Composition Analysis

McCallium Davis July 24, 2011 MUSI200 B006 Sum 11 Instructor: Bethanie Hansen Composition Analysis Paper of Handel, Messiah, “Hallelujah” Chorus I chose to do my paper on this particular piece because I love church music and wanted to get to know the history of this piece. I like this piece because this song can be used to encourage depressed people and those who are almost giving up in life. This musical acts as a comfort to them and gives them a reason to go on and to never give up. I really enjoyed this piece.

There are no dislikes from me, I love Christian music and this piece really spoke to me. First I would like to share some background Information on this piece. Hallelujah piece was composed by George Frederic Handel in 1741 and at that time the composer was in despair and depressed. The song’s title is called messiah while the chorus is known as the Hallelujah chorus. This song is among the most beautiful compositions and the recording is probably one of the best performances of George Frederic Handel. The song has a heavenly choir and wonderful soloists.

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George Frederic Handel composed the song at the time when he was in a state of despair. George locked himself up in his study room and within a period of seven days, he was through with the first part of the song which came to be called the birth of the messiah. After another period of nine days, George was through with the second part of the song which came to be known as the redemption. Within a period of less than seven days, George was through with the third part of the song which came to be called the resurrection, and the future reign of Christ.

The song Hallelujah chorus became a triumph to many people including the king who rose to his feet on hearing the chorus. The act of the king rising to his feet is a tradition and custom that still prevails. This is because even in churches, the congregation rises to its feet when the Hallelujah chorus is performed. This song has become the most beloved composition of all times and hence it is performed during Christmases, in concert halls and in churches. Millions of people claim to find the message of faith and hope from the messiah song by George Frederic Handel. Although he messiah song was traditionally thought to be reserved for performances around Christmas time, it was initially performed around the Easter festival. (Boydell) The birth of the messiah is the first part of the song. This part dramatizes the great expectation of the Israelites who expected a messiah. Messiah is a Hebrew word meaning Christ. This part presents great prophesies that foretell the coming of the Messiah and the works that this messiah is expected to accomplish. These texts are from the Old Testament. It is said that the Messiah will cause cessation of warfare, comfort Jerusalem and even subdue its enemies.

Therefore, George was trying to pass a message of hope and encouraging the depressed to keep holding on because there was a Messiah and God who was there to comfort them and take away all their troubles. The second part of the sons is called redemption. The Jewish people showed dissatisfaction with the lowly and meek Messiah. They expected Jerusalem to be the Metropolis of the world and this did not happen. They did not understand that the Messiah had to first of all come to the world as a lamb that would take away all the sins of mankind and then ascends to heaven later on where he would take up his reign and power (Roden).

The third part is known as the resurrection and the future reign of Christ. Christ went through pain and tribulations and eventually died by being nailed on the cross. The Jewish rejection of Messiah meant that everyone was destined to perish. This however, was not the case because Christ loved us so much and did not wish for those who believed in him to perish too. Hence, there is hope for believers and that hope is the second coming of Christ after which He will reign forever. The messiah song also has the Hallelujah chorus and this chorus is thrilling due to the glorious combination of words as the music rises higher and higher.

The chorus lays emphasis on the triumph of Jesus Christ. It also conveys the message that Christ is the king of kings and is more powerful than all the earthly kings. Everyone should praise and adore the kings of kings. When the chorus was first sung, even the king was filled with emotion and rose to his feet. This symbolizes the great honour bestowed upon Jesus Christ who is the king of kings (Boydell). A key significant feature of Hallelujah chorus is that it portrays a future event. The chorus is supposed to be sung to those who believe in Jesus Christ and see the kingdom of God.

This means that the Hallelujah chorus has not yet been sung by those were designed to originally sing it. According to George Handel, the heavenly kingdom hosts are the one who originally designed to sing this chorus. Just as Jesus Christ rose from the dead and then clothes by a glorious and immortal nature, the same thing can happen to those who trust and believe in Him. The two first two verses and the Hallelujah chorus speaks of the great victory that will be experienced by the chosen few who take a bold step of believing in him. The victory will be over death and sin.

Despite the troubles and tribulations that are present and coming upon the present civilization, there is hope for a glorious and victorious future which Handel expresses in his Messiah song. The Messiah will come again and establish his reign on earth where all those who believed in him shall experience an immortal and eternal life. In conclusion, I think that this piece had a message that will live on forever. Despite the fact that George was going through tough times of despair and tribulation, he found the strength to write the Messiah song and Hallelujah chorus which became success and a comfort to many.

The same case applies to us in today’s world when we are faced with several hardships and tribulations. There is a message of hope and faith in the Messiah song and Hallelujah chorus which tells us that there is an omnipresent and comforter who is able to hear all our troubles. The comforter is Jesus Christ. With all the things going on in the world today, we need a musical piece like this to let people know things will be ok. No matter how bad the economy is or how many wars we fight, this piece lets us know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

All we have to do is remember that there is nothing to hard for us to deal with. Jesus is always there for us. References * Boydell, B. (2004): A history of music at Christ Cathedral, Dublin. Boydell Press. * Parrish, C. , & Ohl, J. F. (2001) Masterpieces of music before 1750: An Anthology of musical examples from Gregorian chant to J. S. Bach. Courier Dover Publications. * Roden, T. , Wright, C. , & Simms, B. (2009): Anthology for Music in Western Civilization. Cengage Learning. * Kerman, Joseph, & Tomlinson, Gary. 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000: Listen-Seventh Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s

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