Baroque period part 1
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Baroque period part 1 Baroque period part 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Baroque Period (1600-1750)
  • Baroque Period
    • The word means bizarre, flamboyant, and elaborately ornamented
  • Baroque Period
    • Artists of the time; Bernini, Rubens, and Rembrant exploited their materials to expand the potential of color, detail, ornament, and depth.
    • In France Louis XIV held court in the beautifully ornate palace of Versailles.
    • The style was also shaped by the needs of churches trying to make worship more attractive
  • Baroque Period
    • This was also the time of Galileo (1564-1642) and Newton (1642-1727).
    • These innovators represented a new approach to science and mathematics
    Galileo Newton
  • Baroque Composers
    • The two greatest Baroque composers were George Frederic Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach.
    Handel Bach
  • Baroque Period
    • The period can be divided into 3 periods:
      • Early 1600-1640
      • Middle 1640-1680
      • Late 1680-1750
    • We will be discussing music from the late Baroque period
  • Baroque style writing
    • Middle Baroque composers began using new scales (minor scales) instead of the church modes when writing their music
    • By about 1680 major and minor scales were the tonal basis for all composition. Also during this time instrumental music became more important
    • Compositions were written for specific instruments (the violin family being the most popular)
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Unity of Mood
      • If it begins joyfully, it will end joyfully
      • Emotional states (joy, grief,or agitation) were called affections
    • Composers molded a musical mood to fit these affections
      • The exception to this rule is vocal music because when the mood of the words changed, the music had to change, but it did so gradually
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Rhythm Unity of mood is conveyed through continuity of rhythm.
    • Rhythm provides drive and energy. Forward motion is always maintained and the beat is felt more than in most Renaissance music.
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Melody Continuity of melody is also heard in Baroque music.
      • If you hear one melody at the beginning of a piece you will also hear it at the end of the piece.
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Dynamics Continuous levels of dynamics are also maintained in Baroque music
      • When they do shift, it is sudden.
    • This shift from suddenly soft to suddenly loud is called terraced dynamics
      • Gradual changes from soft to loud were not a prominent feature of the period
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Texture The music of the late Baroque period is mainly polyphonic in texture
      • The soprano or bass line is the most important
      • Imitation between voices or melodies is important
    • Not all Baroque music is polyphonic
      • Some pieces may shift in texture between polyphonic and homophonic
  • Features of late Baroque music
    • Chords and the Basso Continuo
      • Chords became increasingly important during this era
      • In early music the beauty of the individual melody was most important
      • later this music evolved, the selection of just the right chords to fit the melody became important
    • The bass became the prominent feature and the entire musical structure of the piece rested on it.
  • Basso Continuo
    • Means Continuous Bass
    • One of the prominent features of Baroque music
    • Usually played by 2 instruments:
      • A keyboard instrument, and a low melodic instrument like the cello or bassoon
  • Figured Bass
    • Baroque composers wrote their bass parts using figured bass. The performer was allowed to improvise what chords to play using the figured bass cues under the music.
  • Words and Music
    • Like the composers of the Renaissance, Baroque composers also used word painting to depict the meaning of the text of their music
      • The word heaven might be set to high tones, the work hell to low tones. Descending chromatic scales were associated with pain and grief.
    • Baroque composers also emphasized words by writing many rapid notes for a single syllable of text
    • This technique also displayed a singer’s virtuosity.
  • The Baroque Orchestra
    • During this era, the orchestra evolved into a performing group based on instruments of the violin family. Smaller than today’s orchestras, it was made up of between 10 and 40 players
    • The instrumentation would vary depending on the music being played.
    • The heart of the orchestra was the basso continuo (harpsichord plus cello, double bass or bassoon)
  • The Baroque Orchestra
  • The Baroque Orchestra
    • It also contained upper strings (violins and violas)
    • Using woodwinds, brass and percussion depended on the music being played
    • This is different from today’s orchestra which always contains 4 sections: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
  • Baroque Forms
    • Baroque music usually stays in the same mood for the entire piece
    • If it starts slow, it ends slow
    • If it starts happy, it ends happy, etc
  • Baroque Forms (continued)
    • To change moods, Baroque composers would write music in sets of pieces
    • Each piece of the set could have a different mood These individual songs in a set are called movements .
  • Baroque Movements
    • A movement is a piece that sounds complete, but is part of a bigger composition
    • Usually each movement has its own themes, comes to a definite end, and is separated from the next movement by a brief pause
    • By doing this, a Baroque composer can have contrast in his music
  • Baroque Movements (cont.)
    • The first movement can be quick and lively, the second slow and solemn, and a concluding movement that is quick, light and humorous
    • Baroque music is all about contrast .
      • Fast to slow, slow to fast, soft to loud, loud to soft, many to few, few to many
  • Music in Baroque society
    • Before 1800 music was written to meet specific demands that came from churches and aristocratic courts
    • The ruling class surrounded themselves with luxury and needed entertainment
    • This entertainment came in the form of music, and each court had its own composer and stable of musicians
  • Court Composer
    • Wrote and produced the music for all performances at the court
    • This music included:operas, church music, dinner music, and pieces for court concerts
    • The composer was the director of the music, the musicians, the library of music and was for all accounts just another servant
  • Church Music
    • Churches also needed music, and church music was often very grand
    • These Baroque churches had organs, choirs and orchestras to accompany services
    • Church was were ordinary citizens heard music
  • Musical Form
    • Contrast is an important factor in Baroque music
    • This principal is also important in a form of Baroque music called the concerto grosso
    • In this form, a small group of musicians is pitted against the full orchestra
    • Usually the small group is between 2-4 soloists and the tutti (everyone else) is made up of between 8 and 20 (or more)
  • Concerto Grosso Form
    • Consists of several movements that contrast in tempo and character
    • Usually these pieces come in 3 movements.
      • 1. Fast
      • 2. Slow
      • 3. Fast
  • Concerto Grosso Form
    • The first and last movements of a concerto are usually written in ritornello form
    • Ritornello means refrain
    • This form is based on the alternation between the tutti and solo sections of instruments
      • The theme which is played by the tutti returns in different keys throughout the piece, but usually you only hear fragments of it. Only at the end of the piece do you hear the entire theme played again in the home key
  • Ritornello form
    • 1.
      • a. Tutti ( f ), ritornello in home key
      • b. Solo
    • 2.
      • a. Tutti ( f ), ritornello fragment
      • b . Solo
    • 3.
      • a. Tutti ( f ), ritornello fragment
      • b. Solo
    • 4.
      • Tutti ( f ), ritornello in home key
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major (about 1721) Listening outline on page 135
    • Allegro
      • The allegro movement opens with the ritornello, which is an almost continuous flow of rapid notes
      • After the ritornello ends the soloist presents short melodic ideas. The flute and violin imitate each other playfully
      • The appearance of the soloist brings a lower dynamic level and a new tone color, the flute
  • Brandenburg Concerto (cont.)
    • After a while, the tutti returns loudly with a brief fragment of the ritornello, only to give way to a new soloist
    • This alternation between the brief, relatively loud ritornello fragments in the tutti, and longer, softer, solo sections continues throughout the movement
    • Only the harpsichord plays during the long final solo section
    • Bach builds to a tense high point for this movement through irresistible rhythm and dazzling scale passages that require a virtuoso’s skill
  • The Fugue
    • A cornerstone of Baroque music
    • It can be written for a group of instruments or voices or for a single instrument
    • A fugue is a polyphonic composition based on one main theme called a subject
    • Throughout a fugue, different melodic lines, or voices, imitate the subject
    • The texture of a fugue usually contains 3-5 voices or parts
  • Baroque Fugues
    • The subject remains the same throughout the piece, but takes on new meanings when shifted to different keys or combined with different melodic or rhythmic ideas.
    • The form of a fugue is extremely flexible
    • The only constant feature is how they begin-
      • The subject is almost always presented in a single, unaccompanied voice
      • By highlighting the subject the composer tells us what to remember and listen for
  • What’s a Fugue?
    • A fugue is similar to a round (canon) like row, row, row your boat, except the voices do not always follow the leader in an exact manner
    • A fugue’s opening differs from a round because as each new voice appears it does not use the same exact notes
  • What’s a Fugue?
    • If the fugue’s melody begins on the tonic scale C-D-E the first time, it will be stated a second time a 5 th higher
      • The second time the melody is heard, it is based on the dominant scale:
        • G-A-B. This second hearing of the melody is called the answer . In fugues, the subject is often constantly accompanied in another voice by a different melodic idea. This is called a counter-subject . A constant companion, the counter-subject always appears with the subject, sometimes below it, sometimes above.
  • What’s a Fugue?
    • After the opening of the fugue, when each voice has taken its turn at presenting the subject, the composer is free to decide how often the subject will be presented, in which keys, and in which voices
    • Between presentations of the subject, the are often transitional sections called episodes , which offer new material or fragments of the subject or counter-subject.
  • What’s a Fugue?
    • A fugue can be varied in four principle ways:
      • 1. It can be turned upside down. Called inversion . If the subject goes up by steps or leaps, the inversion will move down by steps or leaps.
      • 2. It can be presented in retrograde . By beginning with the last note of the subject and proceeding to the first note.
      • 3. It can be presented in augmentation , where the original time values are lengthened.
      • 4. It can be presented in diminution , where the original time values are shortened.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Organ Fugue in G Minor ( Little Fugue ; about 1709)
    • Each of the four voices takes a turn presenting the subject
    • It appears first in the top voice and then appears progressively until it reaches the lowest voice, which is played by the organist’s feet on the pedal keyboard
    • The subject gathers momentum as it goes along, beginning with longer note values and then proceeding to shorter ones
  • Organ Fugue in G Minor ( Little Fugue ; about 1709) Cont.
    • Listen to:
    • Starting with its second appearance, the subject is accompanied by a counter-subject that moves in shorter time values.
    • After the opening section, the subject appears five more times, each time proceeded by an episode
    • For harmonic contrast, Bach twice presents the subject in major keys rather than minor. He also ends on a major chord because at the time, major chords were thought to be more conclusive than minor chords.