Bach, Holborne & Haydn Comparison

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‘J.S. Bach had more in common with Holborne than he did with Haydn.’ Discuss using studied pieces.

Despite all coming from different periods, Bach’s piece does have a lot in common with Holborne’s Pavane and Galliard. For one thing, they both mainly have a contrapuntal texture and are for few instruments, whilst Haydn’s Symphony is, obviously, for a symphony orchestra. Both the Bach and the Holborne were intended to be played at home, whilst the Haydn would have been intended to be played in a concert hall. Holborne lived in a time when it was rare to state which instruments were being written for so the Bach and the Haydn are both written a lot more idiomatically, and they both used musical directions and dynamics, although in Bach’s case they were few. Haydn used melody-dominated homophony and Holborne used five-part polyphony that is mainly contrapuntal, whilst Bach used a variety of different textures. For most of the sarabande he uses a two-part texture, as well as using monophony, and chordal passages, for example in bar one, and the gigue mainly has a fugal texture. As all three are different it is difficult to compare which composer of Holborne and Haydn has more in common with Bach. This is also true when studying the structures of the pieces, in that they are all different, but Haydn’s sonata form is fairly similar to Bach’s binary form, in that binary form in two repeated sections, and sonata form is two contrasting sections with a repetition of the first section. Both pieces revolve around the tonic and the dominant key. The Holborne Pavane is in D major and the Galliard is in D minor; neither of which modulate. In modern times it is common to pick out the top line as the melody, but it was unlikely that Holborne intended for this to happen, as his Pavane and Galliard are both contrapuntal. This means that there is no obvious melody to listen out for, whereas the Bach and the Haydn both have one. Bach wrote his piece at...
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