Suite (music)

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A suite, in Western classical music and jazz, is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral/concert band pieces. It originated in the late 14th century as a pairing of dance tunes and grew in scope to comprise up to five dances, sometimes with a prelude, by the early 17th century. The separate movements were often thematically and tonally linked. [1] The term can also be used to refer to similar forms in other musical traditions, such as the Turkish fasıl and the Arab waslah and nuubaat.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals. The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer ; as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.

Orchestra large instrumental ensemble

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which mixes instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as violin, viola, cello, and double bass, as well as brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments, each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.

Contents

In the Baroque era the suite was an important musical form, also known as Suite de danses, Ordre (the term favored by François Couperin), Partita or Ouverture (after the theatrical "overture" which often included a series of dances) as with the orchestral suites of Christoph Graupner, Telemann and J.S. Bach.

Baroque music style of Western art music

Baroque music is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Pachelbel.

Musical form overall structure or plan of a piece of music

In music, Form refers to the structure of a musical composition or performance. In "Worlds of Music", Jeff Todd Titon suggests that a number of organizational elements may determine the formal structure of a piece of music, such as "the arrangement of musical units of rhythm, melody, and or/ harmony that show repetition or variation, the arrangement of the instruments, or the way a symphonic piece is orchestrated", among other factors.

François Couperin French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist

François Couperin was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist. He was known as Couperin le Grand to distinguish him from other members of the musically talented Couperin family.

During the 18th century the suite fell out of favour as a cyclical form, giving way to the symphony, sonata and concerto. It was revived in the later 19th century, but in a different form, [2] often presenting extracts from a ballet ( Nutcracker Suite ), the incidental music to a play ( L'Arlésienne Suites ), opera, film ( Lieutenant Kije Suite ) or video game (Motoaki Takenouchi's 1994 suite to the Shining series), [3] or entirely original movements ( Holberg Suite , The Planets ).

Symphony extended musical composition

A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are scored for strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30–100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their own instrument. A small number of symphonies also contain vocal parts.

Sonata composition for one or more solo instruments

Sonata, in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata, a piece sung. The term evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms until the Classical era, when it took on increasing importance. Sonata is a vague term, with varying meanings depending on the context and time period. By the early 19th century, it came to represent a principle of composing large-scale works. It was applied to most instrumental genres and regarded—alongside the fugue—as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music. Though the musical style of sonatas has changed since the Classical era, most 20th- and 21st-century sonatas still maintain the same structure.

Concerto musical composition usually in three parts

A concerto is a musical composition generally composed of three movements, in which, usually, one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra or concert band. It is accepted that its characteristics and definition have changed over time. In the 17th century, sacred works for voices and orchestra were typically called concertos, as reflected by J. S. Bach's usage of the title "concerto" for many of the works that we know as cantatas.

History

Estienne du Tertre published suyttes de bransles in 1557, giving the first general use of the term "suite" 'suyttes' in music, although the usual form of the time was as pairs of dances. The first recognizable suite is Peuerl's Newe Padouan, Intrada, Dantz, and Galliarda of 1611, in which the four dances of the title appear repeatedly in ten suites. The Banchetto musicale by Johann Schein (1617) contains 20 sequences of five different dances. The first four-movement suite credited to a named composer, Sandley's Suite , was published in 1663. [4] [5]

Estienne du Tertre was a French composer. He spent most of his life in Paris and worked as an editor for the publisher Attaingnant. Many of his chansons were published.

Branle medieval dance

A branle —also bransle, brangle, brawl, brawle, brall(e), braul(e), brando (Italy), bran (Spain), or brantle (Scotland)—is a type of French dance popular from the early 16th century to the present, danced by couples in either a line or a circle. The term also refers to the music and the characteristic step of the dance.

Paul Peuerl was a German organist, organ builder, renovator and repairer, and composer of instrumental music.

The "classical" suite consisted of allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue, in that order, and developed during the 17th century in France, the gigue appearing later than the others. Johann Jakob Froberger is usually credited with establishing the classical suite through his compositions in this form, which were widely published and copied, although this was largely due to his publishers standardizing the order; Froberger's original manuscripts have many different orderings of the movements, e.g. the gigue preceding the sarabande. The publisher's standardized order was, however, highly influential especially on the works of Bach.

Allemande dance music

An allemande is a renaissance and baroque dance, and one of the most popular instrumental dance styles in baroque music, with notable examples by Couperin, Purcell, Bach and Handel. It is often the first movement of a baroque suite of dances, paired with a subsequent courante, though it is sometimes preceded by an introduction or prelude.

The courante, corrente, coranto and corant are some of the names given to a family of triple metre dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era. In a Baroque dance suite an Italian or French courante is typically paired with a preceding allemande, making it the second movement of the suite or the third if there is a prelude.

Sarabande

The sarabande is a dance in triple metre.

Many later suites included other movements placed between sarabande and gigue. These optional movements were known as galanteries : common examples are the minuet, gavotte, passepied, and bourrée. Often there would be two contrasting galanteries with the same name, e.g. Minuet I and II, to be played alternativement, meaning that the first dance is played again after the second, thus I, II, I.

In the Baroque dance suite, the galanteries are pieces in the suite which are not "necessary" to the suite but are included to break up the suite and offer the chance to perform less familiar pieces. These movements usually follow the sarabande.

Minuet social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3/4 time

A minuet is a social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3
4
time
. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet, possibly from the French menu meaning slender, small, referring to the very small steps, or from the early 17th-century popular group dances called branle à mener or amener.

Gavotte French folk dance

The gavotte is a French dance, taking its name from a folk dance of the Gavot, the people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné in the southeast of France, where the dance originated according to one source. According to another reference, however, the word "gavotte" is a generic term for a variety of French folk dances, and most likely originated in Lower Brittany in the west, or possibly Provence in the southeast or the French Basque Country in the southwest of France. It is notated in 4
4
or 2
2
time and is usually of moderate tempo, though the folk dances also use meters such as 9
8
and 5
8
.

The later addition of an overture to make up an "overture-suite" was extremely popular with German composers; Telemann claimed to have written over 200 overture-suites, Christoph Graupner wrote 86 orchestral overture-suites and 57 partitas for harpsichord, J. S. Bach had his four orchestral suites along with other suites, and Handel put his Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks in this form.

Handel wrote 22 keyboard suites; Bach produced multiple suites for lute, cello, violin, flute, and other instruments, as well as English suites, French suites and Partitas for keyboard. François Couperin's later suites often dispensed entirely with the standard dances and consisted entirely of character pieces with fanciful names.

By the 1750s, the suite had come to be seen as old-fashioned, superseded by the symphony and concerto, and few composers were still writing suites during that time. But since the 19th century, composers have frequently arranged ballets, operas and other works into suites for concert performance. Arrangement into a suite can make the music more accessible and available to a wider audience, and has greatly helped popularize the music itself, such as in Tchaikovsky's suite from The Nutcracker , or Aaron Copland's suite from Appalachian Spring . Suites for orchestra or concert band usually consist of one or more movements. An example is Grieg's Peer Gynt Orchestral Suites I and II, each consisting of four movements. Such suites may consist of

  • an instrumental selection from a larger work such as an opera, ballet, film score, or musical;
  • a sequence of smaller pieces tied together by a common theme, such as the nationalistically inflected suites of Grieg, Sibelius, or Tchaikovsky and The Planets by Holst;
  • a work deliberately referential of Baroque themes, as in the mischievous Suite for Piano by Schoenberg.

Carl Nielsen made a Suite for String Orchestra his Opus 1 in 1888 at the age of 23.

In the late 19th century, Sibelius's Karelia Suite was written for the students of the Helsinki university.

Brought on by Impressionism, the piano suite was reintroduced by early 20th-century French composers such as Ravel and Debussy. Debussy's Pour le piano is a suite in three movements, published in 1901, and his Suite bergamasque , revised in 1905, is probably one of the most famous suites, especially the third movement, Clair de Lune. Ravel is particularly well known for his Miroirs suite for piano and lesser known for Le tombeau de Couperin , both requiring tremendous skill and dexterity from the pianist.

Arnold Schoenberg's first use of the twelve-tone technique throughout an entire work was in his Suite for Piano, op. 25. Modeled on the Baroque keyboard suite, the piece consists of six movements entitled Präludium (Prelude), Gavotte, Musette, Intermezzo, Menuett (Minuet, with Trio), and Gigue.

Other famous examples of early 20th-century suites are The Planets by Gustav Holst, a 'Suite for Orchestra' in which each piece represents the astrological significance of one of the seven uninhabited planets then known, as well as his First Suite in E-flat and Second Suite in F for Military Band.

There are as well several examples of suites being used in the jazz genre. Perhaps the most notable composer is Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn, who produced many suites, amongst them: Black, Brown and Beige, Such Sweet Thunder, The Far East Suite, New Orleans Suite, Latin American Suite and many more. But is as well used in free jazz (Max Roach: Freedom Now Suite, Don Cherry, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme , etc.).

Dance suite

The dance suite was a collection of dance music popular in the Baroque era.

Sections

A dance suite contains some of the following movements:

See also

Related Research Articles

Baroque dance dance of the Baroque era

Baroque dance is dance of the Baroque era, closely linked with Baroque music, theatre and opera.

Cello Suites (Bach) cycle

The six Cello Suites, BWV 1007-1012, are suites for unaccompanied cello by Johann Sebastian Bach. They are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. Bach most likely composed them during the period 1717–23, when he served as Kapellmeister in Köthen. The title given on the cover of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript was Suites à Violoncello Solo senza Basso.

The English Suites, BWV 806–811, are a set of six suites written by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach for harpsichord and generally thought to be the earliest of his 19 suites for keyboard, the others being the six French Suites, BWV 812–817, the six Partitas, BWV 825-830 and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831.

French Suites (Bach) cycle

The French Suites, BWV 812–817, are six suites which Johann Sebastian Bach wrote for the clavier between the years of 1722 and 1725. Although Suites 1 to 4 are typically dated to 1722, it is possible that the first was written somewhat earlier.

Robert de Visée was a lutenist, guitarist, theorbist and viol player at the court of the French kings Louis XIV and Louis XV, as well as a singer and composer for lute, theorbo and guitar.

Orchestral suites (Bach) Compositions for orchestra by Johann Sebastian Bach

The four orchestral suites, BWV 1066–1069 are four suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. The name ouverture refers only in part to the opening movement in the style of the French overture, in which a majestic opening section in relatively slow dotted-note rhythm in duple meter is followed by a fast fugal section, then rounded off with a short recapitulation of the opening music. More broadly, the term was used in Baroque Germany for a suite of dance-pieces in French Baroque style preceded by such an ouverture. This genre was extremely popular in Germany during Bach's day, and he showed far less interest in it than was usual: Robin Stowell writes that "Telemann's 135 surviving examples [represent] only a fraction of those he is known to have written"; Christoph Graupner left 85; and Johann Friedrich Fasch left almost 100. Bach did write several other ouverture (suites) for solo instruments, notably the Cello Suite no. 5, BWV 1011, which also exists in the autograph Lute Suite in G minor, BWV 995, the Keyboard Partita no. 4 in D, BWV 828, and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831 for keyboard. The two keyboard works are among the few Bach published, and he prepared the lute suite for a "Monsieur Schouster," presumably for a fee, so all three may attest to the form's popularity.

<i>Le bourgeois gentilhomme</i> (Strauss) orchestral suite by Richard Strauss

Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Op. 60, is an orchestral suite written by Richard Strauss between 1911 and 1917. The original idea of Hugo von Hofmannsthal was to revive Molière's 1670 play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, simplify the plot and introduce a commedia dell'arte troupe, add some incidental music and conclude matters with a one-act opera Ariadne auf Naxos.

The Concerts Royaux are four suites composed by François Couperin for the French court of Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715 – hence the qualifier "royal". Composed while chamber music concerts were in vogue, they are intended for listening more than dancing. They were published in 1722 without indication of instrumentation; therefore, the same piece can be played by solo harpsichord or by an ensemble with a bass instrument, a violin, a viol, and an oboe or a flute.. This collection was supplemented in 1724 by a set of "Nouveaux Concerts" with the subtitle les Goûts réunis, or the "reunited tastes" of French and Italian styles.

The Overture in the French style, BWV 831, original title Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art, also known as the French Overture and published as the second half of Clavier-Übung II in 1735, is a suite in B minor for two-manual harpsichord written by Johann Sebastian Bach. An earlier version of this work exists, in the key of C minor ; the work was transposed into B minor to complete the cycle of tonalities in Parts One and Two of the Clavier-Übung. The keys of the six Partitas form a sequence of intervals going up and then down by increasing amounts: a second up, a third down, a fourth up, a fifth down, and finally a sixth up. The key sequence continues into Clavier-Übung II (1735) with two larger works: the Italian Concerto, a seventh down, and the French Overture, an augmented fourth up. Thus this sequence of customary tonalities for 18th-century keyboard compositions is complete, extending from the first letter of his name to the last letter of his name.

Orchestral Suite No. 1 in D minor is an orchestral suite, Op. 43, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878 and 1879. It was premiered on December 20, 1879 at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow, conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein. The piece is dedicated to Tchaikovsky's patroness, Nadezhda von Meck.

Musicalische Ergötzung is a collection of chamber music by Johann Pachelbel. Published during his lifetime, it contains six suites for two violins and basso continuo.

Suite in E minor, BWV 996, is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) between 1708 and 1717. It is probable that this suite was intended for lute-harpsichord. Because that is an uncommon instrument, it is in modern times often performed on the guitar.

Bourrée French dance

The bourrée is a dance of French origin and the words and music that accompany it. The bourrée resembles the gavotte in that it is in double time and often has a dactylic rhythm. However, it is somewhat quicker, and its phrase starts with a quarter-bar anacrusis or "pick-up", whereas a gavotte has a half-bar anacrusis.

The Partita No. 1 in B minor BWV 1002 by Johann Sebastian Bach, is a piece for solo violin composed by 1720. This partita is formed in the traditional way that consists of an allemande, a courante, sarabande and gigue in the baroque style, except that this work substitutes a bourrée for the more typical gigue. Also, each movement is followed by a variation called double in French, which elaborates on the chords of the prior movement. The movements in order are:

  1. Allemanda – Double
  2. Corrente – Double (Presto)
  3. Sarabande – Double
  4. Tempo di Borea – Double
Water Music (Telemann) musical suite by Telemann

Water Music, TWV 55:C3, is the common name of an orchestral suite by the German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, with the full title Hamburger Ebb' und Fluth. Telemann composed the piece in ten movements to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Hamburg Admiralty in a performance on 6 April 1723. The suite draws upon Hamburg's geographical location as an important and successful port on the river Elbe while Telemann illustrates the piece with mythological water deities and tone painting giving the nautical theme added depth. The overture begins by representing the physical movement of the ocean, followed by several dance movements: first, the sleeping sea goddess Thetis, the mother of Achilles, who then awakes; the sea god Neptune in love; playful water nymphs known as Naiads; Neptune's son and sea messenger Triton joking; Aeolus, ruler of the winds; and Zephir, god of the west wind. Two final pieces follow, one depicting the tides of Hamburg and finally, its happy sailors.

Beecham-Handel suites

The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham made several orchestral suites from neglected music by George Frideric Handel, mostly from the composer's 42 surviving operas. The best known of the suites are The Gods Go a'Begging (1928), The Origin of Design (1932), The Faithful Shepherd (1940), Amaryllis (1944) and The Great Elopement.

References

  1. Alison Latham (ed.) The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2002 edition), article; "Suite"
  2. Alison Latham (ed.) The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2002 edition), article; "Suite"
  3. Symphonic Suite the Another Story of Shining Force
  4. Caldwell, John (1 April 1985). English Keyboard Music Before the Nineteenth Century. Courier Dover Publications. p. 155. ISBN   978-0-486-24851-6.
  5. Cooper, Barry A. R. (1989). English Solo Keyboard Music of the Middle and Late Baroque. Garland. p. 40. ISBN   978-0-8240-0191-9.