Essay Sample: Analysis of Musical Composition

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Wesleyan University
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"Hallelujah" Chorus from Messiah and "Thy hand, Belinda" (recitative) and "When I Am Laid in Earth" (aria) from Dido and Aeneas are the two main pieces that are analyzed in the study. The two pieces enable the listeners to ensure the proper examination of the various features of songs and the pieces. The major features analyzed in the two pieces include pitch, range, melody, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, harmony, texture, tone, monophonic, homophonic and the music genre.

Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah

Hallelujah chorus mainly acts as a celebration song. The song is very soothing and seems like a Christmas song. It is however developed in various sections that resemble the life the Christian messiah. The song illustrates the passion, triumphant nature and the death of the Messiah. The last part of the song also comprises of the judgment day and the impacts of eternal life to the Christians life. The song exhibits same movements identical to the different Italian operas. The song thus consists of both dramatic and emotional movements.

After listening to the song on three different occasions, the song draws many emotions. The song reminds me of the suffering the messiah had to experience just ensure the others would feel better. The messiah is a song that depicts the birth of the Christians messiah and the Christmas celebrated by many believers across the world. The song thus reminds me of the various sufferings an individual must experience to deliver others from the oppression. However, the song ensures that every listener of the song understands the primary reasons why Christians celebrate occasions like Christmas. The song thus provides the proper setting of the Christmas mood as individuals realize Christmas is the resemblance of the moment when the messiah sacrificed his life to deliver Christians from sins. The song reminds the listeners of the significance of the birth of the messiah and why the birth of the Messiah is thus celebrated. The song is thus an active builder of the celebration mood since it exhibits great rhythm, melody and a perfect range that provides the listener with adequate notes. The pitch of the song is high octave and thus ensures the listeners adequately comprehend the primary message of the song. The song thus puts me in the perfect Christmas mood.

Thy hand, Belinda and when I am laid in earth

Thy hand, Belinda and when I am laid in earth contain one of the famous and dramatic pieces and response to the various Italian opera. The song mainly exhibits the instances of love between Dido and Aeneas. The song essentially depicts the desperate state of the human mind as illustrated by Dido's actions of committing suicide. The song contains a speech rhythm and brief texts that lack repletion. The song indicates the impacts of death and betrayal. An individual is mainly remembered based on the behavior and interaction of others. The loyalty and betrayal nature of a person determines the nature at which people are recognized. The song thus exhibits a very strong and effective emotional unity. It contains various musical and textual repetitions. The aria commences with a monophony as depicted by the ground bass. The full strings then accompany the voice in homophony. The string parts of the song also contain modest rhythmic elaborations. The homorhythmic nature of the string homophony is thus clearly depicted by the song. Thy hand, Belinda exhibits different elaborated chromatic descents that help in setting the listeners mood as it also contains same pitch.

Range, pitch, melody, tempo, rhythm, dynamics, texture, harmony, tone, homophonic, monophonic, and the music genre are thus very fundamental elements of every musical piece. The components enable the listeners to analyses and understand the purpose of the song and the mood created by the music piece.

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