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Study Guide

[MUAR 211] - Final Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (32 pages long)


Department
Music - Arts
Course Code
MUAR 211
Professor
Jacob Sagrans
Study Guide
Final

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McGill
MUAR 211
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Multiple choice, short answer, and fill in the blank portion based on terms (50% of the
mark for the exam) Be able to define each of the terms/people listed below in one sentence.
For people, you should know the approximate times and places in which they lived and
why they are significant in music history (e.g., “Claudio Monteverdi was an Italian
composer living in the early seventeenth century who played an important role in the
development of early opera”).
Ars Nova: A style that emerges in 14th century. Greater variety of note durations/rhythms is
possible, more flexibility in rhythm. Increasingly complex pieces, often with highly
mathematical structures and rhythms
Basso continuo: low instrument(s) playing lowest line + instrument(s) that can play
chords, used to accompany singers or higher-sounding instruments. Common basso
continuo instruments: cello, bassoon, double bass (playing lowest line); harpsichord, organ,
lute, harp (playing chords).
Castrato (plural: castrati): A man who had been castrated before puberty to retain high
pitch
Chant paraphrase: “Pange lingua” plainchant melody is present in all four parts, but it is
varied from the original. (extra notes added, etc.) More interesting and elaborated.
Chords: Grouping of simultaneous pitches that work well in combination. two or more
different notes sounding at the same time
Dynamics: (volume) Level of sound
Common Baroque instruments:
Cello: is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the bass of
violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin and viola.
Harpsichord: is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound
by plucking a string when a key is pressed. Played much like a piano, but strings are
plucked instead of hammered. Smaller and sober than piano, notes can’t be held for long
time and hard to vary volume. Percussive sound.
Lute: Glentle guiutar. The lute can refer generally to any string instrument having the
strings running in a plane parallel to the sound
Organ: Played much like piano, but has pipes instead of strings. Baroque organs smaller,
less technically complicated than modern organs.
Recorder: a different variety of flute is blown not at the side of the tube but though a
special mouthpiece at the end.
Violin: is a string instrument. Often called the most beautiful instrument in western music.
It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use.
Functional harmony: A set of rules governing the order in which composers strung chords
together (chords = two or more different notes sounding at the same time) General rule: a
piece starts with a particular chord and comes back to it at the end. The particular chord is
also usually emphasized throughout the piece.
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Genres
Chanson: Secular pieces with French texts, often about courtly love (very elevated,
sophisticated texts about love)
Chorale: German hymns that the whole congregation would have known/ recognized.
Church cantata: A multi- movement work with recitatives, arias, sections
For instruments only, and chorus. A German, lutheran version of oratorio. (on a smaller
scale)
Concerto (and ritornello form): Is a late baroque genre (early 18th century.) of
instrumental music that shows off the virtuosity /skills of a solo instrumentalist or a small
group of soloists. Orchestra plays simpler sections, soloists more complicated sections.
Ritornello, “little retun” in Italian. It is played by the orchestra (string+continuo) at start
and end. And also returns at some parts.
Dance suite (and binary form): Collection on of several short dances (meant for actual
dancing, or just for listening), all in the same key. Dances in suite be for solo instrument or
multiple instruments. Dances usually characterized by specific meters, rhythms, and tempos
(how fast/slow they are) Binary form: most common form for Baroque dances. Two
different sections: A and B, each section is repeated, form: a a b b. A section usually moves
from tonic to dominant chord, b section goes back to tonic chord
Madrigal: New secular, polyphonic genre in the Renaissance. Emerges in Italy around
1530. Lighter themes (love, often, sometimes quite risqué texts). The “pop music” of the
Renaissance. Often have lots of imitative counterpoint. Also often have passages with new
texture: homophony. Madrigal composers paid high attention to declamation (setting the
text with rhythms/melodies that approximate speech) and text painting (reflecting the
meaning of the words in music)
Mass: Major service in Christian church, held on Sundays/major holidays. Composers in
Renaissance regularly set five particular parts of the Mass text as polyphonic music
Opera (and recitative, aria, public opera, opera seria, and da capo aria): A drama
presented in music, with the characters speaking instead of talking. Most characteristic art
form of the baroque period. Recitative: Refers to speech-like recitation of text in opera
Recitative is used for dialogue, furthering the action of the opera. Aria: Individual
character pauses to reflect on action/their thoughts/feelings. Usually accompanied by full
orchestra (not just basso continuo). Longer, more interesting melodies than recitative.
Public opera: Performed in public opera houses, first in Venice, anyone who can afford
ticket can attend. Opera seria: Emerges in late 17th century in Italy . “Opera seria” =
“serious opera” in Italian. Text in Italian. Da capo aria: A type of aria common in the late
Baroque period. Has two contrasting musical ideas: A and B. B follows A, and then A
repeats again (form = ABA). “Da capo” = “from the head” [from the start] in Italian
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