Vivaldi Texture Talk

viv texture 6

Score-reading and analysis activities exploring texture in Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”.


  • One of the characteristics of any concerto in the Baroque period or later is the contrast between different textures; usually the contrast between sections featuring the soloist with orchestral sections.


  • The ritornello movements of Vivaldi’s concerti rely upon this contrast as one of their structural pillars.


  • Words used in relation to texture in music are:viv texture boxes1

viv texture 3


  • There are examples of most of these textures in The Four Seasons. Find an example of each.


  1.  Homophonic
  2.  Monody
  3. Thick Texture
  4. Thin Texture
  5. Octaves
  6. Melody and Accompaniment


  • Any of these types of texture can be used in combination. For instance, in a melody and accompaniment texture the accompaniment could be homophonic.


  • An alternative to the term melody and accompaniment is to refer to foreground, background and middleground material:

viv texture boxes

  • This can be a more satisfactory classification, as foreground material can often by something other than a melody such as a rhythm or a sequence of chords, or there can be more than one melody.

viv texture 2


  • Look at the 3rd movement of Winter. Discuss the texture in each of the sections specified. Also comment on the role of each section of the orchestra in terms of foreground, middleground and background.

viv texture 1

  1. bars 1-20
  2. bars 21-39
  3. bars 40-50
  4. bars 51-100
  5. bars 120-137
  6. bars 138-153



viv texture answers

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