April_3-_april_5 - Music 005 Notes April 3, 2007 What is...

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Music 005 Notes April 3, 2007 What is opera? The roots of opera A reaction against the overly complicated emotionally detached music of the late renaissance Aristocratic humanists in Italy wanted to revive the powerful music of the ancient Greece The first opera: Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1608) o Homophony speech-like vocal melody o Expressive use of dissonance o Strange harmonic shifts The Building Blocks of Opera: recitative and aria Recitative o Speech like rhythms o Vocal line follows the normal inflections of speech o Sparse, simple accompaniment Aria o The self-contained piece for solo voice and orchestra (that ism a song, but one that is part of the drama) o A beautiful, memorable melody o Elaborate accompaniment (or at least more elaborate than what we find in recitative Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro (1786) In Italian, although composed for Vienna An opera buffa : comic, with some serious elements (class issues, for example) o Class issues; the Count makes the Countless angry by chasing his servant Figaro’s fiancé (Susanna) o Sexual issues: Cherubino, the sex-crazed adolescent page as the embodiment of a drive that motivates all of the characters “You Know what love is” (“Voiche sapete”) (3-20) An aria for Cherubino, who is in desperate need of a girlfriend At first, the music sounds chaste and pure: o Elegant, balanced phrases o Simple homophonic textures o “sweet” chromaticisim Then it becomes not so pure (1.54) o Short, breathless phrases
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2008 for the course MUSIC 005 taught by Professor Charlesyoumans during the Spring '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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April_3-_april_5 - Music 005 Notes April 3, 2007 What is...

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