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Baroque Period

Baroque Period


End of Baroque Period

1750 - death of Bach


Period in Europe when art was gaudy, overly ornate, harsh
*music: strings, keyboard instruments, polyphony

opera seria*

"serious" recitative; acting dialogue ; drama that is sung, a large-scale composition employing vocal soloists, chorus, orchestra, costumes, and scenery ***not religious


song for solo voice expressing an emotional state through its outpouring of melody; found in operas, oratorios, and cantatas *main opera attraction, slow song


vocal line in an opera, oratorio, or cantata that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech, often serving to lead into an aria *repeated tones, quickly sung


Italian/German composition in several movements; usually written for chorus, one or more vocal soloists, and instrumental ensemble ***religious - unorganized operas


English large-scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra, usually set to a narrative text, but without acting, scenery, or costumes ***religious-unorganized operas

Bel Canto

vocal improvisation of a melody adding scales and complexities during instrumental pause

figured bass

composition technique applied under short notice; shortcut in writing harmony *top line is melody; bottom line is bass, no chords, more free-style


extended composition for a single instrumental soloist & orchestra; 3 movements: fast, slow, fast *"The Four Seasons"

concerto grosso*

composition for several instrumental solo groups & orchestra; 3 movements: fast, slow, fast


sets of dance-inspired movements, orchestral, no soloist, same key but differ in tempo, meter, and character
*"Water Music", "Suite No.3 in D Major"

trio sonata*

4 players: keyboardist, 2 soloist, cello
*Baroque composition that has three melodic lines: two high ones, each played by one instrument; and a basso continuo, played by two instruments

terraced dynamics

controlled contrasts of sounds; abrupt alternation between loud and soft dynamic levels **keyboard instrument BACH


composition for 3 or more singers

equal temperment

method of compromise in tuning of octaves; adjusting the tones to fit the scale *"The Well Tempered Clavier"

canon - round

layering of music; Bass line->piling of melodies on top of each other, same tones *Canon in D"


a polyphonic composition based on one main theme:
1)Subject - main theme; in tonic scale
2)Countersubject - different melodic idea appearing with subject
3)Answer - second presentation of theme; in dominant scale - 5 scale steps higher
4)Episodes - transitional sections between presentations of the subjects; lends variety to the composition *Keyboard instrument

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