. What is the difference between monophonic, homophonic and polyphonic?
Mono- unison melody. homo- harmonization. poly – multiple equal
Example: monophonic ‘Kyrie eleison’ Anonymous
Example: homophonic ‘Flow My Tears’ Dowland
Example: polyphonic ‘Agnus Dei’ Byrd
Who was Hildegard von Bingen?
Plainchant composer of middle ages
Example: ‘Kyrie eleison’
What is a chromatic scale.
A scale where all of the half steps in an octave are used.
Why are Mozart’s operas so important?
Combined opera seria w/ opera buffa (serious yet funny), some in German instead of Italian, address pressing social issues (class distinction) instead of mythology and heroism
What is word painting?
When the music tries to imitate the emotion, action, or natural sounds as described in the text
Example: ‘Flow my Tears’ Dowland
What are the two main types of song in opera?
Aria and recitative
Example: ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Dido and Aeneas, Purcell
What musical innovation defined the Renaissance as different from the Middle Ages
Use of instruments, secular song
What is tonality?
Chords and sonorities embodying dissonance pull toward resolution in
What is the difference between major scales and minor scales?
Major scales: half step from 3-4 and 7-8. Minor scales: half step between
2-3, 5-6, raised 7.
Name 3 major composers of the Baroque period
Bach, Handel, Vivaldi
What are the different styles present in the medieval period?
Chant, motet (early form), polyphony (early form)
Example: Chant – ‘Pange lingua’ Anonymous
Example: Polyphony – ‘Sumer is icumen in’ Anonymous
Name 2 new instruments from the Baroque period.
Piano and clarinet
What is texture?
The overall complexity of a piece of music. Usually refers to the number of and relationship between parts or lines of music: monophony, heterophony, polyphony, homophony.
Example: Pange lingua v. Zapotec Agnus Dei
How is basso continuo different from basso ostinato?
Continuo: begins at beginning, continues through to the end, often in more or less continuous eighth notes, driving steadily on, creating a foundation for what is put above it. (hearing the basso continuo is one of the surest ways to recognize baroque music) Ostinato: obstinate or repeating bass, aka a passacaglia.
Example: continuo – ‘Double Concerto in D Minor’ Bach
Example: ostinato – Dido’s Lament
What three things make the Classical period different from other stylistic periods?
Very short (1750 – 1830), focused on a single place (Vienna), largely the
creation of two men (Haydn and Mozart
What distinguished mid-Baroque from high-Baroque?
Mid: period where principles of new music (seconda prattica) spread
throughout Europe. High: fully matured style; perfection of major/minor tonality, use of chords, harmonic progression, sharp focus on outer voices instead of contrapuntal equality, purely instrumental music, opera.
What’s the difference between motet and madrigal
Motet: Renaissance, unaccompanied vocal work, usually in Latin, to a sacred-ish text. One line borrowed from plainchant with texted lines above it.
Madrigal: Renaissance, vocal, secular, often pastoral, sometimes bawdy.
Example: Motet – ‘Delporation sur la Mort de Johannes Ockeghem’
(chanson-motet b/c it is in French, not Latin)
Example: Madrigal – ‘Io mi son giovinetta’ Monteverdi
What is a ritornello?
A section that introduces a movement, then comes back over the course of
the piece to serve as a point of structural reference. Used most
prominently in the rondo (R-A-R-B-R)
What’s the difference between melismatic and syllabic?
Melismatic: multiple notes per syllable. Syllabic: one note per syllable.
Example: Melismatic – plainchant
Example: Syllabic – recitative
What are the three parts of sonata form?
Exposition, development, recapitulation
What is counterpoint?
The relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm but are harmonically interdependent (polyphony).
Example: ‘Fugue in c minor’ Bach
How many movements are in a symphony, and what are they?
1 – sonata
2 – slow
3 – minuet and trio
4 – sonata
Example: ‘Sonata in G Minor’ Mozart
Compare cantata w/ chorale?
Cantata: Baroque, accompanied vocal work, many possible languages, to a sacred text. Features solos, duets, and ensemble pieces. Chorale: Baroque, congregational work, mostly German, to a sacred text. Simple tune meant to be sung by entire congregation, in accordance with Protestant ideal of direct participation in worship
Example: Cantata – ‘Ein feste burg’ Bach
Example: Chorale –
What is a Picardy third?
A major tonic triad at the end of a minor phrase (raise the 3rd).
Example – final cadence of ‘Agnus Dei’ from Zapotec
Who wrote the first English opera, and what was it called?
Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell
Example – ‘Dido’s Lament’ Purcell