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This article is about the musical form. See Serenade (disambiguation) for other meanings.
"Serenade" by Judith Leyster.

In music, a serenade (or sometimes serenata) is, in its most general sense, a musical composition, and/or performance, in someone's honor. Serenades are typically calm, light music. In fact, the word Serenade is derived from the word sereno, which means calm.1

Contents

Early Serenade Music

  • In the oldest usage, which survives in informal form to the present day, a serenade is a musical greeting performed for a lover, friend, person of rank or other person to be honored, typically performed outdoors and in the evening. The classic serenade usage would be from a lover to his lady love through a window. It was considered an evening piece, one to be performed on a quiet and pleasant evening. The custom of serenading in this manner began in the Medieval era or Renaissance, and the word "serenade" as commonly used in current English is related to this custom. Music performed followed no one particular form, except that it was typically sung by one person accompanying himself on a portable instrument,most likely a guitar, lute or other plucked instrument. Works of this type also appeared in later eras, but usually in a context that referred specifically to a past time, such as an arias in an opera (there is a famous example in Mozart's Don Giovanni).

Baroque Era

  • In the Baroque era, and generally called a Serenata (Italian "serenade"--since this form occurred most frequently in Italy), a serenade was a type of cantata performed outdoors, in the evening, with mixed vocal and instrumental forces. Again, most likely a guitar or lute was used to accompany the voice. Some composers of this type of serenade include Alessandro Stradella, Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Joseph Fux, Johann Mattheson, and Antonio Caldara. Often these were large-scale works performed with minimal staging, intermediate between a cantata and an opera. According to some commentators, the main difference between a cantata and a serenata, around 1700, was that the serenata was performed outdoors and therefore could use instruments which would be too loud in a small room--for example trumpets, horns and drums.

Classical/Romantic Eras

  • The most important and prevalent type of serenade in music history is a work for large instrumental ensemble in multiple movements, related to the divertimento, and mainly being composed in the Classical and Romantic periods, though a few examples exist from the 20th century. Usually the character of the work is lighter than other multiple-movement works for large ensemble (for example the symphony), with tunefulness being more important than thematic development or dramatic intensity. Most of these works are from Italy, Germany, Austria and Bohemia.
  • The most famous examples of the serenade from the 18th century are undoubtedly the ones by Mozart, which are works in more than four movements, and sometimes as many as ten. His serenades were often purely instrumental pieces, written for special occasions such as those commissioned for wedding ceremonies. The most typical ensemble for a serenade was a wind ensemble augmented with basses and violas: instrumentalists who could stand, since the works were often performed outdoors. Frequently the serenades began and ended with movements of a marchlike character--since the instrumentalists often had to march to and from the place of performance. Famous serenades by Mozart include the Haffner Serenade and one of his most famous works, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which is atypical for only containing string instruments.
  • By the 19th century, the serenade had transformed into a concert work, less associated with outdoor performance for honorary occasions, and composers began to write serenades for other ensembles. The orchestral serenade began to dominate over the wind ensemble form. The two serenades by Brahms are rather like light symphonies, perhaps more closely related to suites, except that they use an ensemble Mozart would have recognized: a small orchestra (in the case of the Serenade No.2, an orchestra entirely without violins). Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Josef Suk and others wrote serenades for strings only, as did Hugo Wolf, who wrote one for string quartet (the Italian Serenade). Other composers to write serenades in a Romantic style include Richard Strauss, Max Reger, Edward Elgar and Jean Sibelius.

20th Century Serenades

Form

  • A Serenade is commonly of a multi-movement structure, ranging anywhere from four to up to ten movements. They usually are constructed with a fast opening movement, followed by middle slow movements that alternate with fast ones and close with a fast Presto or Allegro movement. There are strong influences from chamber music, and serenades can be subtly inserted into a chamber music program. A serenade can be considered somewhere in between a Suite and a Symphony, but it usually of a light and romantic nature – casual and without too many overly dramatic moments.2

Notes

  • 1. Hubert Unverricht & Cliff Eisen. “Serenade.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 8 December 2009. www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/25454
  • 2. Lynan, Peter. “Serenade.” The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music Online. 8 December 2009. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e6099

Sources


This article is about the musical form. See Serenade (disambiguation) for other meanings.

.]] In music, a serenade (or sometimes serenata) is, in its most general sense, a musical composition, and/or performance, in someone's honor. Serenades are typically calm, light music. In fact, the word Serenade is derived from the word sereno, which means calm.[1]

Contents

Early serenade music

In the oldest usage, which survives in informal form to the present day, a serenade is a musical greeting performed for a lover, friend, person of rank or other person to be honored. The classic serenade usage would be from a lover to his lady love through a window. It was considered an evening piece, one to be performed on a quiet and pleasant evening. The custom of serenading in this manner began in the Medieval era, and the word "serenade" as commonly used in current English is related to this custom. Music performed followed no one particular form, except that it was typically sung by one person accompanying himself on a portable instrument,most likely a guitar, lute or other plucked instrument. Works of this type also appeared in later eras, but usually in a context that referred specifically to a past time, such as an arias in an opera (there is a famous example in Mozart's Don Giovanni).

Baroque era

In the Baroque era, and generally called a Serenata (Italian "serenade"--since this form occurred most frequently in Italy), a serenade was a type of cantata performed outdoors, in the evening, with mixed vocal and instrumental forces. Again, most likely a guitar or lute was used to accompany the voice. Some composers of this type of serenade include Alessandro Stradella, Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Joseph Fux, Johann Mattheson, and Antonio Caldara. Often these were large-scale works performed with minimal staging, intermediate between a cantata and an opera. According to some commentators, the main difference between a cantata and a serenata, around 1700, was that the serenata was performed outdoors and therefore could use instruments which would be too loud in a small room--for example trumpets, horns and drums.

Classical/Romantic eras

The most important and prevalent type of serenade in music history is a work for large instrumental ensemble in multiple movements, related to the divertimento, and mainly being composed in the Classical and Romantic periods, though a few examples exist from the 20th century. Usually the character of the work is lighter than other multiple-movement works for large ensemble (for example the symphony), with tunefulness being more important than thematic development or dramatic intensity. Most of these works are from Italy, Germany, Austria and Bohemia.

The most famous examples of the serenade from the 18th century are undoubtedly the ones by Mozart, which are works in more than four movements, and sometimes as many as ten. His serenades were often purely instrumental pieces, written for special occasions such as those commissioned for wedding ceremonies. The most typical ensemble for a serenade was a wind ensemble augmented with basses and violas: instrumentalists who could stand, since the works were often performed outdoors. Frequently the serenades began and ended with movements of a marchlike character--since the instrumentalists often had to march to and from the place of performance. Famous serenades by Mozart include the Haffner Serenade and one of his most famous works, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which is atypical for only containing string instruments.

By the 19th century, the serenade had transformed into a concert work, less associated with outdoor performance for honorary occasions, and composers began to write serenades for other ensembles. The orchestral serenade began to dominate over the wind ensemble form. The two serenades by Brahms are rather like light symphonies, perhaps more closely related to suites, except that they use an ensemble Mozart would have recognized: a small orchestra (in the case of the Serenade No. 2, an orchestra entirely without violins). Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Josef Suk and others wrote serenades for strings only, as did Hugo Wolf, who wrote one for string quartet (the Italian Serenade). Other composers to write serenades in a Romantic style include Richard Strauss, Max Reger, Edward Elgar and Jean Sibelius.

20th century serenades

Some examples of serenades in the 20th century include the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings by Benjamin Britten, the Serenade for piano by Stravinsky, Serenade for baritone and septet Op. 24 by Arnold Schoenberg, and the movement entitled "Serenade" in Shostakovich's last string quartet, No. 15 (1974). Vaughn Williams wrote a Serenade to Music that premiered in 1938 for 16 solo voices and orchestra. These modern serenades are freely explored adaptations to the serenade’s original formal layout and instrumentation.

Form

A Serenade is commonly of a multi-movement structure, ranging anywhere from four to up to ten movements. They usually are constructed with a fast opening movement, followed by middle slow movements that alternate with fast ones and close with a fast Presto or Allegro movement. There are strong influences from chamber music, and serenades can be subtly inserted into a chamber music program. A serenade can be considered somewhere in between a Suite and a Symphony, but it usually of a light and romantic nature – casual and without too many overly dramatic moments.[2]

Notes

  1. ^ Hubert Unverricht & Cliff Eisen. “Serenade.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 8 December 2009. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/25454
  2. ^ Lynan, Peter. “Serenade.” The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music Online. 8 December 2009. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e6099

Sources


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Serenade
disambiguation
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Serenade may refer to:


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SERENADE (from Ital. serenata, Lat. serenus, bright; the Italian term being applied, partly by confusion with serus, late, and partly through the use of Serena - cf. Gr. o Vivr) - as an epithet for the moon, to a form of courting music played at night in the open air; whence also the synonym Notturno), in music; a term classically applied to a light kind of symphony, more rarely a piece of chamber music, in a light sonata style with several extra movements, and in a few cases (as in the two serenades of Beethoven) not containing any fully developed examples of first-movement form. The divertimento is a similar composition, more often for chamber music, and frequently on a scale altogether too small for the sonata style to show itself, though some examples by Mozart (e.g. those for strings and two horns) are very. large. The cessation is a smaller composition, beginning (like Beethoven's serenade op. 8) with a march. The classics of the serenade forms are among the works of Mozart and Haydn. Mozart's larger and later serenades, from the "Haffner" serenade onwards, are among his most delightful and voluminous lighter instrumental works. His two serenades for eight wind instruments are more serious, and that in C minor (which he afterwards arranged as a string quintet) is a majestic work in four normal movements, which Mozart probably called a serenade only because he did not find the term octet then in common use.

The typical scheme of a large serenade or divertimento differs from that of a symphony only in having six movements instead of four, the additions being another slow movement and minuet or scherzo. Beethoven's septet and Schubert's octet are on this plan, and are just as much serenades as Mozart's "Haffner" serenade, which is (not counting introductions) in eight movements with a kind of violin concerto in the middle. The six-movement scheme (though without the serenade style) was adopted by Beethoven in one of the profoundest and most serious works in all music, the string quartet in B flat, Op. 130.

Brahms's first essays in symphonic form took the shape of two orchestral serenades, of which the first was originally sketched for a large group of solo instruments. If it had finally taken that form Brahms would have called it a divertimento.

Other applications of the term in music are merely literary. Even its use, from the 17th century onwards, for a kind of operetta was clearly no more than a natural allusion to the notion of serenades as addressed at night by minstrels to ladies and by clients to patrons. (D. F. T.)


<< Serena

Sammonicus Serenus >>


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

German

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German Wikipedia has an article on:
Serenade

Wikipedia de

Serenade

Noun

Serenade f.

  1. serenade (serenade)

This German entry was created from the translations listed at serenade. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see Serenade in the German Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) January 2008


Simple English

File:Judith Leyster
"Serenade" by Judith Leyster.

In music, a serenade (or sometimes serenata) is a song or piece of music which is sung or played in someone’s honour. The word comes from the Latin "serenare" meaning: "to make calm".

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance a serenade was usually a song which is sung by a lover underneath the window of his sweetheart in a country such as Spain. The lover may accompany himself on a guitar. This kind of serenade is often seen in operas, e.g. Mozart’s Don Giovanni . There is a verb: to serenade, e.g. “the lover was serenading his sweetheart”.

In the Baroque period a serenade was a type of cantata performed outdoors, in the evening, with singers and instrumentas. Composers who wrote this kind of serenade include Alessandro Stradella and Alessandro Scarlatti.

In the Classical music period the serenade became a piece of music for a small orchestra or a group of several instruments. They are similar to a symphony but lighter in character. They are often the same as a divertimento. Mozart wrote several serenades of this type, e.g. his famous Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Later composers such as Brahms also wrote orchestral serenades. Other Romantic composers often wrote short instrumental works which they called “serenades”.








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