Over the Rainbow - Analysis of form and emotional impact
1. Listen to Somewhere over the Rainbow Youtube: http://www.youtube.co m/watch?
What is the form of this piece? What elements that create form are used to produce this work? What emotional impact is created by the use of these techniques?
2. Listen to the Kyrie from Palestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass.
The Catholic Church was staunchly opposed to polyphony during mass and tried to eliminate it during the Council of Trent (1545-1563). This work is considered the height of clarity and the model for the mass during the Renaissance period. Do you think that polyphony detracts from the intention of the music (religious contemplation) or should the church have reverted to the monophonic Gregorian Chant?
3. Listen to Pachebel Canon in D.
The predominant texture of instrumental music of the Baroque was polyphonic. This work is an example of the use of the ground bass or ostinato (also used in Purcell’s Dido’s Lament). The texture of vocal music, especially in opera, during this time was homophonic. What do you think accounts for this discrepancy?
4. Listen to Handel Every Valley from The Messiah
This is from Handel’s oratorio The Messiah. What characteristics does this example share with opera and cantatas? How is it different from those genres? How would one know what type of work a song came from if there were no visual cues?
5. Listen to the 1st Movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
Beethoven’s work demonstrates many of the characteristics of the Classical period. This time was a period in which form and design were critical. What elements do you hear that would identify this as a work from the Classical period? How does knowing form (Sonata) affect your enjoyment of the piece?
6. Listen to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor. Op. 13 (Pathetique)
Beethoven is considered by many historians to be a composer of the Romantic, rather than the Classical, Period. Others consider him a bridge between the two periods. Based on your reading and listening, what period do you think that this piece belongs and why? Support your opinion with examples and research.
7. Listen to Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz
One of the characteristics of Romantics was a fascination with the bizarre and the occult. Besides the title of this work, how does Liszt portray images of the Devil or Hell? In his time, Liszt was controversial. People considered much of his music vulgar and bombastic. Do you hear that in this example or has the passage of time and twentieth century music lessened the shock value of this Romantic composer?
8. Listen to Mussorgsky’s Hut of the Baba Yaga and Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition
This is a classic example of both program music and nationalism. The work describes a painting of Russian artist Victor Hartmann of a traditional Russian folk character, the Baba Yaga. She is a witch who lives in a hut set on chicken’s feet. She flies around looking to capture young children. The Great Gate was designed by Hartmann as an entrance to the city of Kiev but was never constructed. Look these images up to see Hartmann’s original work. How successful do you believe Mussorgsky was in conveying both of these ideals? What elements lend assistance in making the listener believe he/she is able to see the images?
1. Over the Rainbow (1939) is a form of ballad composed by Harold Arlen and the lyrics was written by Yip Harburg. The main elements to produce this work can be seen with the use of standard jazz voicings of (ii) (v) (i). The song was created at the time when the Jews in Europe were coming under increased hostility. The emotional impact relates to the time when their freedom was taken away and made them feel isolated or trapped. The song gives the hope that the bad times will be over one day.
This song provided optimism to the Jewish people to help them through Holocaust. The lyrics “Chimney tops” also relates to the horrors Holocaust. “There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby” relates to Jews dreaming the homeland for their people. This dream was fulfilled after the nation of Israel was born in 1948. This piece acts as a testament to the darkest days in the history (Christians United for Israel, 2015).
2. Church has always insisted on crating beautiful ancient melodies known as Gregorian Chant. This has been given an honorary status in the liturgy, and a place which cannot be compromised by other styles or types of music. However, in the recent times few individuals have payed heed to this wise commendation (Ewtn.com, 2018).
In my opinion polyphony detracts from the intention of the music. This is mainly due to three reasons. Firstly, due to the widespread loss of prayerfulness, sacredness, silence and celebration in the liturgy itself. Secondly, Catholics conceive that there is a shift of focus of atoning sacrifice on the cavalry to community gathered to celebrate. Thirdly, the humanistic notion pertaining to focus of worship has brought about a false sense of participation means as per congregational terms (Van Kampen, 2017).
3. The texture of vocal music, particularly in opera was homophonic. However, Pachebel Canon in D is an example of music consisting of both homophonic and polyphonic texture which is evident with the use of a ground bass or ostinato. In most sections of the song it can be clearly seen that the music is created with independent melodies at same time.
The composition has used a large bass lute, a harpsichord, three violins and a violoncello though, it has predominantly used polyphonic texture. This is the main reason of discrepancy. For instance, the piece from 0:01-0:12 seconds, bass lute, violoncello and harpsichord are playing. At 0:13 seconds the first violin creates the first melody and this melody remains homophonic (complying with opera music) until 1:22 seconds. However, after 1:22 seconds the music transcends to a polyphonic texture.
4. German born Handel started living in England after 1712. This led him to increasingly move away from the operas which had secured its reputation on the chorus works which was in more popular in demand. In this song Handel uses cantus firmus (pre-existing melody of polyphonic composition) during the long-repeated notes. The differentiating nature of the genre can be traced especially with the illustration of God's speech and majesty appearing in single voices and then after a long rest, appearing in single voice. This was concluded with the movement in the affirmative harmony. For instance, this can be seen in the verse of “mouth of the Lord has spoken it”. Moreover, in the first section of the song there is sense of secular joy from which one may know about the type of work a song came from even if there were no visual cues.
Polyphony in Catholic Church music - Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass
5. 1st Movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6 complies to the composition of four typical symphonies of classical era. However, unlike the tradition four symphonies this song has also included an extra symphony to add more color to its composition. The use of classical characteristics is apparent with (I) Allegro ma non troppo, (II) Andante molto mosso, (III) Allegro and (IV) Allegro.
The knowing form is useful for knowing about the extensive use of motifs. For instance, in (II) Andante molto mosso the 12/8 in the key of Bb is the subdominant of the main key of the work. Moreover, in the final section knowing about the sonata rondo form is seen to be conducive in the tonic key during the beginning of the development as well as exposition (Fifield, 2016).
6. Sonata Pathétique or “Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13”, which was written in 1798 and published in 1799. There has been prominent debate associated to whether or not the Pathétique has been inspired from piano sonata K. 457 due to similar movements in the composition, which is a composition from 1784.
The second most important debate pertaining to the era of the song composition can be directly related to spacious second movement of Mozart's sonata “Adagio cantabile”. However, the differentiating time period of the song can be directly related Thorburn major difference pertaining to unique motif compared to Haydn or Mozart’s creation (Cheng, 2017).
7. The piece shows that Listz lorded the piano like a devil. This relates to ascription of diabolical powers related to supremacy directly linked to devil or hell. In case one is not distracted from riot of different type faces, then there is much knowledge to be extracted from the cover of Mephisto Waltz.
The orchestral and piano composition are not exactly the same and there has been number of signi?cant differences between the two that go beyond the practical possibilities when condensing a large orchestral score into something which two hands can play. The passage of time and twentieth century music lessened the shock value of this Romantic composer is evident from the theoretical accounts taken from the composition and performance characteristics of the songs. In addition to this the song has been also able to extract the various types of the other factors which are seen to be in close relation to the performance and compositional aspects of the song (Kim, 2015).
8. Pictures at an Exhibition is identified as one of the most famous pieces by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874. As the song was composed in the late nineteenth-century, this has been able to picture heightened nationalism in Russia. The composition of the various types of the musical illustrations has related to 'Peepshows' and 'Savishnas' who were related to chicks (Mrázek, 2017).
The program music is also evident with symmetrical music form and naturalistic word setting in the vocal music. I also found that in most excerpts of the song is relied on programmatic basis which adds to the foundation of musical depictions of the drawing by Hatmann (Elder, 2017).
Cheng, Y. (2017). Analysis of the Third Movement of Beethoven Piano Sonata Op. 13, Pathetique.
Christians United for Israel. (2015). The powerful message behind 'Over the Rainbow'. [online] Available at: https://www.cufi.org.uk/spotlight/the-powerful-message-behind-over-the-rainbow/ [Accessed 8 Dec. 2018].
Elder, D. W. (2017). Modest Mussorgsky and the Russian Style During the Romantic Era.
Ewtn.com. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/REFLECT.TXT [Accessed 8 Dec. 2018].
Fifield, C. (2016). The German symphony between Beethoven and Brahms: the fall and rise of a genre. Routledge.
Kim, Y. S. (2015). Dance Based Music on Piano (Doctoral dissertation).
Mrázek, R. (2017). A certain age: Colonial Jakarta through the memories of its intellectuals. Duke University Press.
Van Kampen, D. (2017). The Rhythm of Gregorian Chant: An Analysis and an Empirical Investigation. Journal of Music Research Online, 8.
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