Baroque Music: The History

The application of the term “baroque”, which literally means “irregularly shaped pearl”, to this period is a relatively recent development, first used by Curt Cash in 1919, and only acquiring currency in English in the sass. Indeed, as late as 1960 there was still considerable dispute in academic circles whether it was meaningful to lump together music as diverse as that of Capo Perl, Domenici Scarlatti and J. S. Bach with a single term; yet the term has become widely used and accepted for this broad range of music.

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It may be helpful to distinguish it from both the preceding (Renaissance) and following (Classical) periods of musical history. A small number of musicologists argue that it should be split into Baroque and Mannerist periods to conform to the divisions that are sometimes applied in the visual arts. Edit] Styles and forms [edit] The baroque suite [edit] Allemande Often the first movement of an instrumental suite, the allemande was a very popular dance that had its origins in the Renaissance era, when it was more often called the alumina. The allemande was played at a moderate tempo and could start on any beat of the bar.

In some suites it could be preceded by a prelude or an overture. The accurate is a lively French dance in triple meter. The Italian version is called the corrected. [edit] Serenade This is one of the slowest of the baroque dances with a speed of about 40 to 66 beats ere minute. It is also in triple meter and can start on any beat of the bar, although there is an emphasis on the second beat, creating the characteristic ‘halting’, or iambic rhythm of the serenade. [edit] Segue The segue is an upbeat and lively baroque dance in compound meter, typically the concluding movement of an instrumental suite.

The segue can start on any beat of the bar and is easily recognized by its rhythmic feel. The segue is said to have originated in England, its counterpart in folk music being the Gig. These four dance types make up the majority of 17th century suites; later suites interpolate additional movements, sometimes termed intermezzi or gallantries, between the serenade and segue: [edit] Gavotte The gavotte can be identified by a variety of features; it is in 4/4 time and always starts on the third beat of the bar, although this may sound like the first beat in some cases, as the first and third beats are the strong beats in duple time.

The gavotte is played at a moderate tempo, although in some cases it may be played faster. [edit] Foure The foure is similar to the gavotte as it is in 2/2 time although it starts on the second half of the last beat of the bar, creating a different feel to the dance. The foure is commonly played at a moderate tempo, although for some composers, such as Handel, it can be taken at a much faster tempo. [edit] Minuet The minuet is perhaps the best known of the baroque dances in triple meter. It can start on any beat of the bar. The speed of the minuet is normally moderate, although this may vary.

In some suites there may be a Minuet I and II, played in succession, with the Minuet I repeated. [edit] Passepied The passepied is a fast dance in binary form and triple meter that originated in Brittany. Examples can be found in later suites such as those of Bach and Handel. [edit] Regarding The regarding is a lively French dance in duple meter, similar to the foure, but rhythmically simpler. It may have originated in Provence. Baroque instruments including hurdy guard, harpsichord, bass viol, lute, violin, and baroque guitar. Baroque music shares with Renaissance music a heavy use of polyphony and counterpoint.

However, its use of these techniques differs from Renaissance music. In the Renaissance, harmony is more the result of consonances Incidental to the smooth flow of polyphony, while in the early Baroque era the order of these consonances becomes important, for they begin to be felt as chords in a aerographical, functional tonal scheme. Around 1600 there is considerable blurring of this definition: for example essentially tonal progressions around accidental points in madrigals are noted, while in early monody the feeling of tonality is still rather tenuous.

Another distinction between Renaissance and Baroque practice in harmony IS the frequency of chord root motion by third in the earlier period, while motion of fourths or fifths predominates later (which partially defines functional tonality). In addition, baroque music uses longer lines and stronger rhythms: the initial line is extended, either alone or accompanied only by the basso continuo, until the theme reappears in another voice. In this later approach to counterpoint, the harmony was more often defined either by the basso continuo, or tacitly by the notes of the theme itself.

These stylistic differences mark the transition from the ricers, fantasias, and cannons of the Renaissance to the fugue, a defining baroque form. Claudio Monteverdi called this newer, looser style the seconds practical, contrasting it with the prima practical that characterized the motets and other sacred choral pieces of high Renaissance masters like Giovanni Periling dad Palestinian. Monteverdi used both styles; he wrote his Mass In Lillo tempore in the older, Palestinian style, and his 1610 vespers in the new style.

There are other, more general differences between baroque and Renaissance style. Baroque music often strives for a greater level of emotional intensity than Renaissance music, and a Baroque piece often uniformly depicts a single particular emotion (exultation, grief, piety, and so forth). Baroque music was more often written for virtuoso singers and instrumentalists and is music, although idiomatic instrumental writing was one of the most important innovations of the period.

Baroque music employs a great deal of ornamentation, which was often improvised by the performer. Expressive performance methods such as notes ingales were common and were expected to be applied by performers, often with considerable latitude. Instruments came to play a greater part in baroque music, and a chapel local music receded in importance. [edit] Baroque versus Classical style In the Classical era, which followed the Baroque, the role of counterpoint was diminished (albeit repeatedly rediscovered and reintroduced), and replaced by a homophobic texture.

The role of ornamentation lessened. Works tended towards a Modulation (changing of keys) became a structural and dramatic element, so that a Nor could be heard as a kind of dramatic Journey through a sequence of musical keys, outward and back from the tonic. Baroque music also modulates frequently, but the modulation has less structural importance. Works in the classical style often depict widely varying emotions within a single movement, whereas baroque works tend toward a single, vividly portrayed feeling.

Classical works usually reach a kind of dramatic climax and then resolve it; baroque works retain a fairly constant level of dramatic energy to the very last note. Many forms of the Baroque served as the point of departure for the creation of the sonata form, by creating a “floor plan” for the placement of important cadences. In Baroque music, articulation was emphasized more than dynamics. Dynamics were still important, but baroque-era keyboards harpsichords and organs) were incapable of producing the full range of dynamics possible in later eras. Thus, articulation given more importance. Edit] Other features basso continuo – a kind of continuous accompaniment notated with a new music notation system, figured bass, usually for a sustaining bass instrument and a aboard instrument monody – music for one melodic voice with accompaniment, characteristic of the early 17th century, especially in Italy homophony – music with one melodic voice and rhythmically similar accompaniment (this and monody are contrasted with the typical Renaissance texture, polyphony) text over music – Intelligible text with instrumental accompaniment not overpowering the voice vocal soloists dramatic musical expression dramatic musical forms like opera, drama per musical combined instrumental-vocal forms, such as the oratorio and cantata new instrumental techniques, like tremolo and pizzicato Lear and linear melody notes ingales, a technique of applying dotted rhythms to evenly written notes the The reiteration aria (repeated short instrumental interruptions of vocal passages) the concerto style (contrast in sound between orchestra and solo-instruments or small groups of instruments) precise instrumental scoring (in the Renaissance, exact instrumentation for ensemble playing was rarely indicated) idiomatic instrumental rutting: better use of the unique properties of each type of musical instrument directors instrumental and vocal writing, with appreciation for virtuosity as such ornamentation placement to modern Western tonality (major and minor scales) cadenza- an extended virtuosic section for the soloist usually near the end of a movement of a concerto. [edit] Genres arouse composers wrote in many different musical genres. Opera, invented in the late Renaissance, became an important musical form during the Baroque, with the The work of Bach and Handel; opera and oratorio often used very similar music forms, such as a widespread use of the dad capo aria. In other religious music, the Mass and motet receded slightly in importance, but the cantata flourished in the work of Bach and other Protestant composers. Virtuoso organ music also flourished, with toccatas, fugues, and other works.

Instrumental sonatas and dance suites were written for individual instruments, for chamber groups, and for (small) orchestra. The concerto emerged, both in its form for single soloist plus orchestra and as the concerto gross, in which a small group of soloists is contrasted with the full ensemble. The French overture, with its contrasting slow and fast sections, added grandeur to the many courts at which it was performed. Keyboard works were sometimes written largely for the pleasure and instruction of the performer. These included a series of works by the mature Bach that are widely considered to be the intellectual culmination of the Baroque era: the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, and The Art of Fugue. Edit] Vocal Opera Azure Opera series Opera communique Opera-ballet Masque Oratorio Passion (music) Cantata Mass (music) Anthem Monody Chorale [edit] Instrumental Concerto gross Fugue Suite Allemande Accurate Serenade Segue Gavotte Minuet Sonata dad camera Sonata dad chaise Trio sonata Parity Canon Confusion Fantasia Ricer ricotta Prelude Cinchona Piccalilli Chorale prelude [edit] History Composers of the Baroque edit] Early baroque music (1600-1654) ere conventional dividing line for the Baroque from the Renaissance begins in Italy, Ninth the Florentine Camera, a group of academics who met informally in Florence in the palace of Count Giovanni De’ Bard to discuss arts, as well as the sciences. Concerning music, their ideals were based on their perception of ancient Greek musical drama, in which the declamation of the text was of utmost importance.

As such, they rejected the complex polyphony of the late renaissance and desired a form of musical drama which consisted primarily of a simple solo melody, with a basic accompaniment. The early realizations of these ideas, including Capo Peril’s Deafen and Luridness, marked the beginning of opera. Musically, the adoption of the figured bass represents a larger change in musical thinking-?namely that harmony, that is “taking all of the parts together” was as important as the linear part of polyphony. Increasingly, polyphony and harmony were seen as two sides of the same idea, with harmonic progressions entering the notion of composing, as well as the use of the triton as a dissonance.

Harmonic thinking had existed among particular composers in the previous era, notably Carlo Seagulls; forever the Renaissance is felt to give way to the Baroque at the point where it becomes the common vocabulary. Some historians of music point to the introduction of the seventh chord without preparation as being the key break with the past. This created the idea that chords, rather than notes, created the sense of closure, which is one of the fundamental ideas of what came to be known as tonality. Italy formed one of the cornerstones of the new style, as the papacy-?besieged by Reformation but with coffers fattened by the immense revenues flowing in from Hapsburg conquest-?searched for artistic means to promote faith in the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the most important musical centers was Venice, which had Giovanni Gabriel’ became one of the important transitional figures to come out of the drive to revive Catholicism against the growing doctrinal, artistic and social challenge mounted by Protestantism. His work is largely considered to be in the “High Renaissance” style. However, his innovations came to be considered foundational to the new style. Among these are instrumentation (labeling instruments specifically for specific tasks) and the use of dynamics. ere demands of religion were also to make the text of sacred works clearer, and once there was pressure to move away from the densely layered polyphony of the Renaissance, to lines which put the words front and center, or had a more limited range of imitation. This created the demand for a more intricate weaving of the vocal line against backdrop, or homophony.

Claudio Monteverdi became the most visible of a generation of composers who felt that there was a secular means to this “modern” approach to harmony and text, and in 1607 his opera Refer became the landmark which demonstrated the array of effects and techniques that were associated with this new school, called seconds artic, to distinguish it from the older style or prima practical. Monteverdi was a master of both, producing precisely styled madrigals that extended the forms of Martinez and Caches De Wert. But it is his pieces in the new style which became the most influential. These included features which are recognizable even to the end of the baroque period, including use of idiomatic writing, virtuoso flourishes, and the use of new techniques.

This musical language proved to be international, as Heimlich Such;TX, a German composer who studied in Venice under both Gabriele and later Monteverdi, used it to he liturgical needs of the Elector of Saxony and served as the choir master in Dressed. [edit] Middle baroque music (1654-1707) ere rise of the centralized court is one of the economic and political features of what is often labeled the Age of Absolutism, personified by Louis XIV of France. The style of palace, and the court system of manners and arts which he fostered, became the model for the rest of Europe. The realities of rising church and state patronage created the demand for organized public music, as the increasing availability of instruments created the demand for chamber music. This included the availability of keyboard instruments. He middle Baroque is separated from the early Baroque by the coming of systematic thinking to the new style and a gradual institutionalizing of the forms and norms, particularly in opera. As with literature, the printing press and trade created an expanded international audience for works and greater cross-pollination between national centers of musical activity. Of musical practice and the creation of formal systems of teaching. Music was an art, and it came to be seen as one that should be taught in an orderly manner. This culminated in the later work of Fax in systematizing counterpoint. One preeminent example of a court style composer is Jean-Baptists Lully. His career rose dramatically when he collaborated with Moldier on a series of comedic-ballets, that is, plays with dancing.

He used this success to become the sole composer of operas for the king, using not Just innovative musical ideas such as the tragedies lyrical, but patents from the king which prevented others from having operas staged. Lully’s instinct for providing the material that his monarch desired has been minted out by almost every biographer, including his rapid shift to church music En the mood at court became more devout. His 13 completed lyric tragedies are based on libretti that focus on the conflicts between the public and private life of the monarch. Musically, he explored contrast between stately and fully orchestrated sections, and simple recitatives and airs.

In no small part, it was his skill in assembling and practicing musicians into an orchestra which was essential to his success and influence. Observers noted the precision and intonation, this in an age where there Nas no standard for tuning instruments. One essential element was the increased focus on the inner voices of the harmony and the relationship to the soloist. He also established the string-dominated norm for orchestras. Archangel Cornell is remembered as influential for his achievements on the other side of musical technique-?as a violinist who organized violin technique and pedagogy-? and in purely instrumental music, particularly his advocacy and development of the concerto gross.

Whereas Lully was ensconced at court, Cornell was one of the first composers to publish widely and have his music performed all over Europe. As with Lully’s stabilization and organization of the opera, the concerto gross is built on strong contrasts-?sections alternate between those played by the full orchestra, and those played by a smaller group. Dynamics were “terraced”, that is with a sharp transition from loud to soft and back again. Fast sections and slow sections were Juxtaposed against each other. Numbered among his students is Antonio Vivaldi, who later composed hundreds of works based on the principles in Coracle’s trio sonatas and concerti.

In England the middle Baroque produced a commentary genius in Henry Purcell, who spite dying at age 36, produced a profusion of music and was widely recognized in his lifetime. He was familiar with the innovations of Cornell and other Italian style composers; however, his patrons were different, and his musical output was prodigious. Rather than being a painstaking craftsman, Purcell was a fluid composer No was able to shift from simple anthems and useful music such as marches, to grandly scored vocal music and music for the stage. His catalog runs to over 800 Influence and presence. In contrast to these composers, Dietrich Buxtehude was not a creature of court but stead was an organist and entrepreneurial presenter of music.

Rather than publishing, he relied on performance for his income, and rather than royal patronage, he shuttled between vocal settings for sacred music, and organ music that he performed. His output is not as fabulous or diverse, because he was not constantly being called upon for music to meet an occasion. Buxtehude employment of contrast was between the free, often improvisatory sections, and more strict sections worked out contrapuntally. This procedure would be highly influential on later composers such as Bach, who took the contrast between free and trick to greater limits. [edit] Late baroque music (1680-1750) ere dividing line between middle and late Baroque is a matter of some debate. Dates for the beginning of “late” baroque style range from 1680 to 1720.

In no small part this is because there was not one synchronized transition; different national styles experienced changes at different rates and at different times. Italy is generally regarded as the first country to move to the late baroque style. The important dividing line in most histories of baroque music is the full absorption of tonality as a trucking principle of music. This was particularly evident in the wake of theoretical Nor by Jean-Philippe Rammer, who replaced Lully as the important French opera composer. At the same time, through the work of Johann Fax, the Renaissance style of polyphony was made the basis for the study of counterpoint.

The combination of modal counterpoint with tonal logic of cadences created the sense that there were two styles of composition-?the homophobic dominated by vertical considerations and the polyphonic dominated by imitation and contrapuntal considerations. He forms which had begun to be established in the previous era flourished and Newer given wider range of diversity; concerto, suite, sonata, concerto gross, oratorio, opera and ballet all saw a proliferation of national styles and structures. The overall form of pieces was generally simple, with repeated binary forms (BABE), simple three part forms (BBC), and rounded forms being common. These schematics in turn influenced later composers.

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