‘Sonata’ at this time referred to instrumental music while ‘pian’ means soft and ‘forte’ means loud. The title of the work indicates that it is an instrumental work that has soft and loud sections. Gabrieli's composition is special because it is the first to show dynamic markings in an ensemble setting. Some sources will say that it is the first piece to portray dynamics in general, but other sources provide evidence that dynamic markings appear in solo literature composed decades beforehand. “Deeper acquaintance with the music shows that they [the dynamics] also have an emotional function, for they occur so irregularly that the listener is never certain if he will be overwhelmed with sound, or when he must strain his ears for some more subdued phrase.” Gabrieli felt that dynamics can help portray or alter the audience’s perception of a pattern of music towards a particular mood.
In Sonata Pian e Forte, there are two se...
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...excel. “G. Gabrieli Sonata Pian' e Forte.” June 6, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014.http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/GCE%20New%20GCE/Unit-6-14-G-Gabrieli.pdf.
Gabrieli, Giovanni. Sacrae Symphoniae: Sonata Pian e Forte. London: Brass Wind Publications, 1996. M886.G119 S13
Gabrieli, Giovanni. Sacrae Symphoniae: Sonata Pian e Forte. John Wallace, Simon Wright, and the Wallace Collection. Simon Wright. Nimbus Records NI5236, 2012. Streaming audio. http://naxosmusiclibrary.com.
Harman, Alec, and Anthony Milner. Late Renaissance and Baroque Music. London: Barrie Books LTD., 1959. ML193.H37
Schulenberg, David. Music of the Baroque. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ML193.S38 2001 c.2
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, s.v. “Giovanni Gabrieli,” accessed May 4, 2014, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/223235/Giovanni-Gabrieli.
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