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Baroque Period
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Baroque Period


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All about the Baroque period of music

All about the Baroque period of music

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  • 1. Baroque Period 1600-1750
  • 2. Vocal- Opera
    • Developed from stories of ancient Greek tragedies
    • Parts of an opera
      • Always opened with an overture
      • Orchestra and chorus
      • Performers and costumes
      • Stage design (lighting and scenery)
      • Some solo part (solo aria, duet, or trio)
      • Aria
      • Recitative
  • 3. Opera-Italian
    • Florentine- end of 1500’s group of noblemen wanted to bring back ancient Greek tragedy
    • Roman- focused more on religious subjects rather than Greek tragedy
    • Venetian- less choral and orchestral music, more emphasis on formal arias and elaborate stage machinery
    • Neopolitan- late 1600’s and early 1700’s, orchestra’s role diminished and chorus almost non-existant
      • Castratti- male sopranos
      • Sinfonia- Italian overtures
  • 4. Opera-French
    • Didn’t develop until second half of 1600’s
    • It was inspired by French dramas and court ballet
    • French overture
    • Made less use of virtuosity
    • Accentuation of literature
    • Shorter and simpler-like airs
    • Greater importance on dramas
    • Added ballet
    • Increased the use of the orchestra
  • 5. Opera-England
    • Wasn’t very popular
    • Italian operas were performed in London
    • More involved in theater music forms
    • Three forms of music theater
      • Masque-extravagant play performed privately for nobility
      • Incidental- played during the action scenes in plays
      • Entr’acte- performed between acts or scenes in plays
  • 6. Opera- Comic
    • Appeared in the early 1700’s
    • Way to lighten the emotions
    • It had parody, humor, and satire
    • Spoken dialogue replaced recitatives
    • Characters, aria text, and melodies of serious operas were often parodied
    • Subjects were now light, frivolous, and humorous
    • Small ensemble groups and choirs were used
    • Commonplace characters
    • Popular tunes
  • 7. Instrumental
    • Became as important as vocal music
    • Improvisation increased
    • Basso continuo- figured bass
    • Thematic variation
    • Sequencing
    • Distinction between chamber ensemble and the orchestra
    • Equal tempered tuning of instruments
  • 8. Instruments
    • Keyboards- clavichord, harpsichord, organ
    • Strings-violin and bass viol
    • Winds- bassoon, flute, and oboe
    • Brass- trumpets, horns, and trombones
    • Percussion- timpani
  • 9. Musical forms
    • Fugal
      • Early carried over from Renaissance, written for keyboard instrument called fantasia, canzona, and capriccio
      • The Fugue of the 1600’s replaced these
    • Variation
      • Thematic- cantus firmus, canzona , and dance suites
      • Ground- short recurrent theme in bass line and changing counterpoint
    • Dance Suite
      • Binary
      • Common dance movements- courante, gigue, allemande, and sarabande
  • 10. Musical forms
    • Chorale Prelude
      • Organ music
      • Used for church
    • Improvisatory
      • Lacked distinct thematic material
      • Lacked formal unity
    • Sonata
      • Multi-movement work for solo and small chamber groups
      • 3 types-unaccompanied solo, accompanied solo, and trio solo
      • Church sonata
      • Chamber sonata
      • Tower Sonata
      • Keyboard Sonata
  • 11. Orchestral Music
    • Composed mainly of strings
    • Basso continuo
    • Not much color definition
    • Solo concerto-written for one instrument and orchestra
    • Concerto grosso-2 or 3 solo instruments playing in opposition of the orchestra
  • 12. Composers
    • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)-considered the father of counterpoint
    • Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759)-Wrote the Messiah’s Hallelujah Chorus
    • Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)-wrote “Orfeo” the first Opera ever recognized
    • Archangelo Corelli (1653-1713)-wrote only for instrumentists
  • 13. Composers
    • Henry Purcell (1659-1695)- at age 20 he became the organist for Westminster Abbey
    • Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683-1764)- always interested in adding flair to his music such as storm scenes
    • Antonio Vivaldi (1680-1743)- felt that the soloist and orchestra should be in conflict with each other