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word painting


Musical depiction of words in text. Using the device of word painting, the music tries to imitate the emotion, action, or natural sounds as described in the text. For example, if the text describes a sad event, the music might be in a minor key. Conversely, if the text is joyful, the music may be set in a major key. This device was used often in madrigals and other works of the Renaissance and Baroque

See also text painting; eye music


Classical: Joseph Haydn: The Creation, "Achieved is the glorious work"

Baroque: George Frideric Handel: Samson, "Let the Bright Seraphim"

Renaissance: Thomas Weelkes: "As Vesta Was"

Renaissance: John Farmer: "Fair Phyllis"

Classical: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K. 626, Dies Irae, "Quantus tremor"


Last Updated: 2016-05-06 13:47:18