Music

Words combined with music can be very powerful. In the following examples consider the impact of words upon music. We previously discussed “word painting” during the Renaissance, but using musical sounds to amplify words has continued through to today. Compare how the music (melody, rhythm, harmony, and/or instrumental accompaniment (or none) is used to compliment the words and actions in Jannequin’s “The Birds” (Chant Des Oiseaux), Handel’s “There were shepherds abiding in the field” from the oratorio Messiah, Schubert’s “Elkonig” and Berg’s “Wozzeck”? What musical elements (textures, rhythms, melodic lines, tonalities) help to heighten the effect of the words?
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