Renaissance, medieval, baroque

Assignment #2: Medieval, Renaissance, & Baroque



Part I: Short answer, complete sentences please.


For questions 1-4:

This is a performance of Farmer’s Fair Phyllis, an English madrigal, sung by the King’s Singers.

1.     Is this a religious or secular work?

2.     What is the texture of this work from 0:15-0:40 (hint: does it seem like everyone is singing the same words at the same time)?

3.     Describe one example of word painting in this work.

4.     Name one difference in values between the Renaissance and the Medieval eras.

For questions 5-9:

This is a performance of “Va tacito” from Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare sung by Sarah Connolly as Caesar.

5.     This style of historical opera is known as “______ ________.”

6.     Is opera religious or secular?

7.     Is this an example of recitative or aria (hint: does it have the regular rhythms of a song)?

8.     What is the texture of this work (hint: who can you hear, not see)?

9.     The composer typically writes just the music for operas as they collaborate with the ___________, who writes the text.

For questions 10-13:

This is a performance of the Sanctus from Bach’s Mass in B minor by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

10.  Is this a religious or secular work?

11.  Based on your answer, what language is the text in?

12.  Why was religious music before the Baroque era mostly vocal?

13.  This is a Baroque Mass, as it was written by Bach in the Baroque era. When was the Mass standardized as a musical genre, and by who?

For questions 14-17:

This is a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for 4 Violins, performed by Ilya Gringolts, Julian Rachlin, Maxim Vengerov, Soyoung Yoon, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

14.  Describe the instrumentation of the orchestra.

15.  Describe the activity of the four soloists (pretend they are characters and talking/acting through music!).

16.  Is this a solo concerto or a concerto grosso? Why?

17.  How did composers approach instrumental music differently during the Baroque than in previous eras?

For questions 18-20:

This is a performance of “The Plague of Hailstones & Fire” from Handel’s Israel in Egypt by Apollo’s Fire and the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.

18.  Is this an opera or an oratorio? Why?

19.  What was the name of the theory that explored how different musical moods and techniques could directly influence listeners’ emotions?

20.  Name a trait of the Baroque that also applies to other art mediums, such as painting or architecture.


Part II: Music report. Choose 2 selections and write a mini-report on each, consisting of observations of both the music and the performance as well as your own opinions and comments. Include general impressions, but be as specific as you can; using timestamps to “guide” yourself through the piece is encouraged. For vocal music, please research any text and its translation so you get the full picture of the work. If there are instruments, see if you can find out what they are and how they relate to modern instruments. Lastly, make sure to note whether the work is religious or secular! 150-300 words each.


1.     La Morra performing Machaut’s Douce Dame Jolie:


2.     Choir of St. George’s Chapel performing Tallis’s If Ye Love Me (at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!):


3.     Thomas Dunford performing Dowland’s Frog Galliard:


4.     Ensemble La Main Harmonique performing Morley’s Now is the Month of Maying:


5.     Stefan Jackiw, Alexi Kenney, and A Far Cry performing Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, I. Vivace:


6.     Jakub Józef OrliÅ„ski and Il Pomo d’Oro performing “Lusinghiera mia speranza” from Handel’s Agrippina (this is an unstaged performance, so the singer is not in costume, but this way you can see the orchestra as well!):


7.     Augusta McKay Lodge and Voices of Music performing the 3rd movement, “Allegro,” of Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in A Minor Op. 3, No. 6:


8.     The Festspiel Orchester Göttingen performing “Hornpipe” from Handel’s Water Music:


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