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Baroque Instrumental Music

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Presentation on theme: "Baroque Instrumental Music"— Presentation transcript:

1 Baroque Instrumental Music
This is the first time that we see instrumental music sharing the same stature as vocal music. For the first time, there was a clear separation of Vocal and Instrumental music Abbey Church at Amorbach with Pipe Organ

2 Baroque Instrumental Practice
There were no ‘classics’, so contemporary composers were very prolific Modulations and chromatic harmonies and melodies. Virtuosity (music that shows off the technical skills of the performer) The great composers: Bach, Handel, Couperin, Vivaldi, Scarlati, Corelli were all instrumental virtuosi.

3 Baroque Instrumental Evolution
Early Baroque Instrumental music uplifted musical line rather than blend. Late Baroque music will focus more on the idea of blend and refined orchestration. Old instruments are being refined to make a more modern sound. Mass produced instruments create a standardized pattern

4 Keyboard Music Equal tempered tuning
The creation of ‘equal temperament’ (the division of the octave into 12 equally spaced notes) meant that composers could write in any key for the keyboard for the first time.


6 Keyboard Instruments Three main instruments
Organ: sacred venues and some home chapels Tracker Action Great, positive, and portative organ Harpsichord: basso continuo for orchestra and dance music. Solo instrument. Strings plucked by a Plectrum. Clavichord: strings struck by hammers made originally from bone. Precursor to the piano. Tracker action means that all of the connections in the organ are mechanical instead of electrical The positive organ was smaller than the “great” ones, for smaller churches. The portative organ was used in processions but it was also associated with secular music and it would have been used to accompany dance and other itinerant festivities. This portable organ was carried, strapped to the player who pumped with one hand and played with the other. The positive and great organs required someone other than the organist to operate the bellows.

7 Positive organ Portative organ
Positive Organ Johann Hencke Vienna, c. 1740 “Angel plays portative organ

8 Baroque Organs Baroque Organs

9 Harpsichord Harpsichord, ca. 1675 Made by Michele Todini Rome, Italy
Description This gilded case encloses an Italian harpsichord of typical design but unusual length. Decorated with a frieze depicting the Triumph of Galatea and supported by three Tritons, the harpsichord originally formed part of Michele Todini's Galeria Armonica and was described in his catalogue of The flanking figures of Polyphemus playing a bagpipe (Todini invented one like it) and Galatea, holding a lute, were displayed with the harpsichord in front of a "mountain" in which a small pipe organ was concealed. The organ simulated the bagpipe's sound and the harpsichord represented the sound of the lute. Todini designed several such lavish instruments and charged admission from the aristocrats who visited his gallery. The artistic quality of the case ranks it among the finest examples of Roman Baroque decorative art; Todini's ingenuity and search for new forms of instrumental expressivity grew out of the same musical climate that led to the invention of the piano.

10 Clavichord all the way from ppp to perhaps mp— but what is remarkable is the variation of pitch possible by exerting pressure on the key after it has been played. Bebung was the term given by the Germans to this vibrato effect, although it was probably meant to be used with discretion like an ornament, and not an indiscriminate wallowing around on every single note. It is the degree of control allowed by this immediacy of touch, which is so lacking in all other keyboard instruments: In the clavichord, the finger is always in direct connection through the key and tangent to the sounding string. The clavichord was much lighter than other keyboard instruments and was therefore portable.

11 vertically (tonal system) horizontally (modal system)
The keyboard, allowed composers to think vertically (tonal system) rather than horizontally (modal system) more than one note could be played at a time.

12 Types of Instrumental Music
Improvisatory style Toccata Prelude Fantasia Existing melody Chorale prelude Theme & Variations Fugal style Ricercare Fantasia Capriccio Fugue Dances Fugues could be independent pieces, but also sections within preludes and toccatas.

13 Toccata From Italian verb toccare (to touch)
A work with very fast monophonic melodies with chromatic harmonies; Free, irregular metres and rhythms; Often improvised on the organ Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (c. 1730)

14 The Chorale Prelude Originally, an introduction to a hymn (chorale); Bach was the preeminent composer of Chorale Preludes Later written down as a composition (a single variation on a chorale) An introduction to a hymn - still sometimes used in churches today – they were often improvised - Melodies woven around main melody (“Cantus Firmus”) of hymn Cantus firmus – “fixed melody” A pre-existing melody used as the basis of a polyphonic composition – originally taken from Gregorian chant, later chorale preludes were based on Protestant chorales (mostly Lutheran hymns)

15 Dietrich Buxtehude

16 The Baroque Suite Instrumental dance music from the Renaissance period now refined in a new style of sound and compositional technique. Pastiche of different international styles of dance forms. First function was dancing at social functions. Other functions: dinner music. Pastiche means a medley of various ingredients – sometimes composers would assemble parts of compositions from other composers

17 Order of the Dance Suite
Overture (Optional) Allemande Germany 4/4 time Moderate Courante French /4 time Moderate Sarabande Spain /4 time Slow Other Dances (Optional) Minuet Gavotte Bourree Gigue England 6/8 time Fast “Allemande” is French for “German” “Courante” is French for “running” or “flowing” Sarabande was originally from Latin America and came to Europe through Spain and Italy. “Gigue” is French for “jig” originated in the British Isles This is standard German order.

18 Types of Dances Allemande German Quadruple Courante French Triple
Jig (Gigue) English/French 6/8 or 6/4 Sarabande Spanish Minuet Italian peasant Gavotte French pastoral Duple peasant Bourree’ French lively Passepied Fast French minuet Triple peasant

19 Jacques Champion Chambonnieres (1601-1672)
the founder of the French harspichord school not the first, but the first with “celebrity” Jacques Champion  Chambonnieres ( ) Chambonnieres may be regarded as the founder of the school of French keyboard music that led to François Couperin and Rameau. A member of the minor nobility, Chambonnieres entered the royal service and enjoyed a career of varied material success, while winning a considerable reputation as a performer and composer.

20 Jacques Champion de Chambonnières (c.1601-1672)
influenced Couperin and Rameau Chambonnieres, D’Anglebert, and de la Guerre were important early clavecinists “clavecin” is French for “harpsichord”

21 Jean Henry D’Anglebert (1629-1691)

22 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1666-1729)
A child prodigy who appeared at the court of Louis XIV and so astonished her audience that the king undertook her education, which was supervised by his mistress, Madame de Montespan. A prolific composer of cantatas, operas, string and harpsichord music, she was the most famous woman composer of the baroque.

23 François Couperin He was known as Couperin le Grand" (Couperin the Great) to distinguish him from the other members of his musically talented family. Although the Germans had a standard order, the French used more variety in choices and order and often gave them titles referring to people or moods. Example: Couperin’s “The Dreamer,” “The Mysterious One,” “The Victorious Muse,” “The Roving Shadows.” [2 sound files on the left are “La visionaire”. The sound file on the right is “La muse victorieuse” These are in Couperin’s 27 Harpsichord Suites called “Ordres”

24 L’art de toucher le clavecin
He also wrote a famous textbook “The Art of Playing the Harpsichord” in 1717 – important because his explanations of how to play the ornamentations in baroque keyboard works tells us how it would authentically sound.

25 Couperin's manuscript of the 5th Ordre for harpsichord

26 Innovations Instrument building families Strings
Stradivarius, Guarneri, and Amati Strings Cat gut Slightly different playing technique….bowing Woodwinds: mellow sound as opposed to a more brassy sound in modern times.

27 Innovations Brass Originally a military instrument for signals
Without valves Key changes made by inserting longer or shorter crooks in the horn.

28 The Sonata Evolved from the Renaissance canzona, which had several contrasting sections Early in the 17th century, “sonata” referred to any piece for instruments Later, “sonata” meant a piece for 1 or 2 melody instruments with basso continuo The sonata evolved from the Renaissance “canzona” Literally, a “canzone” in Italian simply meant “song.” Just like the word “sonata” came from the Latin word “to sound” and “chanson” was French for “song” Sonata in Baroque: any work in contrasting movements and was usually for one or more instruments with basso continuo

29 The Sonata Chamber Sonata: Sonata da Camera
A group of dances. Number of movements vary Church Sonata: Sonata da Chiesa Serious collection of pieces Containing polyphonic/contrapuntal texture. Often 4 movements SFSF

30 The Baroque Sonata Form
Four Movements SLOW FAST

31 The Sonata Trio Sonata: sonata for any combination of two instruments and basso continuo. (which means 4 players)

32 Archangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Studied in Bologna-center of violin playing in Northern Italy. Worked in Rome under the patronage of several wealthy benefactors. Became famous for his collections of trio sonatas, violin sonatas, and concerti grossi – by far wrote more trio sonatas. Grout says “The trio and solo sonatas of Corelli represent the crowning achievement in Italian chamber music of the late 17th century. Trio Sonata:  Opus 3, No. 2 (Corelli) CD 6/1-5 This is a church sonata which uses standard dance forms, despite the negative implications Note the suspention tones Hallmarks of Corelli: upper violins are in 3rds and 6ths, octavies and unisons at cadences, chain of suspensions

33 The Concerto A three movement piece (FSF) music that is created from two masses or bodies of sound. Concertare – to contend with or to compete with. Evolved from the concertato principle (Gabrieli)

34 tutti (all) ripieno (full)
The Two Masses of Sound Concertino: small group. Tutti or ripieno: large group (orchestra) tutti (all) ripieno (full)

35 Three types of concerto
Solo concerto: A concerto featuring a soloist contending with an orchestra. Concerto Grosso: A concerto featuring a small group contending with a larger group. Concerto ripieno: A concerto in which all take part; no long solos

36 Concerto vs Several contrasting movements
1st movement uses ritornello form Contrast between performing groups is VIMP vs Orchestra (aka tutti) 15-25 strings + harpsichord louder dynamics simpler music Soloist(s) 1 to 5 players may feature woodwinds, brass softer dynamics technical, virtuosic

37 Movement 1 fast, energetic, ritornello form
Ritornello form a way of arranging musical ideas (melodies?) in a piece

38 Ritornello Form Contrast between sections is VIMP Ritornello provides unity “musical glue” Ritornello sections played by tutti recurring theme or part of it Solo sections played by soloist(s) new material U U U U R1 S1 R2 S2 R3 S3 R4 S4 etc RX C C C C C C C C C C

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