Opera was no longer a luxury afforded only by the aristocracy, it was now open to the general public, who went to hear the beautiful arias in particular. The previous musical style had been quite simple. The arias in Cassini’s Eel Uneven Masque are characteristic of the style that was present at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Canine himself named them “Cantonese a us did aria”, which suggests a relationship between the poetry and the music. The poems are all strophic and they are set for solo voice along with a continuo accompaniment.
They have quite a lot of ornamentation. The strophic aria was common during the first half of the seventeenth century. The majority of them were In a recitative style but some of them made use of regular rhythmic patterns. Most arias from Venice before 1660 are in either triple time or a mixture of triple and duple, and they had four or more verses. The vast majority of them had a continuo accompaniment, along with instrumental riotousness between verses. These arias in which instruments would appear between verses or accompanied the voice were known as aria concentrate.
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They first appeared in the 1 ass’s and grew in popularity a little as the century went n, although they did not come into prominence until the time of the opera series. They tended to be accompanied by the strings and the continuo, sometimes with an added trumpet. In Italy especially, the aria became the supreme expression of musical style and development. During the first three quarters of the century, “Venetian opera became the catalyst for the development of Baroque musical styles” and by the end of the century, opera had become the most important form of musical expression all over Europe, including places such as Germany.
It was usual practice to have approximately twenty-four arias in an opera during the first half of the seventeenth century, but due to the public demand for arias, it was now common to have up to sixty arias in any given opera. Composers and librettists thus needed to respond to the demand for arias and recitatives. They rose to this challenge by writing their verses in such a way that made them more suitable for arias, and whenever the dialogue or the scene provided an opportunity, composers would write “aria-Like lyrical expansions”. 4 Strophic arias, in which a number of verses were sung to the same music, However, times were changing.
Previous to this, the focus of the aria had been on the Norms, and the music was composed to add dramatic effect to the lyrics. But now composers were becoming much more inventive with their own music. Their concern for the form of the music was beginning to outweigh their concern for the drama. They began to care less and less about the poetry and they were discovering purely musical ways to dramatist and define the aria. They became much more aware of Nor painting and of composing the music so that the theme would be evident. Thus the themes became much more substantial and original.
This became noticeable particularly around the sass’s. The previous triple time which had been favored, Nas now being replaced with common time. More and more frequently, the continuo Mould begin a theme, which would be repeated by the vocalist and then the two Mould engage in a simple form of counterpoint. However, sometimes it was the voice that began, and it would begin with a dominating fugue which the entire aria was then based on. This was known as motto aria and was common in the sass’s and the sass’s. Composers were beginning to feel that the strophic aria was too long.
They felt that it was sufficient to repeat particular lines of the poem a number of times, instead of having long verses. They now turned towards a different form of aria, Inch consisted of one strophe with an integrated musical repeat. The first and second half of the poem would have separate pieces of music, but then the first half Nas repeated again. This produced an ABA form, which came to be known as the dad capo aria. This form of aria became by far the most frequently used and by 1680 had gained a position of dominance, particularly in Venice, which was still the centre of peer.
It was the culmination of a long search for strong musical character and was perfect for musical drama, as although they tended to be quite short, each section Nas exactly the right length to sufficiently portray the emotion of the piece. The majority of arias during this time period were based on rhythms from the march, segue, serenade or minuets, although there were also others that were based on station bass patterns and instrumental retelling. Towards the end of the century, the ‘running bass’ accompaniment was also used, which consisted of eighth notes laded in a flowing movement.
When one is studying the development of the aria and the recitative from this period, there is one opera that cannot be overlooked. It is, of course, Poppa by Monteverdi. This opera marked a “definitive step… In the establishment of modern opera”6. Monteverdi shows strong evidence of being influenced by contemporary dramatic style. There is practically no sign of the chorus. Arias and recitatives, along Ninth madrigal style duets, make up the majority of the opera. He demonstrated through the music a strong sense of passion and drama.
He refused to confine myself to the typical rules and conventions of composers at the time. Instead, he focused himself fully on each dramatic spectacle and wrote the music accordingly. He employed the recitative as the main source of drama and emotion, with the aria simply sustaining the power that had already been portrayed through the recitative. The word ‘recitative’ literally means to recite’ and is essentially a form of sung dialogue. A rough form of recitative was around as early as 1626, but it only became clearly defined during the seventeenth century.
The general style of the recitative has en compared to Greek music, psalmists chant and the singing of poetry to standard formulas, as stated by Claude V. Papilla. However, it is like none of these, as it focuses strongly on the meaning of the poetry which it is attempting to convey. Before the year 1650, the recitative was employed to portray the moment of the most passion and emotion. However, throughout the course of the seventeenth century, the aria became more dominant and the recitative was used as a kind of prologue to set the scene.
It was based on choral harmony and controlled dissonance, and it allowed the natural rhythmic inflections and accentuation’s of speech. It’s magic was in the fact that it was at times free form and at times controlled by harmony and measured rhythm. It was Peer who came up with the idea to try freeing the voice from the accompaniment both rhythmically and harmonically, yet still retain a sense of musicality and coherence. He desperately wished to discover a compromise between the sustained, measured fluidness of song and the quick, natural inflections of speech. He employed word painting to portray particular emotions and feelings.
For example, if he wished to convey despair, he reached for a higher pitch, while if he Noshed to portray death or depression, he made use of the lower register. In comparison to this, Cassini’s version of the recitative was much sweeter in tone and they were often separated by arias. Monteverdi recitative closer to the style of Peril’s, as he focused on the natural speech inflections of the poems. The main pauses took place at irregular intervals of time, although he maintained a more continuous line and rhythm than Perl. He also chose many dissonant tones in order to better convey he emotion of the words.
This “harmonically diverse, melodically expressive”8 recitative gave way to a number of different conventions by the end of the seventeenth century. This carefully notated rhythmic form of recitative was replaced by a quicker form, which consisted mainly of quavers, with added semiquavers and crotchets occasionally. Recitatives were nearly always sung by a solo singer. There Nerve a few odd occasions, especially towards the end of the seventeenth century, in Inch recitatives in two parts could be found, but these were extremely rare and not at all common practice.
There were noticeable differences between the styles of recitative in Italy, France, Germany and England. The French form of recitative was based around loose, free rhythmic patterns, as it was modeled on the spoken theatre of the time. The Italian recitative was strongly accentuated at punctuation marks and had a less flowing melodic style than the French form. The German recitative was largely based on the historian, which involved chanting biblical text. Finally, in England, the recitative was closer to the arioso than it was to any of the other styles of recitative that were merging from the other countries.
Changes of mood and feeling through the striking harmony and rhythm. There were two particular types of recitative emerging, the recitative simple, later known as the recitative cosec and the recitative obbligato, later known as the recitative accompanist. The former was accompanied by a basso continuo and attempted to portray the piece as speech like as possible. The latter made use of other features, such as an orchestra to help dramatist particular moments and punctuate phrases. Ere orchestra tended to sustain chords or play scales and short melodic fugues.
In France, Lully was perfecting his own style of recitative. This also had two particular forms. The first was the rcitation simple, which involved shifting the meter between duple and triple time. The other form of recitative was the rcitation measure, which Nas a little bit more song like and had a measured, deliberate accompaniment. As Claude V. Papilla states, “consonant, rapid, speech like recitative delivered the exposition necessary to the presentation of the next attractions”, be it lyrical aria, chorus, or dance. The recitative became the method in which to convey the dialogue. E dryness of the recitative lent prominence to the arias. A good example of a typical opera from this time period was Glancing Felicia by Carlo Francesco Pollard. It consisted of a clearly separated recitative and aria, each of these following the established conventions. The dialogue is in plain recitative Introit Melissa or other such variations. We can witness the start of the aria through the shift to rhymed, steadily rhythmic verse, and the arias are almost always found at the end of scenes. In conclusion, I believe that the seventeenth century was a time of great change n music, particularly in opera.