A comparison of two major Baroque composers: Claudio Monteverdi and Domenico Scarlatti (turabian format)

Essay by NEthinggoesUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2002

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze two psalms by Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and Giovanni Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) and compare and contrast the two pieces to find out how music changed throughout the Baroque period. While historians grouped music of the Baroque period together based on certain characteristics, the music did not remain the same throughout the period, as it would not for any other musical time period. Composers from different points in the Baroque period were chosen, but the things the two composers had in common were the country of residence and their nationality. Special care was taken to chose composers from the same country so that differences could not be accounted as being because of different nationalistic styles.

The piece by Monteverdi, Confitebor tibi, Domine (Psalm 110), was a psalm that was used as part of the vespers on Sundays. This particular psalm is found in varied forms in the publication Selva morale et spirituale, published around 1640.

This setting is set for four voices and solo soprano voice, and is accompianed by continuo. The piece begins and ends in C major, with use of very few accidentals. The accidentals in this piece were used to create a leading tone to the fifth or tonic. The piece is mostly homorhythmic and has a combination of polyphony and homophony. Occasionally there is a duet with the soprano and solo soprano lines. The piece is written in Latin, which was common practice for the time. There are no indicated dynamics, and there is use of musica ficta. In the transcription used in this paper, bar lines were added since almost none existed in the actual manuscript, and some corrections were made in the number of rests in some places in the score.

The psalm composed by Scarlatti,