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Music Time Periods: Baroque through 20th century

Baroque, Neo-Classical, Impressionism, Romanticism, Early American, and 20th century music and composers.
by

Dana Jones

on 7 December 2011

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Transcript of Music Time Periods: Baroque through 20th century

History of Music So, why study the history of music? To fully understand today's music, it's important to see where we came from. Music from our history still influences our music, even hundreds of years later. That's powerful! We are going to start in Europe, all the way back in 1580 at the end of the Renaissance.
Do you remember what Renaissance means? The Baroque Period
1580-1750 This was a time when the church and the monarchy (royalty) had a lot of control over musicians and artists. Most musicians were full-time employees of the church or someone royal. The Baroque Period was called "The Gilded Age."

Do you know what "gilded" means? Gilded means "covered in gold."

The reason this era was called "The Gilded Age" is because the music of this time was highly ORNAMENTED, or filled with fancy trills and grace notes. It sounds "frilly," especially compared to the more plain-sounding music of the Renaissance. The Baroque Period is important because this is the time that two game-changing forms of music were created:

The Ballet, and the Opera One famous composer from this era is Johann Sebastian Bach. Oh, by the way, I got to sing in Bach's church in 2005.

That's me. (His tomb is right behind us, which is pretty awesome!) Bach is known for:
complicated techniques
mental, mathematical, musical exercises
writing over 1000 pieces of music (that we know of!)
perfected toccata & fugue, a musical form You probably already know one Toccata and Fugue by Bach- check out his "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" Another composer worth noting is George Frederic Handel. Handel is particulary famous for his sacred (religious) music, especially "The Messiah," which is an oratorio. You probably recognize one section of it- the "Hallelujah Chorus." P.S. An oratorio is a large musical composition that uses an orchestra, choir, and soloists. It typically tells a story too, but without acting or moving around on the stage. "The Messiah" tells the Bible story of all the events that lead to the birth of Jesus, which is why it is frequently performed at Christmas time. Another great composer of the Baroque Period was Antonio Vivaldi. Vivaldi is famous for introducing concerto form to Europe. Vivaldi also wrote a particularly famous set of concertos for strings called "The Four Seasons." You are probably most familiar with the movement "Spring." (Concerto= one instrumental soloist plays with instrumental accompaniment) In today's society, musicians write a song, then sell it.

But in the Baroque period, the employer told the musician what kind of song they wanted, and the musician wrote it. "Ordering" a song like this is called a "COMMISSION," which is still done today from time to time. The close of the Baroque Period brought with it some big changes that would impact our music forever.

Enter the next musical era... The music of this time also followed very, very rigid sets of rules for composition. You can usually tell when a piece comes from the Baroque Period just by listening to it, because it sounds highly organized, technical, and as we said before, um, "frilly." The Classical Period
1720-1830 The Classical Period, sometimes called the Neo-Classical Period, was meant to be a return to the Ancient Greek ideals of Classicism.
In plain English- order and reason. You might recall from earlier that in the Baroque Period, there were 2 powers mainly in charge. They were the church and the monarchy.

But a significant thing was happening in history in the 1700s. You may have learned about it in your social studies classes.

It was called the AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. Some called it the Age of Reason.

Whatever you called it, people were starting to think for themselves- and that included the musicians. The artists and thinkers of the day began to rebel against the monarchy's control. Intelligence and independence were valued higher than ever- just look at what is going on in history in the 1700s= both the French and American Revolutions. (Remember, we won our freedom in 1777!) "Rebirth"! While wars were being fought, music was changing. Take a look at one composer of the Classical Period: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Mozart was a child prodigy, composing and performing in public as early as age 5. He composed more than 600 pieces that we know of. He was also performing constantly as an adult, and was the "rock star" of his day. To give you an idea, he was bigger than Bieber. :)

Mozart died young at age 35 of unknown causes. Legend has it that a fellow competing composer poisoned him, but research suggests he may have died of illness or food poisoning. We may never know.

What is a prodigy? A prodigy is a child who plays an instrument as well as an adult. Franz Joseph Haydn Many composers in this period only wrote a few styles, but Haydn wrote many- including:
masses
operas
symphonies
string quartets
One of Haydn's most famous pieces is called the "Surprise Symphony." (Pronounced "Hide- in") One of the most famous composers of the Classical Period, as well as all time, is: Ludwig van Beethoven In his lifetime, Beethoven composed:
9 symphonies (#9 included a choir, which had never been done before)
32 piano sonatas
Significant amount of chamber music. Beethoven is famous not only because his music is some of the finest ever composed, but because some of it was written while he was totally deaf.

His work, especially from later in his life, is highly expressive and restless sounding. Chamber music is music composed for small groups of musicians to play for private settings in the home. Rooms in houses were called chambers, and so it was called "chamber music. So- what can you recall about the Baroque Period? What is a musical work for a large choir and orchestra with soloists? Hint: Handel wrote these. What is it called when a person "orders" a song? Which composer was well-known for his concertos for string instruments? Which composer was known for developing the Toccata and Fugue? What 2 forms of music were developed in the Baroque Period? The Baroque Period had a nickname- what was it?
Hint: It was as good as "gold" What can you recall about the Classical Period? What is the term for a child who plays an instrument as well as an adult? This composer composed masses, symphonies, string quartets, and operas in the Classical period. Music written for small groups to perform in peoples' homes is called what? Which Classical composer wrote more than 600 pieces in his life, and was considered a prodigy? Which Classical composer was the first to include a choir in a symphony? The Classical Period was also known as the Age of what? (2 possible answers)
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