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Terms in this set (11)
What is the role that Messiaen's faith played in his music?
Marked by his profound catholic faith— "Music should communicate lofty sentiments, and in particular, the loftiest of all, the religious sentiments exalted by the theology and truths of the Catholic faith."
Wanted to compose for what he called "truth." spiritual, music which may be an act of faith, that touches upon all subjects and God. Active church musician.
How does Burkholder describe the general character of Messian's music?
His music is about "ecstatic contemplation. Works create a feeling of stasis, an experience of concentrated meditation."
Juxtaposes static ideas
What does Messiaen write about the importance of melody? From what sources did he draw his melodic ideas
"Supremacy to melody! The noblest element of music, may melody be the principal aim of our investigation."
Uses folk song, Hindu rages, plainchants, birdsong are models for his music.
What is meant by the term "modes of limited transposition?" What do all these scales have in common, and how does the use of harmonies built on such scales create a sense of stasis in Messiaen's music?
He liked to scales that could only be transposed a small amount of times (whole tone, octatonic, his specific scale, etc)
Do not pull towards resolution. Avoid the sense of moving forward, and harmonies often repeat over and over. No leading tone
How did Messiaen think of rhythm, and what kinds of rhythms did he prefer?
A-metrical rhythms, thought in terms of duration not meter. Prime numbers. Meter is a human-imposed order, reflecting dance and human heartbeat, duration is related to the unfolding of time, ruled by the divine.
What is meant by "rhythms with added values," and what was the purpose of such rhythms?
Take a rhythmic value and add a note, rest, or dot to it that alters the rhythm and makes it completely a-metrical.
How do patterns in the "Liturgie de cristal" movement of the Quatour pour la fin du temps suggest those of talea and color patterns found in Medieval isorhythmic motets?
"Liturgie de cristal," you don't hear the rhythms of the cello and piano parts as syncopated rhythms related to bar lines, but as patterns of longer and shorter durations - both parts have patterns reminiscent of the medieval talea which overlap with pitch and chord patterns suggestive of a color. 15 durations in the cello part, 17 in the piano
What are non-retrogradable rhythms, and why did Messiaen like to use them?
Palindrome of rhythms. There is symmetry in everything with a central value free and common to both groups.
What is the title of Messian's most famous orchestral work? What are some interesting features of the work's instrumentation?
Turangalila Symphonie: Huge work in 10 movements, commissioned by Koussevitzky Foundation, comes from a combination of two Sanskrit words— signifies a love of songs a hymn of time, joy, movement, and rhythm.
What is the Ondes Martenot?
An early electronic instrument.
What was the title of Messian's only opera?
St. Francois d'Assie: 110 musicians, 10 part 150 voice chorus, lasts over 4 hours.
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