Beijing And Italian Opera Comparison Essay

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A comparison of the Beijing Opera and the Italian Opera reveals a significant contrast in almost all fundamental areas of music between the two examples. Because of cultural influences, the two performances share little commonalities, as the timbre, medium, elements of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, form and phonic structure are definitely not similar. For instance, the musical and physical performance dynamics of the Beijing opera music are forceful, the timbre is loud, tinny and harsh, the rhythm is lively and vigorous, while the Italian Opera music has a gentle dynamic, steady and rolling rhythm and an emotionally deep timbre. One commonality that is noted for both examples, is the powerful delivery of the entertainment.
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Although the stage and costumes are seemingly more saturated with decorative props than the stark, almost empty surroundings of the Beijing Opera, there is a subdued dimness that allows the audience to put full attention to the male vocalist and his muse. The singing lines in the Beijing Opera were performed within a limited range, at a very high octave with a limited range. Similar to screeching, the notes were carried high in her throat, and produced with a certain harshness. On the contrary, the big, powerful “bel canto” operatic voice of the male singer in the Italian Opera, resonates with rich, full sounds throughout his voice range. The male performer’s voice and the message of love to the woman present with him, is obviously the main focal point of the piece. The orchestra maintained the musical score and provided ornamentation and emphasized the melodic contour of the singer’s vocal line. Without reading the subtitles, there is such emotion and energy in the male singer’s performance that it is easy to see, along with the physical positioning and facial expressions of the female performer, that there is an impassioned dialogue being given from him to

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