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Baroque Arts and Music

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  1. 1. Introduction to Baroque Arts and Music by Elliott Jones of Santa Ana College for Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License
  2. 2. Barroco Portugese term Origin of “Baroque” Pearl of irregular shape Originally had negative connotation Referred to excessive ornamentation in art Bernini’s canopy in St. Peter’s Altar at St. Peter’s
  3. 3. Baroque (1600 – 1750) New sound emerges in northern Italy Grows out of several trends Virtuosic singing in Italian madrigals Reaction against equal-voiced Renn. Polyphony Growing desire for expressivity Baroque style evolves greatly over 150 yrs.
  4. 4. Stylistic Variation From early to late Baroque musical styles and tastes change dramatically. Some 20th century scholars felt this couldn’t be considered a single historical period. Though there is now consensus on using the term “Baroque” to describe this period, early Baroque music sounds very different from late Baroque music.
  5. 5. Doctrine of the Affections Musical expression influences emotion One emotion (or “affect”) per piece/mvmt. Musical settings should reinforce the text Especially relevant to vocal music
  6. 6. Monody An early Baroque innovation in singing Expressive, text-oriented solo vocal line Sparse accompaniment – basso continuo Homophonic texture Dominant melody Chordal accompaniment Origin of monody in Florentine Camerata
  7. 7. Basso Continuo An accompaniment by two instruments One melodic bass: cello, bassoon One chordal instrument: harpsichord, organ Music not fully written out Bass line with numbers written below indicating the harmony This is called “figured bass” Creates a top-bottom harmonic emphasis
  8. 8. Baroque Style Elements: Melody Two kinds of melody develop Vocal – expressive, virtuosic Instrumental – mechanical, sequential repetition Vocal lines frequently shift dramatically from long to short notes Melodic lines are typically long, expansive, and irregular (contrast w/Classical period)
  9. 9. Baroque Style Elements: Harmony Conceived vertically – chords Continuo is ubiquitous Dominance of major and minor scales Over time the chord progressions become more standardized
  10. 10. Baroque Style Elements: Rhythm Rhythm generally uniform within a piece Strong beat common in instrumental music Rhythmic drive increases over the course of the Baroque
  11. 11. Baroque Style Elements: Texture Early Baroque composers favored homophonic texture. This was a reaction to late Renaissance polyphony that they felt impeded expression Late Baroque composers embraced elaborate polyphonic textures. J.S. Bach was a master of counterpoint.
  12. 12. Baroque Style Elements: Dynamics Composers specify volume for first time Forte = loud Piano = soft Baroque composers preferred sudden changes in dynamic levels Terraced dynamics
  13. 13. Virtuoso Musicians Performance standards rise Advanced playing/singing technique is demanded by the music Domenico Scarlatti – harpsichord Antonio Vivaldi – violin The castratti – operatic vocalists