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Baroque Music Period

Learning about the highlights of the Baroque period of music. Discussing patronage, Baroque Opera, Baroque instruments and the lives of Vivaldi, Bach and Handel.
by

George Williams

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of Baroque Music Period

Baroque Period 1600 to 1750 The Baroque style period marks a very fancy and ornamental time in the arts.
Buildings and works of art, during this time, had a lot of flowers, cupids and fancy designs.
Buildings and works of art, during this time, had a lot of flowers, cupids and fancy designs.
All Baroque music have these decorations, called ornaments. The two powers that influenced music during
the Baroque period were the wealthy people
(like kings, lords, and dukes) and the church. These powers hired composers to write music for their own special occasions, such as dance music for balls held by royalty, or church service music. This system of music production is called the patronage system and is how most of the music of the Baroque period was produced and paid for. Opera is a play or drama that was completely sung with music. It became a new form of entertainment for wealthy people during the Baroque period. An aria (AH-ree-uh) or solo song, not only shows off the singers skills but usually relects some part of the action or emotion that just happened in the story. The recitative (reh-sih-tuh-TEEV) “sung narration” connects arias, and is where the story and action of the opera really moves along. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) is credited as being the first major composer of opera. His opera, Orfeo, is viewed as the first modern opera. Instrumental Music For the first time in history, instrumental music became as important as vocal music. Keyboard instruments, like the harpsichord, and organ were important in Baroque music. Small orchestras were created using viol instruments, the harpsicord, keyless woodwinds (including the recorder) and valveless brass instruments. Composition usually performed on the organ.
Combines lots of melodies at the same time.
Similar to a round or canon.
It takes a master composer to write a fugue.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a master in the art of writing fugues. Antonio Vivaldi (1675?-1741) Vivaldi was not only a great composer, he was also a priest. With his red hair he was called the “Red Priest.” The “music center of the world” (or the place with the most music activity) was Venice, Italy, which was were Vivaldi lived. Here he studied, taught, and wrote music.
He is best known for his work with the viol family. His most famous work is “The Four Seasons” which are four concertos (a concerto is a composition that contrasts a solo instrument part with a full orchestra part). Vivaldi wrote over 400 concertos.
Although he was admired by composers at the time, Vivaldi’s music wasn’t well-known after his death until the Romantic period (1820-1900). Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Johann Sebastian Bach was the greatest member of the well-known, musical Bach family. He was orphaned as a young boy and was forced to
live with an older brother who did not want him. At fifteen, he attended choir school (a church school for boys designed
for careers in music) and became a well-known musician and composer. Bach spent most of his adult life working in the church. Between both his marriages he had a total of twenty children (several died at infancy). Bach composed all forms of music that were played
in the church. He was a genius of the fugue. His music best defines the Baroque musical style. George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) Handel lived during the same time as Bach, in the later Baroque,
but his music style leans toward the next style period, the Classical. Handel began his career as a church organist in the cathedral,
but he was attracted to theater. He served as musician for a rich German land owner,
but he eventually moved to England and stayed there. His most famous work is the Messiah containing the very
familiar song, the “Halleluiah Chorus”.
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