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Music in the making produced by Milliken university under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Milliken School of Music presents concert vocalist Hubert Norval chairman of the voice department in a recorded consideration of early Italian opera as musical illustrations Professor Norval as selected compositions by Perry Verity Lee and Scarlatti Professor Norval. We must realize that opera is a lineal descendant of all the songs of man throughout the ages that sought to intensify the expression of emotion through music as well as similar efforts in the field of drama and the dance. We must also realize that opera is the ancestor of our modern orchestra of our symphonic music and of what one might call the romantic forms an abstract instrumental music. We may ask the question what gives up or its perennial fatality.
What is the secret of its hold on many musicians and most listeners. It is the fact that opera contains within itself several of the most fundamental elements of expression namely one song and speech combine to gesture and at times the dance itself. Three dramatic action portraying human emotions. Man has used these elements in a thousand different ways. No religious ritual no pageantry and no folklore has been without them. When used in opera by men of mediocre creative gifts the separate elements are not properly fused in artistic results and even absurdities then occur when used by great geniuses. The fusion of these elements has produced great masterpieces. Let us now examine the origins of opera and the significance of its advent in the U-16 hundred. Let us spend no further time with too many preliminaries but raise the curtain
on the first act of our opera in music. Meant that is work in music as the opera was first caught the time 16:00 the place Florence Italy in the great hall of the gallery which today houses the state archives. The occasion the festivities brought about by the marriage of King Henry the Fourth of France with me to see the opera was performed before Ferdinand the first and his whole caught the name of the opera was unity composed by Jaco Perry. It was my good fortune to examine some of these authentic editions of these early operas. Thus we can actually know at first hand the style of the music. When we look at original scores of the 17th century we see only one line written for the bass with figures written under each note. It is a kind of shorthand indicating the chords to be played. Throughout the opera there appears the rest of the TV is a kind of musical
recitation resembling declamation. It is a form of song speech that has remained an important part of musical style ever since its use in this first opera. There are no duets trios or concerted numbers but several courses are included and the last one has directions to be sung and danced at the same time. I wish to sing at this point of my discussion one of the rare vocal parts of the opera in which there is a definite melody and not pure Recha TiVo as sung by Orpheus. He. Was the god the the
god. Home. Oh oh. Oh oh oh oh.
God with the. This first work was so successful that composers of that period were commissioned to write similar works. That's seven years later. Claudio most of their decomposed order failed for the Duke of Mantua Monteverdi depicts his grammar which takes the same ancient Greek legend for its plot as Perry did seven years earlier. Much of the voice still declaims in order to TiVo style but the declamation is more eloquent and more moving. This next aria which I shall sing is from Monta verities or fail. Was.
Was. Was. Was. Was. Probably to most of us today this music seems austere in its simplicity of its
rhythmic and melodic movement but it is interesting to us to imagine how emotionally stirring it must have been to the people of that time to whom it was new and exciting musical dramatic expression. John Baptista lowly founder of the French Grand Opera was another important musical genius of this period. We will now hear an example of here as sung by a baritone. It was in the midst of such in an atmosphere that Imus Andro Scarlatti the
outstanding operatic genius of the latter 17th century composed his hundred some odd operas of which there are less than 40 Complete Scores extant today. Scott not he took the principles of a form long used as a pattern of many folk songs and adapted it to the operatic audience. This is a form known to us today as a simple A-B a form. We shall now hear this style of form in the following example. Do you.
Are you all right. Oh oh oh I told him we. In this past discussion we have moved across the span of 100 years. Opera is a consuming passion of people everywhere a convivial atmosphere for vomit he prevails. She will go through new vicissitudes to greater triumphs. Professor Hubert Norval has brought you a record of consideration of early Italian opera.
Music in the making was produced by Milliken university under a grant from the educational television and radio center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end AB Radio Network.
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Music in the making
Early Italian opera
Producing Organization
Millikin University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program explores the early years of Italian opera, with selections from Monteverdi and Scarlatti.
Series Description
Instructional comments and musical illustrations using faculty and students from the Millikin University School of Music. The first thirteen programs in the series focus upon historical aspects of music. The second half of the series explores music's technical side.
Broadcast Date
Monteverdi, Claudio, 1567-1643. Orfeo
Media type
Producing Organization: Millikin University
Speaker: Norville, Hubert, 1905-1986
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-8-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:15
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Chicago: “Music in the making; Early Italian opera,” 1956-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Music in the making; Early Italian opera.” 1956-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Music in the making; Early Italian opera. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from