Baroque Music

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  • 1. Baroque Music1600 - 1750

2. Characteristics Unity of mood Continuity of Rhythm Continuity of melody Terraced dynamics Polyphonic and homophonic textures Basso Continuo Word painting 3. Characteristics Unity of Mood: What is happy will be happy throughout and what is sad continues tothe end. Composers molded the musical language to fit moods and affections. Rhythm: Unity of mood in baroque is conveyed by the continuity of rhythm.Rhythmic patterns heard at the beginning of the piece are reiterated many timesthroughout the piece. This relentless drive compelled the music to push forward. Melody: Baroque music creates a feeling of continuity. An opening melody will beheard over and over again in the course of the piece. Many baroque melodies arecomplex and elaborate. They are not easy to sing or play. Terraced Dynamics: The dynamics of the piece stay constant for some period of timebefore it shifts to another level. Gradual dynamic changes such as crescendos anddecrescendos are unheard of . The harpsichord, which was the principal keyboardinstrument of the period, was incapable of gradations of volume. The harpsichord canbe played either loud or soft, but not in between. Texture: Late baroque music was predominantly polyphonic or homophonic intexture. Basso continuo and figure bass: It is common to see figured bass, little numbers atthe bottom of the stave to indicate the chords that must be played. The basso continuoconsists of the cello and an instrument that can play chords (usually the lute orharpsichord). Word Painting: Writing music that reflects the text. Tonality: Major & minor tonality evolved. 4. CharacteristicsIn Baroque musicOrnaments in take on a different meaning. Most ornaments occur on the beat, and usediatonic intervals more exclusively than ornaments in later periods do. While any table ofornaments must give a strict presentation, consideration has to be given to the tempo andnote length, since at rapid tempos it would be difficult or impossible to play all of the notesthat are usually required. One realization of some common Baroque ornaments is set in thefollowing table from the Klavierbchlein fr Wilhelm Friedemann Bach written by J.S.Bach: 5. The Baroque Orchestra Consists primarily of violins, violas, and thebasso continuo (harpsichord + bass inst.) Woodwinds brass and percussion areoptional 6. Baroque Forms Instrumental music frequently made up ofmovements Movement: a piece complete in itself also part of a larger whole Performed with pause between movements Unity of mood within individual movements Movements often contrast with each other Ground bass: a repeated musical idea used asthe basis of a composition Common basic forms: TernaryA B A Binary A B A B B A A B A A B B 7. Baroque Composers Johann Sebastian Bach Claudio Monteverdi Henry Purcell Antonio Vivaldi George Fridirich Handel 8. Johann Sebastian Bach German,Lutheran master of the keyboard Came from a long line ofmusicians/composers Most prestigious post: court conductor forthe Prince of Cothen (first position in whichhe was not involved in church or organmusic 9. J.S. Bach cont. Director of St Thomas Church in Leipzigfor 27 years Very religious man (J.J. and S.D.G.) 2 wives- 20 children Two important keyboard collections: TheWell Tempered Clavier and the Notebookof Anna Magdalena 10. Types of Compositions Concerto Grosso: A multi-movementinstrumental composition for a small groupof soloists and orchestra. Usually 3 movements Fast Slow (usually quieter) Fast (sometimes dance-like) The two groups alternate in ritornello form 11. The Concerto Grossoand Ritornello Form Ritornello Frequently used in 1st & last movementsof concerto grosso Theme repeatedly presented by theorchestra (tutti) in fragments Contrast between solo sections and tutti 12. Brandenburg Concerto #5,Allegro Solo group: flute violin and harpsichord 3 movements: fast-slow-fast Allegro movement opens with the ritornellotheme. Notice the contrast in dynamics,texture and timbre The last section has an impressiveharpsichord solo 13. Baroque Forms cont. Fugue: a polyphonic composition based onone main theme, called a subject. Thetexture usually includes three, four or fivevoices and includes a counter subject andepisodes - The fugue is often introduced bya short piece called a prelude Example: J.S. Bachs Little Fugue in G Minor 14. The fugue begins with the exposition of its subjectsounding in one of the voices alone in the tonic key.After the statement of the subject, a second voice enterswith the subject transposed to the dominant, which isknown as the answer. Sometimes the answer is the tonic orsubdominant; to avoid disturbing the sense of key, it mayalso have to be altered slightly.When the answer is an exact transposition of the subject tothe dominant, it is classified as a real answer; if it has to bealtered in any way it is a tonal answer.Main SectionsExpositionDevelopmentCoda 15. Baroque Forms cont. The Baroque Suite: a collection of stylizeddances written for listening rather than fordancing The French Overture and the air are the onlytwo movements of the suite that are not dances Example: J.S. Bachs Suite No. 3 in D Major Ouverture Air Gavotte I/II Bourre Gigue 16. Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme Cantata No. 140 Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata: multi mvt. Composition for chorus,vocal soloists and instrumental ensemblebased on a chorale Chorale: hymn tune with one note persyllable, religious text Chorale prelude: Short composition fororgan, based on a chorale and used as amemory jogger 17. Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die StimmeJ. S. Bach BWV 140 is a chorale cantata Its primary melody and text are drawn from a Lutheran chorale, Wachet auf,ruft uns die Stimme. First movement is a chorale fantasia based on the first verse of the chorale, Second movement is a recitative for tenor that precedes the third movement, Third movement is a duet for soprano and bass with obbligato violin. In theduet, the soprano represents the soul and the bass represents Jesus. The fourth movement, based on the second verse of the chorale, is written in atrio sonata-like texture for the tenors of the chorus, oboe da caccia, andcontinuo. The fifth movement is a recitative for bass, preceding the sixth movement, The sixth movement is another duet for soprano and bass with obbligato oboe.This duet, like the third movement, is a love duet between the soprano souland the bass Jesus. The final movement, as with many of Bachs cantatas, is based on the finalverse of the chorale and is a four-part harmonization of the chorale melody. 18. Sonata and Trio SonataJ.S. Bach Solo Sonata: multi movement work forsoloist plus basso continuo Trio sonata: multi movement work for twosolo instruments plus basso continuo (4musicians) 19. Antonio Vivaldi1678-1741 Italian violinist-composer AKA : The Red Priest (red hair and was apriest for one year) Most of his career he was composer,conductor and teacher at an all girls school Composed operas and church music but isbest known for his concerti grossi and soloconcertos 20. La Primavera from The Four Seasons Antonio Vivaldi Composition is a solo concerto Program music: instrumental musicassociated with a story, poem, idea or scene Read sonnet Listen for ritornello, terraced dynamics,tremolo, glissando and trills 21. La Primavera - Spring AllegroSpringtime is upon us.The birds celebrate her return with festive song,and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle overheaven,Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs oncemore. LargoOn the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, thegoat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him. AllegroLed by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightlydance beneah the brilliant canopy of spring. 22. Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643 Italian (Cremona) violist, singer composer the last great madrigalist and the first greatopera composer bridging the Renaissanceand the Baroque eras Mostly wrote vocal music with instrumentalaccompaniment 23. Orfeo Claudio Monteverdi His 1st opera Composed for the Mantuan court with ahealthy budget; soloists, chorus, dancersand a 40 piece orchestra Incorporates recitative and aria Recitative: Sung speech without meter Aria: Song for solo plus accompaniment(soliloquy) 24. Tu Se Morta from Monteverdis, Orfeo Sung by Orfeo after he hears of Eurydicesdeath Accompanied by basso continuo: organ andbass lute Homophonic, no meter or beat, no apparentstructure An example of recitative 25. Tu Se MortaClaudio MonteverdiThis recitative is from Claudio Monteverdis opera Orfeo.It is an important for several reasons: Orfeo is considered by many to be the first great Italian opera. It dates from the early 1600s and is one of the works used to mark the beginning of the Baroque era. It builds on the ideas of the earlier Florentine Camarata concerning the use of the recitative, and the homophonic texture in preference to polyphony. This selection is an example of the recitative form. The singing style is simple and designed to provide the singer with avehicle for a dramatic delivery of the text rather than just a chance toshow off his beautiful voice. This is the opposite of the aria, in which thebeautiful melodic contour takes precedence over the text. In the recitative there is usually one syllable or word per note with verylittle melodic embellishment. Note the simple, chordal accompaniment Several striking examples of word painting occur in this recitative. The words "abysses," "death," and "farewell" are sung on low notes. The words "stars," "sky," and "sun" are sung on high notes. 26. Tu se morta, se morta, mia vitaYou are dead, you are dead, my dearest,ed io respiro, tu se da me partita,And I breathe, you have left me,se da me partita per mai pi,You have left me foreverm