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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ah, Belinda I am prest!

I am prest with frustration with Dido and Aeneas, I thought after music history we could be done with this, guess not.
Chord analysis:
m. 1 - i, vii, i
m. 2 - V, iv6, i6
m. 3 - iv, i64, V7
m. 4 - i---
m. 53 - vi6, V, i,
m. 54 - i64, vi, iv42
m. 55 - vii┬║7, V--
m. 56 - i---
This song is a continuous variation, in particular a passacaglia. There are a series of 21 statements of the theme with one transposition that is repeated twice. This transposition is found in measures 45 through 52 over the words "languish". The idea of languish is the theme of this song and from what else I have heard seems to be the theme of the opera.

In general this song does not have any form of variation in the melody line, probably because it is pasacaglia. The text and melody line seem to repeat over and over again. There are often some embellishing tones to further have you feel the anguish of the singer. The descending minor line helps the singer feel the sadness that she is feeling. The word "Guess'd" is held out for much longer than any other word in the entire piece. I think this is because Purcell really wanted to focus not only on the pain but also on the idea that the singer does not want anyone to know the pain or shame she is feeling. He uses alot of sharp 4s and other embellishing tones to add to this.

If I were to perform this piece I would use the continuous variation to give me a sense of propelling forward so I can see an end to my languish. I would use the embellishing tones and Fi's to help me understand the tonal sense of the piece, meaning the notes used to help reinforce the sadness. Peace and I are strangers grown. This would be a hard way to finish a song, there is no sense of a positive spin. This kind of reminds me of the ending speech in Taming of the Shrew, it is all about women submitting to men, not exactly a happy idea for me, and this has no sense of a happy coming out of the song.


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