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From Facts to Interpretation and Meaning: Understanding Monteverdi's L'Orfeo For Monday we're gong to analyze the Monteverdi much

as we did the Byrd and the Holst, by examining the dissonance treatment. This amounts to discovering the musical facts. On Monday and Wednesday we will interpret these facts in relation to the story - the narrative; the lyrics. We will focus on the dynamics of stability and in instability. Where would you expect to find stability and strict control of dissonance, and where would you expect to find the opposite? But: first things first: 1) p. 86: What kinds of dissonances are used in the Toccata? Write one or two sentences directly onto p. 86. 2) p. 96, Prologo: What kinds of dissonances are used in the Toccata? Focus on the top two voices and the bass - as if 3-voice counterpoint, like the Byrd. Write one or two sentences directly onto p. 87. 3) p. 87, La Musica's recitative: Dissonances? (There's one new category.) 4) pp. 88-89, Orfeo's 1st Lament: - Identify all of the dissonances in the melody and indicate any exceptions to the strict treatment that we've been studying and that Monteverdi followed on pp. 8687: LFD, LTD, SBD, etc. (leap from diss., leap to diss., strong-beat diss.) - Indicate any exceptions to the strict treatment of melodic contour that we've been studying, especially leaps (which are the acceptable leaps?) and chromaticism (e.g., G-G#). Feel free to begin thinking about the correlation between dissonance treatment and the dramatic/emotional results, but we will do this together on Monday. Below are links to the music. Toccata, Prologo, and La Musica’s recitative: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=yxBT1pfVAKQ Shepherdess (blue dress at 0:30) brings the bad news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXqoLwYgXio&feature=related Orfeo's 1st Lament: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=UA0e3norlQc

and these notes are the dissonances. the entire Toccata is based on a single C major chord: Except for the Clarion. Contrapuntal Perspective: Since the bass in the Toccata never changes. they simultaneously make with the bass (P. E. and/or G. 2. etc. all of the voices use only C. remember that a P4 between upper voices is consonant if each note is consonant with the bass. Only the Clarino has notes that do not belong to a C major chord. and 3). In the Prologo.) Harmonic Answer: We will begin studying harmony (chords) next week. and N). you should find one exception. In Orfeo's 1st Lament you should find many exceptions. From a harmonic perspective.Supplemental Explanation Remember that you do not need to circle and label each individual dissonance in the Toccata. Alto. N. . any dissonances should result from the upper voices moving. In La Musica's excerpt you should find one or two additional exceptions. if I'm not mistaken. S. With this in mind. so that only the top voice (Clarino) is ever dissonant with the bass Any dissonances that the Clarino happens to make with the inner voices is not only less important. In the Toccata. but.). If you happen to find a dissonance type that we have not studied. since whatever kind of dissonance they make with an inner voice. Since I've received a couple of questions about the Toccata. let me offer two kinds of clarification. 5. or 3). with the assignment question in mind. (If you happen to be thinking of the P4 between the Clarino and the Vulgano. the Prologo. just as we found in the Byrd. these are also redundant. you should not find anything that we have not studied. Vulgano (the inner voices) is consonant with the bass (8. and La Musica's excerpt (Questions 1. You are looking for exceptions to the dissonance types that we have studied (anything other than P. you should find the following: • • each note of the Quinta. circle it and mark it with a question mark.