In ecclesiis - Gabrieli

  • Created by: Annie
  • Created on: 18-01-12 15:05


  • In ecclesiis would have been performed for a major service in St Mark's church, which provided echoing spaces and multiple choir galleries
  • New style of church music in which spatially seperated choirs of instruments and voices echo and answer each other in antiphony
  • Dramatic new style towards the end of the Renaissance and continued into the early years of the Baroque period, known as polychoral music


  • Gabrieli wrote for 14 independent parts in In ecclesiis: - four solo vocal parts - four choral vocal parts - six parts assigned to a group of specific instruments: three cornetts, two trombones and a violin (then a new instrument but the range is closer to that of a viola)
  • In addition, a bass part for organ, from which the player improvises chords - doubles the instrumental or vocal bass when everyone is performing - origin of figured bass
  • Choir have relatively simple parts
  • Solo voices are expected to cope with more elaborate lines
  • Instruments are required to play dotted rhythms and repeated notes (like those in bars 31-33) that are totally unlike vocal melodies

Other useful terms

  • The divided choirs of polychoral music, with singers placed in different parts of the building, are sometimes called cori spezzati ('split choirs)
  • Compositions of the early 17th century that combine and constrast vocal and instrumental ensembles, supported by a continuo bass part are often described as being in stile concertato (concerted style)
  • The combination of a solo voice and continuo accompaniment was a new type of texture in music of the period and, when used in…


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