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Encyclopedia > Chorale

A chorale was originally a hymn of the Lutheran church sung by the entire congregation. In casual modern usage, the term also includes classical settings of such hymns and works of a similar character. A hymn is a song specifically written as a song of praise, adoration or prayer, typically addressed to a god. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ...


Chorales tend to have simple and singable tunes, because they were originally intended to be sung by the congregation rather than a professional choir. They generally have rhyming words and are in a strophic form (with the same melody being used for different verses). Some chorale melodies were written by Martin Luther himself. Within a verse, most chorales follow the AAB pattern of melody that is known as the German Bar form. Strophic form, or chorus form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. ... Look up melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... The Bar form is an old and important musical form in which each stanza follows the pattern aab. ...


Many of the best-known hymns in Protestant churches today were originally Lutheran chorales. For instance, A Mighty Fortress is attributed to Martin Luther. In many cases, the familiar version of the hymn is a setting by J. S. Bach of the chorale. A Mighty Fortress is Our God is the most well-known of Martin Luthers hymns. ...


Chorale melodies were often derived from Gregorian Chant, sometimes with minor variation, and fitted with new words. A good example is the famous chorale used by Johann Sebastian Bach in his Cantata No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, which uses the same tune, with different words, as the Roman Catholic Easter Sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes. Gregorian chant is also known as plainchant or plainsong and is a form of monophonic, unaccompanied singing, which was developed in the Catholic church, mainly during the period 800-1000. ... Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together almost all of the strands of the baroque style and brought it to its ultimate maturity. ... Christ lag in Todes Banden BWV 4 (Christ lay in deaths bonds) is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Victimae Paschali Laudes is a sequence (poetry) of the Latin Mass (liturgy) for Easter. ...


Although chorale tunes were originally sung monophonically, several composers arranged and harmonised tunes. Johann Sebastian Bach harmonised many chorales for four-part choir; Bach's chorales were used as congregational hymns, interspersed in his cantatas, passions and other works. Bach's harmonisations are so well known that his name is virtually synonymous with the chorale in classical music circles, even though he did not write any original chorale tunes himself. A composer is a person who writes music. ... Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity and chords, actual or implied, in music. ... A choir or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. ... Cantata (Italian for a song or story set to music), a vocal composition accompanied by instruments and generally containing more than one movement. ... The Passion is the technical term for the suffering and Agony of Jesus that led directly to the Crucifixion, a central Christian event. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ...


Another use of chorale tunes in classical music is in the chorale prelude, a piece generally for organ designed to be played before a chorale. A chorale prelude includes the melody of the chorale, and adds other contrapuntal lines. One of the first composers to write chorale preludes was Dieterich Buxtehude. Bach's many chorale preludes are the best-known examples of the form. Later composers of the chorale prelude include Johannes Brahms and Max Reger. In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. ... The Casavant pipe organ at Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, Montreal The organ is a keyboard instrument with one or more manuals, and usually a pedalboard. ... Counterpoint is a musical technique involving the simultaneous sounding of separate musical lines. ... Buxtehude Dieterich Buxtehude (Dietrich, Diderich) (ca. ... Johannes Brahms Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of Romantic music, who predominantly lived in Vienna, Austria. ... Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (March 19, 1873 – May 11, 1916) was a German composer, organist, pianist and teacher. ...


Chorales have been the subject of many different musical treatments, most but not all from the German Baroque. See chorale setting for a description and a list of all the different types of musical setting and transformation that this important liturgical form has undergone. Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 to 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ... A chorale setting is any of a very wide variety of musical compositions, almost entirely of Protestant origin, which use a German in origin, and predominantly Baroque in time period, chorale settings also exist from other countries and times. ...


"Chorale" can also be used as an alternate term for choir—a group of singing voices. A choir or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. ...


References and further reading

  • "Chorale", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1561591742
  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don Randel. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0674615255

External links

  • Chorale at the Classical Music Pages
  • Chorale discussion by Bernard Greenberg in the J. S. Bach FAQ (archived copy)
  • Complete sets of all four-part Bach chorale settings in MIDI or QuickTime format

  Results from FactBites:
 
Chorale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (474 words)
A chorale was originally a hymn of the Lutheran church sung by the entire congregation.
Chorales tend to have simple and singable tunes, because they were originally intended to be sung by the congregation rather than a professional choir.
Chorale melodies were often derived from Gregorian Chant, sometimes with minor variation, and fitted with new words.
Chorale setting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (365 words)
A chorale setting is any of a very wide variety of musical compositions, almost entirely of Protestant origin, which use a chorale as their basis.
Plainchant, associated with the Catholic church, was largely replaced with choral music sung in the vernacular language—usually German—and the corresponding musical forms from Catholic countries, such as the motet, were also replaced with forms which used as their basis the chorale melodies instead of the plainsong from which much of the motet repertory was derived.
Some of these forms are exclusively instrumental (such as the chorale prelude, chorale fugue, chorale fantasia, chorale partita or variations, chorale ricercare/canzona) while the others are a cappella vocal (some chorale motets) or for voices and instruments (chorale cantata, chorale concerto, chorale mass, chorale monody, some chorale motets).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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