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Compare and contrast music - Essay Example

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This essay compares JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto 4 (First Movement – Allegro) and Joseph Haydn’s London Symphony (No.104 First Movement). These two pieces were chosen on account of the sharp differences between them in terms of style, texture, genre, period, etc. …
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Compare and contrast music

This "Compare and contrast music" outlines the comparison of JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto 4 (First Movement – Allegro) and Joseph Haydn’s London Symphony (No.104 First Movement). The most obvious difference between the two pieces is their musical style. JS Bach’s music is synonymous with the Baroque style, with a high contrapuntal texture. The parallel melody lines are tightly and finely woven in Bach’s music. This is evident in the first allegro of Brandenburg Concerto 4. The Brandenburg Concertos contain an assortment of pieces with varying styles. Some were courtly dances like the first concerto, whereas some others invoke a poignant romance like the sixth concerto. Concerto 4 is full of zestfulness and vivacity, particularly the Allegro. It contains many of typical features of Bach’s music, namely, precisely constructed harmonies, harmonic progression, polyphony and intricate part writing. The six concertos as a whole were conceived as experimentation in form. Conventionally the concerto forms identified a solo lead instrument and the other instruments were assigned the status of accompaniments. Such an arrangement is mostly evident in the works of two eminent contemporaries of Bach – George Frideric Handel and Antonio Vivaldi. But unlike Handel or Vivaldi, the musical texture of Bach is such that the distinction between ‘main’ and ‘accompanying’ instruments is constantly challenged. This is deduced from the fact that each melody line can exist on its own accord – they stand as perfectly whole compositions. ...
But unlike Handel or Vivaldi, the musical texture of Bach is such that the distinction between ‘main’ and ‘accompanying’ instruments is constantly challenged. (Kanny 2013) This is deduced from the fact that each melody line can exist on its own accord – they stand as perfectly whole compositions. When two such melodies were brought to harmony the music takes on an altogether new dimension. To express in common parlance the sum is much greater than the parts. The greatness of Bach lies in the fact that the parts are themselves complete and rich. This is very much the case in the Allegro of Brandenburg Concerto 4. Here, the flute and two Oboes work in counterpoint to the other, producing a rich and finely knit texture. The other feature of the Allegro in Brandenburg Concerto 4 is its beautifully crafted alternations of tempo. Joseph Haydn is the father of the Symphony. He popularized this form and made it his own. His more than 100 Symphonies composed over his lifetime stand testimony to this fact. The piece being perused for this comparative analysis is the first movement of his London Symphony (No.104). The instruments for which it is scored include two flutes, two clarinets in A, two bassoons, two horns in D and G. There are also two trumpets in D to go along with timpani and strings. The introduction begins with strings at a slow yet grandiose fashion, alternating between solemn and triumphant moods. Then the only theme of the movement is introduced. The strings play the dominant role in the theme, which is later transposed in A Major to the woodwinds. This is followed by a codetta. Later the theme is developed again with variation. The theme which was first expressed in D ... Read More
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