To heighten their dramatic effect composed with meter

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to heighten their dramatic effect; composed with meter and rhyme Henry Purcell : “the greatest of all English composers”; organist for king’s Chapel Royal Purcell “Dido & Aeneas” : first operas written in the English language; created for a private girls’ boarding school in the London suburb of Chelsea; nine solo parts save one (the role of Aenas); written for female voices; soldier-of-fortune Aenas seduces Dido, queen of Carthage but deserts her to fulfill his destiny – sailing on to found Rome; Dido felt betrayed; dies of a broken heart; libretto Ground bass : repeating bass provides a solid foundation on which the entire composition could be built Monteverdi “Orfeo” (1607): produced in Mantua; city-state in Italy; ruled by the Gonzaga family; Orfeo finds love in the form of the beautiful Euridice, a mortal; killed by a poisonous snake & carried off to Hades; Orfeo tries to save her & meets a boatman; must not turn around but does b/c he hears her; 14 different instruments; lots of trumpets for extra brilliance Orchestra : an ensemble of musicians, organized around a core of strings, with added woodwinds and brasses, playing under a leader Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga: spends $$$$ on the arts, esp music (lady sopranos (but ladies aren’t allowed on stage in Mantua); private performances instead; also courtesan singers of the Baroque (paid for sex); educated, singers; women only allowed on stage in certain areas & then have to have a connection to a man who makes them respectable (ex: Florence; b/c her dad is around & b/c her husband is a court musician) in contrast, composers got paid very little & late (Monteverdi got paid little – couldn’t quit job or else he’d be imprisoned) Recitative : simplest type of monody; musically heightened speech Mantua : Academy of the Lovestruck; sons of the aristocracy who theorized about music & the arts; son of the Duke Francisco; no actual artists or composers allowed!; put on a show & daddy sponsors; Duke sponsors Orfeo (1607) Alessandro Striggio : writes libretto (opera text); he’s a member of the Academy (Monteverdi is not) Orfeo & the lady problem: 1. Reduce role of women & placing emphasis on Orpheus 2. Employ men (Castrati – originates in church – usu boys or sang falsetto BUT voice changes (puberty) or you need several on a part (boy problem); Castrati originated as a means to save $$; favors voice as gift from God- twisted logic Castrati became increasingly popular over Baroque, as opera becomes more popular; eventually, as women are allowed on stage, Castrati remained popular, transitioning to heroic male roles Music of Orfeo Italians viewed speech & song as a continuum
[[speech (recitative) (arioso) song (aria)]] Recitative “A l’amare novella” : narrow range; conjunct motion; closer to the rhythm of speech; no ornamentation (nothing crazy) *** accompaniment: basso continuo ; chordal instrument & a reinforced bassline that underlies ALL baroque music; chordal instruments harpsichord, organ, lute, bassing + viola dagamba, - bass lute, - cello Symphony orchestra: 17 th century Italy & France Orchestra

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