How Handel Schieves a Sense of Majesty in his Setting of The King Shall Rejoice
There are many factors that come together in Handel's The King Shall
Rejoice to create majesty. This essay will include such musical
aspects as; style and influences, texture, rhythm, the texts used,
melody and instrumentation. There are five movements within Handel's
The King Shall Rejoice; this essay will include examples from each
Handel achieves a powerful and bright opening at the start of the
first movement through a strong and steady tempo. The music is in four
four time; this common time signature helps to emphasize the vocal
line and the majesty of the words. The key signature of D major is
used as the tonic from the start of the first movement; this key
conotates strength, happiness, positivity and majesty.
Handel has many influences, mostly European. The influences that we
can see coming through in Handel's The King Shall Rejoice to create
majesty are, Italian, French and English. The sense of the dramatic in
Handel's The King Shall Rejoice is an Italian influence on the piece.
Italian opera was renown for being dramatic and Handel incorporates
this device successfully into his music.
The dotted quaver and semi quaver rhythmic motif that keeps appearing
all the way through the five moments is an example of a French
influence on Handel. An example of this is on the last beat of bar 22
in the first movement. This rhythm is commonly referred to as 'the
French overture rhythm'. Hemiolas are another example of French, dance
influences in The King Shall Rejoice. An example of a hemiola (where
the music feels like it is in two four instead of three four, because
the strong beat is every two beats instead of three beats) is in bars
eighteen and nineteen of the second movement.
Another influence in the piece is English. This comes in the form of
Purcell, the baroque composer who wrote anthems in the choral
tradition. Purcell often wrote music to be performed in a church, as
Handel was doing with 'The King Shall Rejoice'. It is very important
that Handel did write in a partly traditional English style because of
the event he was writing for. A crowning is a very patriotic event and
the music, above all, must have a grand, majestic, English feel to it.
Many musical devices are used within Handel's The King Shall Rejoice;
these small details added to the music often convey ideas to the
audience, such as the idea of the majesty of the occasion. Handel's
use of rests within a certain phrase, gives the phrase the impression
of short bursts of music, this device creates drama and also tension.
An example of this would be in beats two and three of bars 34 and 35
of the first movement.
Handel writes using motifs (fragments of melodies) and then develops
them. In some parts of...