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Explain how Handel achieves a sense of majesty in his setting of The King Shall Rejoice.

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Introduction

Explain how Handel achieves a sense of majesty in his setting of The King Shall Rejoice. There are many factors that come together in Handel's The King Shall Rejoice to create majesty. This essay will include such musical aspects as; style and influences, texture, rhythm, the texts used, melody and instrumentation. There are five movements within Handel's The King Shall Rejoice; this essay will include examples from each movement. Handel achieves a powerful and bright opening at the start of the first movement through a strong and steady tempo. The music is in four four time; this common time signature helps to emphasize the vocal line and the majesty of the words. The key signature of D major is used as the tonic from the start of the first movement; this key conotates strength, happiness, positivity and majesty. Handel has many influences, mostly European. The influences that we can see coming through in Handel's The King Shall Rejoice to create majesty are, Italian, French and English. The sense of the dramatic in Handel's The King Shall Rejoice is an Italian influence on the piece. Italian opera was renown for being dramatic and Handel incorporates this device successfully into his music. The dotted quaver and semi quaver rhythmic motif that keeps appearing all the way through the five moments is an example of a French influence on Handel. ...read more.

Middle

A good example of this is in bars thirty-six, thirty-seven and thirty-eight of the first movement. This is used to emphasis important words in the text, 'rejoice' in this case, and also to convey the right feeling. The quaver runs used in the alto two part, tenor, and bass make us not only hear the emphasis on the word rejoice, but feel like rejoicing. In much the same way, melismatic writing emphasizes syllables as they are held over many notes, an example of this is in bar forty-two of the first movement. Ornamentations such as trills are an example of virtuoso writing. They decorate the music and make it grander to emphasize the majesty of the occasion. Trills can also add to the tension of a passage of music, if the phrase is building up to a climax this can be aided by the use of trills. Suspensions and Anticipations in the music also add to the tension, drama and majesty of the piece, an example of a suspension is in bar thirty-seven and thirty-eight of the second movement. The rhythms used in the music can communicate emotions from the composer. For example in the second movement, Exceeding Glad Shall He Be, Dance rhythms are used to tell us what a happy joyful and dance worthy occasion this crowning is! ...read more.

Conclusion

The thin texture in the second movement allows the continuo group to be heard clearly and contrasts well to give a different, but still majestic feel to the second movement. In the third movement (Glory And Great Worship) the texture is homophonic; this conveys majesty, glory and a sense of the magnificent. Colouratura is used in the first three bars; the scalic ascending patterns in the strings not only embellish the D major chord, but also represent the King rising to heaven. At the end of the third movement the last two bars are Adagio, to proclaim majesty in the end of the movement. As well as this, the movement finishes on a Phrygian cadence which sets the stage for the tonic minor (B minor) used in the fourth movement. The fourth movement (Thou Hast Prevented Him With The Blessings Of Goodness) is in the tonic minor, B minor, the only minor mode movement in the anthem. This movement has a fugal and often contrapuntal texture, an example of this is in bars twenty-three and twenty-four of the fourth movement. In the fifth movement (Alleluia) the texture is thick and contrapuntal, this heralds the end of the anthem and accentuates the name of the movement 'Alleluia', this word, meaning 'praise the lord' has a double meaning; the audience is encouraged to both praise god and praise the king. The word is repeated through out the movement for effect and emphasis of the majesty of the occasion and importance of the word. ...read more.

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