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Music of the Baroque Era

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Cody Boling

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of Music of the Baroque Era

Music of the Baroque Era
Music in Baroque Society
before 1800: churches, aristocrats, opera houses & municipalities wanted new music
courts had varied sizes of orchestras on their staff
music director:
supervised performances & composed much of the music required
composers were integral part of Baroque Society
The Concerto Grosso and Ritornello Form
concerto grosso - a small group of soloists is pitted against a larger group of players call the tutti (all)
2-4 soloists against 8-20+ for tutti
mainly strings
Concerto grosso presents texture
The Elements of Opera
opera - drama that is sung to orchestral accompaniment.
unique fusion of music, acting, poetry, dance, scenery, and costumes is a theatrical experience offering overwhelming excitement and emotion
plot and characters revealed through song and not speech
In Opera, music is the drama.
Associated with high society status
Costumes, Lighting, and Scenery
Composer and Dramatist:
Libretto - text of the opera
Librettist - dramatist

Opera in the Baroque Era
Began in Italy with musical discussions among a small group of of nobles, poets, and composers who met regularly in Florence around 1575.
Baroque Opera composed for ceremonial occasions at court
Subject matter drawn from Greek Mythology and ancient history.
Late Baroque Era: operas consisted largely of arias linked together by recitatives

Major development in baroque vocal music
Like an opera, large-scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra
set to a biblical narrative text
Oratorio has no acting, scenery, or costumes
contains a succession of choruses, arias, duets, recitatives, and orchestral interludes
Concerto Grosso
consists of several movements that contrast in tempo and character.
3 movements: 1-fast 2-slow 3-fast
opening movement vigourous and determined
slow is quieter than the first, often lyrical and intimate
last movement is lively and carefree; dancelike

Ritornello Form
- usually first and last movements
- based on alteration between tutti and solo sections
Brandenburg Concertos
6 Brandenburg Concertos
#5 uses string orchestra and group of soloists consisting of:
First Movement: Allegro
opens with a ritornello
after ritornello: flute and violin imitate each other
First Movement
Opera Voices
demands performers who can sing and act simultaneously
Voice Categories
Colortura Soprano
Lyric Soprano
Dramatic Soprano
Lyric Tenor
Dramatic Tenor
Basso Buffo
Basso Profundo
1 - 5 Acts
Two types of songs in Opera:
a song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment
a vocal line that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech
Chorus: generates atmosphere and makes comments on the action

La Donna e' Mobile
Opera: Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Artist: Luciano Pavarotti
Language: Italian
Come Mai Creder Deggio
Opera: Don Giovanni
Composer: Mozart
Language: Italian
Italian for fellowship or society
included Vincenzo Galilei, father of Galileo
create a new vocal style modeled on Greek Tragedy
believed Greek dramas had been sung throughout in a style that was midway between melody and speech
Created Recitative
Polyphony was rejected due to all voices together could get confusing
First Opera House
first opera house opened in Venice in 1637
price of admission could attend
1637 - 1700: 17 opera houses in Venice
Massive amounts of stage machinery
flying people
ships tossing
boulders splitting
"variety of scenes painted and contrived with no less art of perspective, and machines for flying in the air, and other wonderful motions; taken together, it is one of the most magnificent and expensive diversions the with of man can invent."
- English Traveler
Johann Sebastian Bach
1685 - 1750
had 20 children - 4 became famous composers
born in Eisenach
received early musical training from father and later his older brother
Jobs throughout his life:
church organist
music director
court conductor
Composed everything but Opera
Died in 1750 (said to have marked the end of Baroque Era)
George Frideric Handel
1685 - 1759
Master of Italian Opera and English Oratorio
born in Halle, Germany
not from a musical family
Had many jobs in many royal courts and churches
Died in 1759, and 3,000 mourners attended his funeral in Westminster Abbey.
Claudio Monteverdi
1567 - 1643
most important composer of the early baroque era
born in Cremona, Italy
served at the court of Mantua for 21 years
Created the earliest opera "Orfeo"
composed in 1607 for the Mantuan Court
star soloists, chorus, dancers, and a large orchestra (40 players)
uses recitatives, choruses, arias, duets, and instrumental interludes

Tu Se' Morta
You are dead
sung by Orpheus after he is told of Eurydice's death
Orpheus resolves to bringher back from Hades, and he bids an anguished farewell to the earth, sky, and sun
homophonic texture
The Messiah
Written in 1741
lasts about 2 1/2 hours
composed in 24 days
Successful Premiere, but unsuccessful in London
Meditative rather than dramatic
over 50 movements
Full transcript