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MUSIC THROUGH THE AGES MEDIEVAL MUSIC (800-1450) Church Music (Religious) Secular Music (Non Religious) This music consisted of songs. These songs were single line tunes usually accompanied by medieval instruments i.e. harp, fiddle, tabor (a drum). One style of singing used in both secular and church music was MELISMA. PLAINCHANT/SONG – Single line melody sung in latin by Monks. It was A CAPPELLA and MODAL (not major or minor). It had free rhythm (no time signatures or bar lines). RENAISSANCE MUSIC (1450-1600) Renaissance means ‘rebirth’. Composers of this period began to take a greater interest in writing secular music (non-religious) and instrumental music. MADRIGAL – The madrigal is a contrapuntal (many parts played/sung at the same time, moving in different directions) vocal piece which was usually secular. They were through-composed, and can have a fa-la-la refrain. BAROQUE MUSIC (1600-1750) During this period the system of modes finally fell away. Composers started to sharpen and flatten notes. The major and minor key system was finally established. ORATORIO – A work based on a sacred story (usually from the bible). It included recitatives, arias, and chorus. RECITATIVE – A type of speech-like singing, used in operas and oratorios. Always sung before an aria. ARIA – A song from an opera, musical, and oratorio. CANTATA – A work for soloists and chorus accompanied by an orchestra and continuo – like a miniature oratorio. FUGUE – A contrapuntal piece based on the idea of imitation. Usually in 3 or 4 parts. The entire piece grows from a single fairly brief tune called a subject. CHORALE – A German hymn tune. THE CLASSICAL PERIOD (1750-1810) This is a fairly brief period and features music of Haydn, Mozart, and the earlier compositions of Beethoven. MUSIC FOR PIANO During the Classical period music for instruments became more important than music for voices. Unlike a harpsichord, the piano could convey different expressions through loud and soft, and various playing techniques (legato/staccato). ALBERTI BASS – This consisted of simple broken chords repeated in the left hand, keeping the music moving and supporting the melody. SONATA – A work in several movements for one or two instruments. E.g. piano or violin and piano. THE CLASSICAL PERIOD (1750-1810) THE ORCHESTRA The orchestra had now started to grow. An orchestra at the end of the 18th Century included: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 Kettle drums, strings SYMPHONY – A piece of music for orchestra in 4 movements. CONCERTO – A piece in 3 movements featuring a solo instrument and orchestra. STRING QUARTET – Music written for: 2 Violins Viola Cello THE ROMANTIC PERIOD (1810-1910) The music of the Romantic period had a more powerful and intense expression of emotions. Often the inspiration behind a composition was sparked by a painting or a book or a poem. THE ORCHESTRA – had increased in size. The brass section was now fully developed and brass instruments had valves introduced. PROGRAMME MUSIC – Music which ‘tells a story’ or is in some way descriptive – conjures up pictures in the mind of the listener. THE 20TH CENTURY (1900 onwards) Music in the 20th century is largely one of exploration and experiment, leading to new ideas, techniques and sounds. MICROTONE – The smallest interval in music. ATONAL – Music that is not in any key. MINIMALIST – A form of composition where the use of harmony, rhythm, melody and instrumentation is limited. ALEATORIC – Music which involves an element of chance or unpredictability. SPRECHGESANG – Atonal, German 20th Century singing. IMPRESSIONISM – This music sounds dreamy and is composed using the whole-tone scale. DEBUSSY is one of the most famous impressionist composers.