‘And The Glory of The Lord’ from Messiah Essay Sample

‘And The Glory of The Lord’ from Messiah Pages
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TEXTURE:
There are alternates between homophonic and contrapuntal textures. For example in bars 11-14 there is homophonic melody. There are also a few short monophonic parts as well though. Throughout the whole piece vocal lines are often doubled with instruments, but it is usually at a different octave.

TONALITY:
There are major keys in use during the whole of ‘And the glory of the lord’ from Messiah by Handel. The piece begins and end on the key of A major. A section of the piece is played in E major (dominant key) and then when it reaches another section it modulates to B major (dominant of the dominant key)

STRUCTURE:
And the Glory of the Lord is built around four main motives; these short unique melodic (or rhythmic) idea.

These motives are throughout the whole piece of music. Handel wanted to state each idea as a single line. He then developed them is various ways. These four motives are:
1 – ‘And the glory of the lord’
This has two distinguishing features. The first three notes make a triad (A major). The second feature is a stepwise scale. First heard in bars 11-14 2 – ‘Shall be revealed’
This idea is built around using a two bar descending sequence. 3 – ‘And all flesh shall see it together’ First heard in bars 17-20
This is a repetitive idea. The reason it is repeated is to give the impression of a firm statement. First heard in bars 43-46 4 – ‘For the mouth of the lord hath spoken it’

This fourth line is made up of long dotted minims, which are then repeated. TO make sure this statement has lots of strength in it Handel doubles this part with tenors and basses. First heard in bars 51-57

RHYTHM
The time signature of the piece is ¾ the whole way through. There are long note values with motif D to highlight it and there is also use of hemiola, e.g. bars 9-10. The ending of the piece is complete silence followed by a sustained cadence which is quite typical for Handle to do. INSTRUMENTATION / RESOURCES

In this introduction there are just strings playing, until bar 11 when the alto, meaning that it is accompanied only by a continuo. This is piece is written for the strings soprano, alto, tenor and bass, the string parts frequently double the voices. During this the basses place the same as the cellos, but they play an octave lower for the effect.

HARMONY
All the voices are in harmony and there is no dissonance. At the end of the introduction there is a perfect cadence to confirm the change of the key signature. E.g.. In bars 37-38 there is a perfect cadence in E major. The piece ends in a plagal cadence so that it sounds like a striking amen.

MELODY
Each motif has a different melody, motif A, outlines the A major and ends with the last three notes of a rising A major scale, doing this makes the motif A seem very powerful. Motif B on the other hand has a smooth descending outline. Motif C is a repeated figure crossing the interval of E and A. Motif D is mostly the same pitch.

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