Musical form is created using repetition, contrast, and variation. Repetition creates a sense of unity, and contrast offers variety. Variation provides both unity and variety by holding certain elements while changing others (for example, tempo).
When we listen to music from different stylistic periods, we can hear how different composers used certain elements and techniques in their compositions. As musical styles continue to change, it is difficult to determine the beginning and end of each stylistic period accurately.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of studying music is to distinguish one type of music from another. There are different types of music, and each of these styles may have several subtypes.
Let’s look at music styles and understand what makes one another. In particular, let’s deepen the music styles of the early music period and general practice period. Early music consisted of music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque era, while general practice included the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras.
Cantata comes from the Italian word cantare, which means “to sing.” In its early form, cantatas referred to a piece of music meant to be sung. Cantata originated in the early 17th century, but as with any musical form, it developed over the years.
Defined today, a cantata is a vocal work with multiple movements and instrumental accompaniment; It can be based on either a secular or sacred subject.
Originally, chamber music referred to a kind of classical music performed in a small space, such as a house or a palace room. The number of instruments used was small and without a conductor to guide the musicians.
Today, chamber music is performed very similarly in terms of the size of the venue and the number of instruments used.
Choral music refers to music sung by a choir. Each musical part is sung by two or more voices. The size of a choir varies; it can be as few as a dozen singers or so large that Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.8 in E Flat Major, also known as Symphony of a Thousand, can sing.
The suite is a kind of instrumental dance music that originated during the Renaissance and was further developed during the Baroque period. It consists of several movements or short pieces in the same key and functions as dance music or dinner music during social gatherings. More »
The fugue is a kind of polyphonic composition or composition technique based on a main theme (subject) and melodic lines ( counterpoint ) that follow the main theme. The fugue was presumably developed from the canon that appeared during the 13th century.
Also known as church music, it is music during worship or a religious ritual. It arose from the music performed in Jewish synagogues. In its early form, singers were accompanied by an organ and then adapted to a polyphonic style by 12th-century liturgical music.
Motet appeared in the year 1200 in Paris. It is a kind of polyphonic vocal music that uses rhythmic patterns. Early motets were both sacred and secular; Get involved in subjects like love, politics, and religion. It flourished until the 1700s, and today it is still used by the Catholic Church.
An opera is usually mentioned as a stage presentation or work that combines music, costumes, and scenery to tell a story. Most operas are sung, with little or no spoken lines. The word “opera” is an abbreviated word for the term “opera in musica.”
An oratorio is an elaborate composition for vocal soloists, choir, and orchestra; The narrative text is usually based on Scripture or Biblical stories but is non-liturgical. Although the oratorio is often about sacred subjects, it can also deal with semi-sacred subjects.
Plainchant, also called plainsong, is a form of medieval church music that involves chanting; It originated around 100 CE. Plainchant does not use any instrumental accompaniment. Instead, it uses words that are sung. It was the only kind of music allowed early in Christian churches.
Polyphony is a feature of Western music. In its early form, polyphony was based on squatter camps.
It began when singers began to improvise with parallel melodies, emphasizing fourth (e.g., C to F) and fifth (e.g., C to G) intervals. This was the beginning of polyphony, in which several musical lines were combined.
As singers continued to experiment with melodies, polyphony became more sophisticated and complex.
A round is a vocal piece in which different voices sing the same melody, on the same pitch, but the lines are sung consecutively.
An early example of a round is Sumer is icumen, a piece that is also an example of a six-voice polyphony. The children’s song row, row, row your boat is another example of a round.
A symphony often has 3 to 4 movements. The beginning is moderately fast, the next section is followed slowly by a minuet, and then a very quick conclusion.
Symphonies originate from Baroque symphonies. Still, composers such as Haydn (known as the Father of the Symphony) and Beethoven (whose famous work includes the “Ninth Symphony”) further developed and influenced this form of music.