Opera

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Brittany Pacheco

Writing 3: Opera

Opera, starting out the Baroque period, stemmed from Humanism in the Renaissance era. Opera went back to wanting to make people have a emotional response to the music they were listening to through the musical devices that they used to write the music. They were becoming obsessed again with the Greek style of music however, they wanted to make it better and so they came up with some of their own new developments for example, one device they used was the stile rappresentativo. This is Italian for representational style. Stile rappresentativo was a style of singing similar to Italian monody that was then used in the very first operas. This style was used to move the plot of the opera along, it was not a full blown song however; it was more musical than normal speech. Musically the stile rappresentativo is a vocal line that gets to move freely over a basso continuo. This style eventually turns into our modern day recitative. Stemming off of the stile rappresentativo is monody which is just one voice singing with some type of accompaniment. This seems to be the basis for most of these early operas. Stemming off of both of the previous practices is the stile recitativo which is pretty much the exact same thing as the stile rappresentativo. The difference between these two styles is that the stile recitativo was more imitating natural speech inflections with music where the stile rappresentativo was not. Another development was known as prima practica, Italian for first practice. This referred to the style of the past, the ars perfecta or Renaissance polyphony. The pair to that is the seconda practica, Italian for second practice. This refers to the modern style of music that was used in the beginnings of opera. This practica was more dissonant than the prima practica and they used such terms to distinguish the two different styles. Credit for the seconda practica goes to Claudio Monteverdi who also wrote the first major opera....
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