Music 15


The way music is organized; the architecture of a work based on repetition, contrast, and variation. Example: The Nutcracker (ABA)

Historical Style Periods

A period of time during which historians perceiver certain unifying stylistic and aesthetic characteristics in the art, music, and literature of a certain culture. A time where historians saw things that fit together. Examples: Middle Ages 476-1450, Renaissance 1450-1600, Baroque Era 1600-1750, Classical Era 1750-1827, Romantic Era


The guiding principles of artistic beauty and taste. The idea of what people like or what looks good.


Church related; most music from the Middle Ages. (The Catholic Church) Example: Alleluia composed by Hildegard


Not religious/church related. Example: Sumer is icumen in composer anonymous


Holy Roman Emperor wanted to standardize religion practices and music. Made sure Catholic ceremony was the same everywhere.


The texts used in the service are the same in each church. Consolidate religious practice (Catholic Church)- everyone the same referring to the music

Gregorian Chant

Used in church service and in monasteries. The earliest preserved western musical tradition; mostly anonymous works. It is a sung prayer. Example: Alleluia composed by Hildegard


A term describing a particular category of works; based on common characteristics (form, style, purpose, musical forces). Specific and have a lot to do with what's going on in the music, not what it sounds like. Examples: Gregorian chant, round, motet

Pope Gregory I

Inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down the chants; the bird whispered in his ear


One sound, like chants, whether it is sung or played by one person or many. Example: Any chant

Text Setting

Syllabic (one pitch per syllable), melismatic (many pitches per syllable), and melisma (a vowel that stretches out over many different pitches


One pitch per syllable (example: Happy Birthday)


Many pitches per syllable (example: Alleluia)


Spending a lot of time on each vowel; spread out

Hildegard Von Bingen

First known female composer; founder of an abbey in Bingen, Germany. Composer, poet, and scientist. Known as a prophet for her visions, possibly migranes


Many sounds at once. More than one music line going at one time. Multiple melodies simultaneously. Two types: 1. Two or more different types or 2. Same melody, but at different times "imitative polyphony

Imitative Polyphony

Same melody, but staggered entrances. Sometimes all four voices are independent (other times voices are treated in pairs)


Each voice enters in succession with the same melody. A type of imitative polyphony; for a cappella voices. Example: Row Row Row your boat


Female voice; the highest


Female voice; the lowest


Male voice; the highest


Male voice; the middle


Male voice; the lowest


Same rhythm, more than one line of music happening at once, but there are different parts


A "rebirth" of learning and innovation (no growth/more about survival). 1453- Fall of Constantinople, increased interest in Ancient Greece and Rome. Rise in humanism.


Increased interest toward life and human values, as apposed to the Medieval focus on religion and the afterlife. People can shape their own destiny and can focus on life now, instead of after death.

Josquin des Prez

Leading composer of the early parts of the Renaissance. Born in France, but moved to Italy because there was a lot for new into there. Sang in the choir at the Sistine Chapel. Wrote both secular and sacred works.


A type of sacred polyphonic a cappella work that was popular in the Renaissance. Used in both church services or as devotional outside of church.


Protestant Reformation- early 1500s. Reaction to corruption in Catholic Church. The Catholic's Church response to Martin Luther (an attempt to reform within the church)

Council of Trent

Group of about 255 clergy; established new policies for the church

Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina

Saved polyphony. Born in Palestrina, Italy. Worked in the Vatican for different Popes. Famous for a more conservative, restrained style of polyphony. Very well known for his famous masses


The musical (a cappella usually) setting of the ordinaries (fixed portion that does not ever change in mass) from the mass


Popular secular genre from 1520s to 1620s. Started in Italy, later migrated to England. Popular with wealthy amateurs as a participatory activity. Only 3-7 minutes long. Polyphony

A Cappella

Singing without instrumental background

Word Painting

The intentional use of musical gestures in a work that in some way reflect the literal or figurative meaning of a word or phrase of the lyrics. Music imitates what happens in the text; Example: MADRIGAL

Jacques Arcadelt

Worked in Italy (Florence and Rome). Wrote 250 madrigals. His 1st book of madrigals was the most widely reprinted collection of the time.

John Farmer

Active in both Dublin and London. Most famous for Fair Phyllis


A music system in which all the pitches in a musical work are related to one another in a hierarchy and to a home pitch (called the "tonic"); used in most Western art music from c. 1600 to c. 1900. All pitches are related to each other and a home pitch; set of rules or guidelines in which music is composed- makes you feel a certain way


The home pitch


Happier" sounding; a type of tonality


Sadder" sounding

Baroque Era

1600 → Birth of opera, 1750 → Death of Bach. Self-expression; drama; emotion; a lot of detail. Greater use of musical instruments. More complex harmonies; more dissonance

Ottaviano Petrucci

An Italian printer during the Renaissance (secular music). Published music and books of music


Melody plus non-melodic accompaniment. Melody= main tune, usually singer. Accompaniment= Supportive harmonies, subordinate to melody

Basso Continuo

A grouping containing at least one chordal instrument and a bass instrument; generally used as the core of a larger ensemble


A play or dramatic presentation set to music. Has a plot, actors, and it's staged. Secular; 1-4 hours


A song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, generally expressing intense emotion; found in operas, cantatas, and oratorios. Expresses intense emotions.


A style of vocal music (singing that sounds more like dialogue than a "song") in between song and ordinary speech which is commonly employed in the dialogue section of opera, cantata, and oratorio.

George Frideric Handel

Born in Germany, trained in Italy. Internationally famous during his lifetime. Lived the last 50 years of his life in London. Best known for his Operas (Italian) and Oratorios (English)

Da Capo Aria

A type of aria which is organized in three parts (ABA'); a repetition of the first section with elaborations (often improvised)


Sacred substitute for opera; 2-4 hours. Un-staged: no costumes, sets, or acting. Often performed in a theater. Same "ingredients" as opera. Chorus plays a bigger role. During Lent. Example: "Rejoice Greatly" composed by Handel


A short recurring instrumental passage often found in both Baroque arias and concertos. Example: "Rejoice Greatly" composed by Handel


Characteristic sound that distinguishes one voice or instrument from another

Johann Sebastian Bach

Born in central Germany and never left. Work relatively close together. Both a sacred and secular composer. Over 200 church cantatas; a lot of keyboard music. No operas. Not well known during his lifetime.


A form in which one or more melodic themes are developed through carefully controlled imitative polyphony.


The melody


Any section without the subject


Catholic Church then Luther breaks off and forms the Lutheran church

Martin Luther

Headed up a reform of the worship service


German hymn tune in the Lutheran tradition (Protestant); in the vernacular (own language). Integral education about biblical texts; united the congregation. The cantata has a chorale and it sets it apart

Sacred Cantata

Developed in c. 1700 as part of the Lutheran service. Based on a chorale melody. Used as a central part of church services. Multiple movements: arias, recitatives, choruses, duets, and chorales. Between 15-30 minutes long

Dance Suite

A multi-movement instrumental work made up of a series of contrasting movements named after courtly dances; most common during the Baroque era. Purpose: entertainment (became stylized); not dancing

King George I

Handel's Water Music was created for a special performance for him

Program Music

Instrumental music which is endowed with literary or pictorial associations, typically indicated by the work's title or in a description provided by the composer. Tells a story; indicated by title or description


a multi-movement work for orchesta and soloist. A good example is Vivaldi's Spring. Became popular in the Baroque period and highlighted Baroque trends towards homophony and virtosity.

Antonio Vivaldi

(Composer) Italian- born in Venice, Italy. Catholic priest (red priest #ginger). Father was a violinist, taught him how to play. Wrote over 500 concertos (to highlight himself). Taught at an orphanage for girls.

Ospedale della Peita

Orphanage for girls, played in orchestras to raise money. Vilvaldi had to write to concertos a month.

Ritornello form

Alternates between ritornellos (entire orchestra) and episodes (features soloists)


Bowed strings (4) Violin, alto viola, cello, double bass ← largest and lowest.


French horn (alto), trumpet (highest of the brass, you have to make a buzzing noise on the mouth piece, used as an accent piece for war or hunting)


Flute and reed instruments. They produce sound differently. Have holes throughout


Some based on a keyboard and others where you hit. Very diverse group


Playing the instrument with the bow


Plucking the strings of the instrument


Musical idea used as a basic building block in the construction of a composition. Basic idea; musical building block in the structure of a composition. Like a melody, but shorter


A short melodic or rhythmic unit; a small fragment of a theme. If theme is a sentence, motive is like a work. Smaller unit

Sonata-allegro form

A detailed organizational scheme for a movement of instrumental music. Misleading term: not just in sonatas, not always allegro tempo. Usually found in the first movements (fast)

Franz Joseph Haydn

symphonies, many operas, string quartets. Visited London as a celebrity composer in 1790s.

String quartet

A type of chamber music ensemble: two violins, viola, cello. An intimate genre ("salon music") Example: String Quartet Op. 76, no. 3, "Emperor," movement ii