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Instrumental Music of
the Baroque
The Rise of Instrumental Music
Baroque is the first period in which
instrumental music is as important as vocal
Sales of i...
The Rise of Instrumental Music
Instrumental techniques and quality improve
Instrumental virtuosos
Bach & Handel: Organ
Cor...
Divergence of Styles
Vocal and instrumental styles diverge
Idiomatic writing for particular instruments
Composers exploit ...
Baroque Instruments
Renaissance instruments replaced
Viol, sackbut, cornetto, shawm disappear
Violins, violas, cellos appe...
Orchestral Overture
Instrumental piece that precedes larger work
Two common forms of overture:
French Overture
Italian Ove...
Orchestral Overture
French overture
Single movement in two sections
Slow-Fast pattern
Meter: slow section is duple, fast i...
Sonata
Sounded (sonata) rather than sung (cantata)
Very popular among amateur violinists
Very flexible number of players/m...
Trio Sonata
Most popular combination of instruments:
Two violins and continuo
Misleading name:
Three lines of music on the...
Sonata for Solo Instrument
Shows off the virtuosity of a solo player
Demonstrates characteristics of instrument
Usually ac...
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Born near Bologna, Italy – an important
center of violin study
Spent most of his career in R...
Arcangelo Corelli
First composer to write in fully functional
tonal harmony
Not a virtuoso in the modern sense, but was
kn...
Listening Example
Title: Sonata in B flat Major, Op. 5 No. 2: II Allegro
Composer: Arcangelo Corelli
Genre: Sonata
Notes on Sonata in B flat Major, Opus 5
No. 2: II Allegro
Intimate sound of chamber music
Violin soloist and continuo
5 mo...
Notes on Sonata in B flat Major, Opus 5
No. 2: II Allegro
Note fast tempo of the 2nd mvmt. (allegro)
Lively display of ski...
Concerto
An instrumental genre contrasting sound of
a soloist or small ensemble with orchestra
Two Kinds of Baroque Concer...
Concerto grosso
Contrasting instrumental groups:
Small group (from the orch.) – concertino
Large group (full orch.) – ripi...
Solo Concerto
Contrasting instrumental groups:
Solo instrument
Orchestra
Solo part features virtuoso playing
Violin is the...
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
A native Venetian, he took holy orders in
his mid-teens and became a priest at 25
His father t...
Antonio Vivaldi
Vivaldi contributed to the evolution of violin style
and technique
He elevated the solo concerto genre thr...
The Four Seasons
Four individual solo violin concerti
Each concerto depicts an Italian sonnet
(poem) which describes a sea...
Listening Example
Title: Spring, 1st mvmt, The Four Seasons
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Genre: Solo Concerto
Notes on Spring, 1st mvmt.
Depiction of birds, brooks, storm, etc.
Virtuosity of soloist
Recurring opening theme (ritornel...
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Baroque Instrumental Music

CC BY, Elliot Jones Santa Ana College

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Baroque Instrumental Music

  1. 1. Instrumental Music of the Baroque
  2. 2. The Rise of Instrumental Music Baroque is the first period in which instrumental music is as important as vocal Sales of instrumental music outpace vocal music by the end of the 1600’s Violin especially important in the rise of instrumental music – growing popularity Increasing number of amateur violinists created market for composers
  3. 3. The Rise of Instrumental Music Instrumental techniques and quality improve Instrumental virtuosos Bach & Handel: Organ Corelli & Vivaldi: Violin Scarlatti & Couperin: Harpsichord
  4. 4. Divergence of Styles Vocal and instrumental styles diverge Idiomatic writing for particular instruments Composers exploit the characteristics of individual instruments in their compositions Growing use of expressive gestures for instruments – program music
  5. 5. Baroque Instruments Renaissance instruments replaced Viol, sackbut, cornetto, shawm disappear Violins, violas, cellos appear – dominate orch. Orchestra grows in size and standardization Orfeo calls for 14 different instruments Later orchestras are built around a core of strings, and feature 2-4 of each instrument Usually no more than 20 instruments
  6. 6. Orchestral Overture Instrumental piece that precedes larger work Two common forms of overture: French Overture Italian Overture Though there were pieces called sinfonia, it is the Italian overture that evolves into the symphony as we know it in the Classical era
  7. 7. Orchestral Overture French overture Single movement in two sections Slow-Fast pattern Meter: slow section is duple, fast is triple Italian overture Single movement in three sections Fast-Slow-Fast pattern
  8. 8. Sonata Sounded (sonata) rather than sung (cantata) Very popular among amateur violinists Very flexible number of players/mvmts. Sonatas that used dance movements were called chamber sonatas (sonata da camera) Two most popular types of sonata Solo Sonata Trio Sonata
  9. 9. Trio Sonata Most popular combination of instruments: Two violins and continuo Misleading name: Three lines of music on the page, but… Four instruments playing Continuo is two instruments
  10. 10. Sonata for Solo Instrument Shows off the virtuosity of a solo player Demonstrates characteristics of instrument Usually accompanied by continuo Bach Solo violin (no continuo) Scarlatti Solo harpsichord
  11. 11. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) Born near Bologna, Italy – an important center of violin study Spent most of his career in Rome as a violin teacher, performer, and composer Small compositional output influences some major composers Couperin, Purcell, and J.S. Bach
  12. 12. Arcangelo Corelli First composer to write in fully functional tonal harmony Not a virtuoso in the modern sense, but was known for his beautiful violin tone Died a very wealthy man (120,000 marks by some accounts – serious bucks) Buried in the Pantheon in Rome
  13. 13. Listening Example Title: Sonata in B flat Major, Op. 5 No. 2: II Allegro Composer: Arcangelo Corelli Genre: Sonata
  14. 14. Notes on Sonata in B flat Major, Opus 5 No. 2: II Allegro Intimate sound of chamber music Violin soloist and continuo 5 movements (listed by tempo) in entire piece – 2nd mvmt. is our listening example • 1. Grave • 2. Allegro • 3. Vivace • 4. Adagio • 5. Vivace
  15. 15. Notes on Sonata in B flat Major, Opus 5 No. 2: II Allegro Note fast tempo of the 2nd mvmt. (allegro) Lively display of skill in this movement Virtuosity on display in a solo sonata
  16. 16. Concerto An instrumental genre contrasting sound of a soloist or small ensemble with orchestra Two Kinds of Baroque Concerto Concerto grosso Solo concerto
  17. 17. Concerto grosso Contrasting instrumental groups: Small group (from the orch.) – concertino Large group (full orch.) – ripieno or tutti Different instruments featured at different times in the concertino Brandenburg Concertos by Bach are the culminating masterworks of the genre
  18. 18. Solo Concerto Contrasting instrumental groups: Solo instrument Orchestra Solo part features virtuoso playing Violin is the most frequently-used solo instrument Consisted of three movements: Allegro – Adagio – Allegro (Fast – Slow – Fast) Antonio Vivaldi: leading composer of solo concertos, especially for the violin
  19. 19. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) A native Venetian, he took holy orders in his mid-teens and became a priest at 25 His father taught him violin at an early age and concertized with his son in Venice Called “red priest" due to color of his hair Was maestro de' concerti (music master) for Conservatorio del' Ospedale della Pieta
  20. 20. Antonio Vivaldi Vivaldi contributed to the evolution of violin style and technique He elevated the solo concerto genre through the quantity and quality of his concerti Popularly believed to have been buried in a pauper's grave and given "only a small peal of bells" at his funeral Today Vivaldi is recognized both as the "Father of the Concerto," and as a herald of musical romanticism
  21. 21. The Four Seasons Four individual solo violin concerti Each concerto depicts an Italian sonnet (poem) which describes a season No. 1, Spring (La primavera) No. 2, Summer (L’estate) No. 3, Fall (L’autunno) No. 4, Winter (L’inverno)
  22. 22. Listening Example Title: Spring, 1st mvmt, The Four Seasons Composer: Antonio Vivaldi Genre: Solo Concerto
  23. 23. Notes on Spring, 1st mvmt. Depiction of birds, brooks, storm, etc. Virtuosity of soloist Recurring opening theme (ritornello)

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