The Development of Works for Choir and Brass: A Study of Four Representative Works
Armendarez, Christina Marie
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As brass instruments evolved from crude instruments limited to only a few notes into instruments that could play melodic passages within the vocal range, they began to be paired with the voice. The development traced in this paper will focus primarily on the addition of brass instruments with a choral ensemble from the late Renaissance period through the Modern period. Insight into the historical use of brass and the evolution of choral and brass music allows us to better understand the genre and how subject matter, text, and/or the occasion for which the compositions were composed often influenced the composer’s decision to add brass. Four representative pieces will be studied: In Ecclesiis by Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1554-1612); Herr, unser Herscher by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672); Ecce Sacerdos by Anton Bruckner (1824- 1896); and Ode a la Musique by Frank Martin (1890-1974).