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Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah

1) How is music (melody, rhythm, harmony, and/or instrumental accompaniment) used to compliment the words and actions in the following:
a)Jannequin's "Song of the Birds" (Chant Des Oiseaux)
b)Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah
c)Schubert's "Elkonig"
d)Berg's "Wozzeck"

2) What musical elements (both melody, harmony and accompaniment) support the words and help to heighten the affect of the words in the above four pieces?

3)How does the use of words and music evolve through time from the Renaissance to the 20th century?

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Since we are not allowed to write assignments directly for anyone (even if you may not be a student), I will help you understand each term as well as assisting you to apply those terms when you will be listening to each one of these examples more intently later. Because this assignment came in short notice (since yesterday), I will address these musical terms as according to Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" because I know it from the top of my head without having to browse the scores. There isn't time to address these terms according to actual measure numbers because you did not provdie me enough time to check any scores out.

As well, with the amount you are bidding, I will only have sufficient time for helping you to define these terms and applying them all to one example, and that is Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah. I hope you understand where I am coming from with time issues, but I also hope these definitions will further help you complete this assignment without much hassle.

Without much lecturing, let's begin this journey of analyzing music. First of all, melody is what the top voice out of (all four) does in a choral piece. The soprani (group of highest sounding female singers) sing the melody of the Hallelujah Chorus. Rhythm has to do with the beats that drive the music; without rhythm, music won't be music at all. Harmony has to do with the result produced when tones are sounded simultaneously. (Because this definition includes "tones", I will also define "tone" for you: "the quality of sound of a voice or instrument". Last but not least from this first question, "instrumental accompaniment" is of course the orchestra that accompanies the choir that sings the entire chorus.

Now that I have identified and defined these words for you, I can help you address the first question, "how is music used to compliment the words and actions in Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' should be quite easy to grasp if you would just spend some time listening to its entirety on Youtube.com. For one, music is used to compliment the words in this piece has to do with the fact that this piece was meant to be written for a large choir to sing. Music in the orchestral background is significantly important to the choir and voice versa; without one or the other, it would sound nothing like what Handel wanted to have this piece to sound like at all. The music is originally written in the key of D major (two sharps: f and c); and the main chords as well as chord progression of: I-IV-V-I is utilized throughout. The I chord is the first chord in D major; it's comprised of the following notes: D, F#, and A. The IV chord is comprised of the 4th chord within this key: G major chord which comprised of the notes: G, B, and D. The V chord is likewise, the 5th chord of the D major scale: this chord consists of the following notes: A, C#, and E (the A major chord), then it goes back to the tonic again (first chord). Throughout this piece, you will be able to find all of these chords constently utilized.

All these pieces of information are directly from my own musical training as I have taught this piece from the piano version as well myself aside from having studied the choral score in the past. This should help you ...

Solution Summary

Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah is discussed.

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