Baroque Music

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  • The Baroque Era1585-1750Copyright 2005 - Frankel Consulting Services, Inc.

  • What was going on in the world?1607 - English settle Jamestown1610 - Galileo confirms the Earth is round1643-1715 - Louis XIV rules France1687 - Sir Isaac Newton publishes his Laws of Universal Gravitation1732- George Washington born1744-1748 - French & Indian War

  • What does the word Baroque mean?Baroque is a French word from Portugese origins that means an irregularly shaped pearl.

  • Originally the term Baroque was used for the art works created during this period in that there was an inherent strangeness and extravagance associated with them. Only recently has the term also been used to include the music, which is anything but slightly flawed.

  • Characteristics of Baroque MusicKnown as Europes Gilded AgeMusicians were employees of the wealthyReturned to the Greek and Roman ideals

  • Characteristics, cont.

  • Characteristics of Baroque MusicUse of a Basso Continuo - harpsichord and cello providing the base of the composition.Emphasized contrasts in texture, pace and volume.Strong use of improvisation in both melodies, and the embellishments of those melodies.Most importantly - if you hear a harpsichord, its almost always Baroque.

  • Baroque Composers

  • Johann Sebastian Bach1685-1750

    From GermanyComposed cantatas

  • JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACHFamous for his fugues : Toccata and Fugue in D MinorWrote S.D.G. at the end of all his pieces (to the Glory of God)His entire family was musical

  • Domenico Scarlatti 1685-1757

  • Francois Couperin1668-1733

  • Henry Purcell1659-1695

  • Georg Philipp Telemann1681-1767

  • Archangelo Corelli1653-1713

  • George Frederic Handel1685-1759

    From EnglandComposed oratorios

  • GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDELFamous for oratoriosComposed Messiah Hallelujah Chorus is in this pieceHandel was a world traveler and man of the world

  • Antonio Vivaldi1678-1741

    From ItalyComposed concertos

  • Antonio VIVALDI

    Virtuoso violinist Ordained priest

    Taught violin at a girls orphanage in Venice Wrote over 800 concertos (500 for solo violin & orchestra) Majority of his works were unknown until the 1920s The Four Seasons (c. 1725)

    Wrote over 800 concertos (500 for solo violin & orch) Also wrote 100 operas

    Majority of his works were unknown until the 1920s (stored in a church archive)

  • Baroque Instruments

  • Flute

  • Oboe

  • Recorder

  • Bassoon

  • Trumpet

  • Horn

  • Viola

  • Cello

  • Harpsichords & Claviers

  • Pipe Organ

  • Baroque music differs greatly from Medieval and Renaissance music.

  • Uses of Baroque MusicChurch Music Other Religious Songs Secular Songs (love, politics) Instrumental Dances Courtly Entertainment

  • Baroque Music CharacteristicsTried to paint pictures music portrayed emotion. The stabilization of music as we know it today. Instrumental music is popular. It gained equal importance with vocal music.There was a transition from the church modes as represented in Gregorian chants to a major-minor system, as represented in the major and minor scales we have today.

  • Composers used mixed groups of instruments to perform works of great complexity. Music was no longer only functional, it was made to be enjoyed as its own entity.Composers began to search for inspiration for their compositions in not only the church, but in nature.Baroque music is very similar to jazz in its use of improvisation and figured bass.

  • Polyphony (many sounds) returned to a high status.Composers employed key characteristics in their music, including: 1)Unity of mood; 2)Continuity of rhythm; 3)The repeated use of a melody; 4)The use of terraced dynamics; 5)The use of polyphonic texture

  • Even More about Baroque MusicThe 1st opera of note was written in 1600 in Florence, Italy. Operas often used text from Greek and Roman mythologyOrchestra, chorus, soloists, staging, costumes, dancing

  • Baroque Music Vocabulary

  • SonataInstrumental music with several movements.

  • OratorioOpera-length works with a clear storyline but without the production elements.

  • CounterpointTwo different notes play simultaneously.This system began during the Renaissance.

  • FugueThis is a polyphonic composition consisting of a series of successive melody imitations or the restatement in succession of identical or nearly identical musical material in 2 or more parts. A theme is introduced by one voice, repeated by other voices, and developed throughout the piece.

  • CantataDesigned specifically to be used in the Lutheran church service. It is a work for vocal soloists, chorus, orchestra, and organ.Various churches today use cantatas to celebrate such holidays as Easter and Christmas.

  • Tomorrow, Bach