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Terms in this set (47)
Three phases of Baroque Music?
Early Baroque: 1600-1640
Middle Baroque: 1640-1680
Late Baroque: 1680-1750
Revolutionary Baroque Opera: Monteverdi, Purcell.
Originated in Italy
Dissonance and unstable chords very prominent part of music
Major/minor scales became tonal basis of composition
Modes not used as much
Importance of instrumental music, especially violins
Musical style began to spread to other parts of Europe
Most popular and the phase we will look at most, what Baroque music is known for; Bach and Vivaldi
Polyphonic textures and counterpoint
Instrumental music now as important as vocal music
Characteristics of late Baroque Music
Unity of Mood
Chords and Bass Continuo (Figured Bass)
Words and Music
Unity of Mood
Piece will usually express one basic mood (affection) or emotional state.
Composers formed their own language to depict the affections with specific rhythms or melodic patterns associated with specific moods.
Vocal music is the exception to unity of mood as drastic changes in the emotional impact of a text will change the emotion of the music.
More emphasis on the beat
Repetition of opening melody through direct repetition or melodic sequence.
Elaborate and ornamental, not easy to sing or remember.
Tend to give impression of dynamic expression rather than balance or symmetry.
Gradual crescendo/decrescendo is NOT a prominent part of Baroque music.
Dynamic shifts are sudden and the sudden alternation from loud to soft is called Terraced Dynamics.
Organ and harpsichord as main keyboard instruments of the Baroque era were not well suited to gradual dynamic shifts like piano could do in Classical/Romantic Eras.
Chords and Bass Continuo (Figured Bass)
Chords became significant in themselves rather than mere by-products of the motion of melodic lines.
Bass Continuo, or figured bass is made up of the bass part together with numbers that specify the chords to be played above the bass line: Allow some degree of improvisation for musicians as the composition is "realized" with guidance from the numbers in the continuo but not exact notes or fingerings.
In Baroque Era , the continuo was played by a keyboard instrument and a low melodic instrument like a cello or bassoon.
Words and Music
Like Renaissance predecessors, baroque composers used music to depict the meaning of specific words: "Heaven" often set to a high tone whereas "Hell" was low.
Descriptive musical language became standardized: Descending chromaticism depicted lament of lost love.
Words often emphasized through many note played over a single syllable.
Many courts and churches had their own orchestras.
Revolved around the Violin family.
Many instrumental compositions in the Baroque era included set of pieces or movements that contrast: A movement sounds fairly complete and independent but its part of a larger composition.
Example: A Bach suite will contain anywhere from 3-7 movements with many of the movements based on dances.
-Allemande, Sarabande, Minuet, Gigue.
Music in Baroque Society
Music in the Baroque , Music written to order- new music desored. Courts- music indicated affluence. Court Music Director (prestige, good, pay but considered a skilled servant.) Some aristocrats were musicians. Church music is elaborate (where ordinary citizens heard music.) Some public opera houses. Music careers taught apprenticeship (orphanages taught music.)
Orchestral form of music where a small group of soloists is pitted against a larger group of players called the tutti.
3 movements majority of the time: Fast, Slow, Fast.
The all or part of the main theme, returns again and again, invariably played by the tutti, or full orchestra. Between the tutti's statements of the theme, the soloist inserts fragments and extensions of the theme in virtuosic fashion.
The Soloist consist of flute, violin and harpsichord.
Tutti is string orchestra.
A fugue is a polyphonic composition for a fixed number of instrumental lines or voices--usually three or four--built on a single principal theme. This theme, called the fugue subject, appears again and again in each of the instrumental or vocal lines. Fugue comes from a word meaning "running away." (95, 131).
Transitional sections between presentations of the subject in a fugue. They offer new material or fragments of the subject/countersubject.
Drama that is sung to orchestral accompaniment.
Text of the opera that is sung.
Song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment; always the most popular part of opera; often performed by vocalists outside of actual opera performances.
A passage or section in an opera, oratorio, cantata, or other vocal work in a style that approaches speech and follows the natural rhythms of the text. Leads into Aria.
An introductory movement, as in an opera or oratorio, often presenting melodies from arias to come. Also an orchestral work for concert performance.
Opera was born in Italy, started by a group of composers, poets and nobles called the Camerata.
In Italian, fellowship or society; a group of nobles, poets, and composers who began to meet regularly in Florence around 1575 and whose musical discussions prepared the way for the beginning of opera.
The Camerata wanted the vocalist and text to be heard clearly, soloist sang with a simple chordal accompaniment.
1st great opera written by Claudio Monteverdi in 1607.
a male singer who was castrated before puberty and retains a soprano or alto voice.
expressing specific words and ideas of the text with different musical elements like dynamics, rhythms, tempo, ect.
a repeating melody, usually in the bass, throughout a vocal or instrumental composition.
Act III: Dido's Lament
Aria built on chromatically descending ground bass that is stated 11 times.
Descending chromatic lines were commonly used to show grief.
Composition in several movements for 1-8 instruments. Originated in Italy.
Baroque chamber sonata type written in three parts: two melody lines and the basso continuo; requires a total of four players to perform.
1) famous violinist 2) wrote hundres of concerti, including over 200 for violin 3) cadenza = at end of movement 4) four seasons (musical piece). (1678-1741).
The Four Seasons (1725)
3 movements (fast, slow, fast)
First and last movement in Ritornello Form.
First Movement Allegro.
Suddenly changing dynamics-- either suddenly loud or soft. It was a whole new resource for musicians, and was used in The Four Seasons (1725).
Mass in B Minor
Although Bach was a staunch Lutheran he wrote music for the Kyrie and Gloria of the mass ordinary for a Catholic Monarch in hopes of possibly landing a job as his court composer.
Did not get the job, but did finish last three sections later in his life.
an instrumental form consisting of several contrasting dance movements in the same key and in binary form. The four basic movements are: allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue.
A German hymn, oft en used as a unifying theme for a cantata.
Relatively short setting for organ of a CHORALE MELODY, used as an introduction for congregational singing or as an interlude in a Lutheran church service.
Principal means of musical expression in the Lutheran service and used chorales.
about 25 minutes and were written for chorus, vocal soloist , organ and a small orchestra.
Contained choruses, recitatives, arias and duets.
A large scale sacred vocal genre based on Biblical subjects without scenery, costumes, or acting. It contains arias, choruses, recitatives, solos, and orchestra.
George Frederic Handel (1685-1759)
Used more frequent changes in texture and changes in mood by shifting between major/minor keys than Sebastian Bach.
Act I Recitative and Aria: Empio, diro, tu sei
"I say that you are a Villain"
Depicts Caesar's anger
Used key of C minor and rapid descending scale passages in both violin and voices (word painting)
Wrote for virtuoso singers and here the part is originally for a castrato alto but today sung by female alto.
Last 2.5 hours and composed in 24 days.
Meditative rather than dramatic.
Handel's only oratorio that makes use of Old and New Testament.
Chorus of Messiah
One of the worlds most famous choral pieces
Handel creates great variety by sudden changes in monophonic, polyphonic and homophonic textures.