“Hallelujah Chorus” by George F. Handel
The Baroque era is a style or period of European music between the years of 1600 and 1750. The term Baroque was derived from a Portuguese word meaning “a pearl of irregular shape.” A well known piece during this period is the “Hallelujah Chorus” written by George F. Handel. This piece includes many elements such as the composer’s life and his accomplishments, composition, and personal reflection of the listener. A composer is a person who writes music in some type of musical notation allowing other to perform the music. The composer of “Hallelujah Chorus,” George Frideric Handel, was an important asset to the Baroque Period of music. He was born in Halle, Germany on February 3, 1685, and as a young boy he showed much talent in composing and playing the harpsichord and organ. His most monumental piece, “Messiah,” was written in 1741, in about three weeks. In 1759 Handel performed his final organ performance playing the “Messiah.” Eight days later he died and was buried at Westminster Abby with state honors. “Hallelujah Chorus” is a piece from the oratorio, “Messiah.” There are many different parts to “Hallelujah Chorus.” One part is the melody, which is a series of sounds that have a linear aspect to the music. You can hear the melody being moved around by the chorus from section to section, first you hear the sopranos, then you hear the tenors and basses, and finally the altos and tenors. Another aspect is harmony, which is the combination of sounds in a vertical aspect to the music. You can hear the harmony throughout the whole song when the chorus sings “Hallelujah” in multiple sections of the chorus which hit a range of different notes at the same time. “Hallelujah Chorus” has a polyphonic texture, meaning you can hear two independent melodies occurring at the same time. One is “Hallelujah” being sung by one group and “for the Lord God…” being sung by another. At the end of the chorus you can hear the trumpets enter...
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