

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Robert W Inter

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Opera - words with music
Enlighten: about words, the human experience
Moving away from religion, more secular ties
Baroque period was centered on texture, harmonies - rather than strictly on prose
Music will add to the words, but it won’t just be about the words
Italian Opera
Hero, seems perfect
Greek Gods, Roman Gods
The monarchs: “Oh, I can see myself in these heroes”
“Anything I do can’t go wrong, God gave me these powers” - divine right
Action happens in recitative
Comfortable, predictable formula
Multiple composers would set the same libretto to different music
Lingua franca - common speak of the time
Mixture of certain languages
Opera was THE THING - most attended thing of classical music
Still is today
Handel - Late Baroque Era
Born same time as Bach, in central Germany
Resided in Italy, got attention from the Hanover family
Became Kapellmeister - Master of the Chapel
Visited England to expand his career, spent most of his life there, career prospered
Introduced Italian opera there
Handel: Recitative and aria, “Fammi combattere” (“Go bid me combat”) from Orlando
Orlando is soldier
Princess Angelica - in love with someone else
Orlando driven to madness because he loves her so much
Very complicated love story
Characters over the top - like baroque paintings
Structure for aria
Da capo - THE HEAD, the beginning
Play until the fine
Big contrast is usually major to minor mode - A to B section
Jean-Phillippe Rameau
Discovered his gift for music at age 40
find more resources at
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