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Old 21-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #154
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Lightbulb Sumer is icumen in

Hexagram Star.. The sword blades cross to form a 'Hexagram,' or 6-sided star.. This was apparently a major pagan symbol of the ancient world.. It is the same structure as a Hebrew 'Star of David,' and it has been speculated that the Jews may have adopted and adapted the icon as their own during the Babylonian Captivity...
Carl Orff, (1895-1982), born in Münich, Germany, was a multi-faceted musician and prolific composer known particularly for his operas and dramatic works and for his innovations in music education. He enjoyed international renown as the world's pre-eminent authority on children's music education, his life's work in that area represented by Musik für Kinder (Music for children), five eclectic collections of music to be performed by children, eventually developing into a more extensive series known as Orff Schulwerk, a manual describing his method of conducting, which was first published in 1930.

Orff's system of music education for children, largely based on developing a sense of rhythm through group exercise and performance with percussion instruments, has been widely adopted. In 1924 in Münich he founded, with the German gymnast Dorothee Günther, the Günther School for gymnastics, dance, and music.

The following year, Orff made three stage adaptations of works by Monteverdi. Continuing his work in the area of Baroque music, Orff became conductor of the Münich Bach society in 1930, a position he held until 1933. The experience of performing Baroque music, particularly sacred works for the stage, convinced Orff that an effective musical performance must fuse music, words and movement, a goal no doubt partly inspired by his work with the Güntherschule.

Orff embodied his conception of music in the fabulously successful secular oratorio Carmina Burana (1937), which in many ways defined him as a composer. Based on an important collection of Latin and German Goliard poems found in the monastery of Benediktbeuern - one of the oldest Benedictine Monasteries in Bavaria - this work exemplifies Orff's search for an idiom that would reveal the elemental power of music, allowing the listener to experience music as a overwhelming, primitive force. Goliard poetry, which not only celebrates love and wine, but also pokes fun at the clergy, perfectly suited Orff's desire to create a musical work appealing to a fundamental musicality that, as he believed, every human being possesses.

Eschewing melodic development and harmonic complexity, and articulating his musical ideas through basic sonorities and easily discernible rhythmic patterns, Orff created an idiom which many found irresistible. The perceived "primitivism" of Carmina burana notwithstanding, Orff believed that the profound appeal of music is not merely physical. This belief is reflected by many other works, including musical dramas based on Greek tragedies, namely, Antigonae (1949), Oedipus der Tyrann (1959), and Prometheus (1966). These works, as well as some compositions on Christian themes, followed the composer's established dramatic and compositional techniques, but failed to repeat the tremendous success of Carmina Burana. His last work, De temporum fine comoedia (A Comedy about the End of Time) premiered at the 1973 Salzburg Festival. Nine years later, Carl Orff died in Münich, where he had spent his entire life...
Orff’s oratorio comprises cantata composed for solo voices, choir, and orchestra and which he organized into scenes. [The cantata is a composite vocal form that contains a number of movements, such as arias, duets, and choruses.] Orff’s composition has a circular structure, in that it begins and ends with “O Fortuna” (tracks 1 and 6). Through this structure Orff highlighted the medieval conception of the wheel of fortune, which is always turning and which exposes human life to constant alternations between good and poor luck.. The three major central sections of the oratorio are devoted to human appreciation for nature, especially as nature comes to life in the spring (track 3); human appreciation for gifts of nature, particularly wine (track 4); and human appreciation for love, which is sometimes associated with spring, sometimes wine, and sometimes both (track 5). After Orff comes an intermezzo unrelated to the Carmina Burana: track 7 is an early twelfth-century song (attested in at least two manuscripts: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds latin, MS 3549 and MS 3719) that offers an allegorical interpretation of King Solomon's temple .. This is a polyphonic song. [Polyphony is music that assembles simultaneously several voice-parts of distinctive design, as opposed to monophonic music where there is a single melody or homophonic music where there are several voice-parts of identical design. The different voice-parts in this song are mostly consonant, but even so they are often enough separate even though simultaneous to sound very different from harmonic sonority as we think of it.. On March 23 we will examine a very heterogeneous assemblage of texts and legends associated with Solomon...

According to the Evolutionary Model, the origins of polyphonic singing are much deeper, and are connected to the earlier stages of human evolution; polyphony was an important part of a defence system of the hominids, and traditions of polyphony are gradually disappearing all over the world..European polyphony rose out of melismatic organum, the earliest harmonization of the chant..12th-century composers, such as Léonin and Pérotin developed the organum that was introduced centuries earlier, and also added a third and fourth voice to the now homophonic chant.. In the 13th century, the chant-based tenor was becoming altered, fragmented, and hidden beneath secular tunes, obscuring the sacred texts as composers continued to play with this new invention called polyphony.. The lyrics of love poems might be sung above sacred texts in the form of a trope, or the sacred text might be placed within a familiar secular melody..The oldest surviving piece of six-part music is the English rota Sumer is icumen in (c. 1240). (Albright, 2004)..The title translates approximately to "Summer Has Come In" or "Summer Has Arrived"..It was in 1364, during the pontificate of Pope Urban V, that composer and priest Guillaume de Machaut composed the first polyphonic setting of the mass called La Messe de Nostre Dame..

Sumer (from Akkadian Šumeru; Sumerian ki-en-ĝir15, approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land" was an ancient civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq, during the Chalcolithic (Catholic) and Early Bronze Age..The Chalcolithic (Ancient Greek: χαλκός, khalkós, "copper" + Ancient Greek: λίθος, líthos, "stone") period or Copper Age, also known as the Eneolithic/Æneolithic (from Latin aeneus "of bronze"), is a phase of the Bronze Age in which the addition of tin to copper to form bronze during smelting remained yet unknown by the metallurgists of the times..Cornwall and Devon provided most of the United Kingdom's tin, copper and arsenic until the 20th century. Originally the tin was found as alluvial deposits in the gravels of stream beds, but eventually underground working took place. Tin lodes outcropped on the cliffs and underground mines sprang up as early as the 16th century...
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