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Music of the Baroque Period

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1 Music of the Baroque Period
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2 Baroque Historical Highlights
Age of Absolutism; Kings and Queens are all-powerful Known for extreme decadence and extravagance of aristocracy (e.g. Louis XIV and his palace of Versailles) Church Splits in Two; Europe split into Catholic countries (Italy, France, Spain) and Protestant countries (England, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden)

3 The Palace at Versailles

4 The King’s Bedroom, The Opera House

5 “Baroque” Defined Baroque means exaggerated or over-ornamented; these adjectives relate to music and visual arts Baroque period, era in the history of the Western arts roughly coinciding with the 17th century. Its earliest manifestations, which occurred in Italy, date from the latter decades of the 16th century, while in some regions, notably Germany and colonial South America, certain of its culminating achievements did not occur until the 18th century. The work that distinguishes the Baroque period is stylistically complex, even contradictory. In general, however, the desire to evoke emotional states by appealing to the senses, often in dramatic ways, underlies its manifestations. Some of the qualities most frequently associated with the Baroque are grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, vitality, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur distinctions between the various arts. A term used in the literature of the arts with both historical and critical meanings and as both an adjective and a noun. The word has a long, complex and controversial history (it possibly derived from a Portuguese word for a misshapen pearl, and until the late 19th century it was used mainly as a synonym for `absurd' or `grotesque'), but in English it is now current with three principal meanings.

6 Triumph of the Barberini by Pietro Da Cortona

7 Baroque Artistic Highlights
Emphasis on DRAMA (extreme and heightened emotion) in music and visual arts Paintings by Artemisia Gentilleschi show this emphasis on DRAMA

8 Baroque Musical Highlights
Birth of OPERA - theatrical presentations with music and elaborate stage spectacle New focus on instrumental music and instrumental accompaniment to voices New emphasis on chords and use of BASSO CONTINUO Examples: Henry Purcell ”Dido’s Lament " from Dido and Aeneas Claudio Monteverdi “Tu se’ morta” from Orfeo

9 Basso Continuo Baroque accompaniment made up of a bass part usually played by two instruments A keyboard (or other chord-generating instrument such as the lute, organ, or harpsichord) Plus a low melodic instrument (such as the cello or bassoon)

10 Baroque Music Genres Vocal Music Genres Instrumental Music Genres
Opera Oratorio Cantata Instrumental Music Genres Chamber Music Concerto Grosso

11 Opera Sung theatrical work with orchestral accompaniment
Vocal soloists and chorus Staged with costumes and sets Example: HENRY PURCELL "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas CD#1/69-70

12 Recitative Vocal line in a opera, oratorio, or cantata that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech, often serving to lead into an aria Recitative often gets across mostly plot information in the opera, while the Aria communicates the character’s emotions

13 Aria Song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, usually expressing an emotional state through its outpouring of melody; found in operas, oratorios, and cantatas

14 HENRY PURCELL "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas
Aria vs. Recitative Listen for Basso continuo in Recitative Aria built on Ground bass - a repeating bass line (dark-sounding harmony, descending in pitch) Listen also for affect of ground bass

15 Affect The one basic mood that usually lasts throughout a single movement or piece of a Baroque composition Emotional states expressed in music were called “affections” Exceptions can be found in some vocal music where the affect may change if the character’s emotional changes within an aria or recitative

16 Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me, On thy bosom let me rest;
Recitative Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me, On thy bosom let me rest; More I would bet Death invades me; Death is now a welcome guest. Dido tells Belinda to leave her alone, so that she can commit suicide Aria When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create No trouble, no trouble in thy breast. Remember me! But ah! Forget my fate. Dido tells us how she feels about committing suicide

17 Oratorio Like opera - [Sung theatrical work with orchestral accompaniment for vocal soloists and chorus] , but unstaged [without acting, scenery, or costumes] Uses a religious story Example: GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL’s Messiah "Hallelujah" CD#2/11-16 "Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted" CD#2/10

"Hallelujah" Listen for Changes in texture Hymn-like Homophony Imitative Polyphony Pedal Point Emphasis of beat

"Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted" Listen for Terraced dynamics Emphasis of beat Ornamented melody Continuous affect Word painting

20 Terraced Dynamics Abrupt alternation between loud and soft dynamic levels; characteristic of Baroque music

21 Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, And ev’ry mountain and hill made low,
Extremely ornamented melody Ev’ry valley Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, And ev’ry mountain and hill made low, The crooked straight, And the rough places plain. Word Painting

22 Cantata Like opera, but unstaged,
Usually with religious text & mostly performed in churches The church cantata for the Lutheran service in Germany during the baroque period often includes chorales Chorales are hymn tunes set to a German religious text Example: J.S. BACH Cantata No. 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake) Mvt. 4 [Tenor Chorale] CD#1/71-73 & Mvt. 7 [Chorale] CD#1/74-75

23 J.S. BACH Cantata No. 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake)
Mvt. 4 [Tenor Chorale] Listen for Extremely ornamented melody Continuous affect Mvt. 7 [Chorale] Listen for Hymn-like homophony Complete and incomplete cadences

24 Chamber Music Uses a small group of musicians, with one player to a part Meant for smaller, more intimate performance venues Includes music for solo instruments J.S. Bach’s Organ Fugue in G Minor “The Little”

25 J.S. BACH Organ Fugue in G Minor (The "Little")
Fugue - polyphonic composition based on one main theme called a subject Subject (Main Theme) stated in different “voices” during Exposition (imitative) Exposition followed by alternating Episodes (non-imitative) and Subject Entries (imitative) Countersubject - countermelody that accompanies Subject in Exposition & Subject Entries Picardy Third - major chord ending pieces in minor

26 Concerto Grosso Composition for several instrumental soloists and small orchestra; common in late baroque music Tutti vs. Soli groups Tutti = “all,” the entire ensemble Soli = a small group of featured soloists (2 or 3) Ritornello form - Ritornello (a homophonic or polyphonic block of music) alternating with Episodes (contrasting melodic, softer dynamics, virtuosic scales and arpeggios)

27 Examples of Baroque Concerto Grosso
J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major Movement 1 Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, La Primavera [Spring] from The Four Seasons

28 Baroque Music Style Characteristics
Timbre new emphasis on instrumental music & instrumental accompaniment to voices Rhythm beat is emphasized; lots of forward motion Melody elaborate, ornamented, continuously expanding, long and winding Form one main theme repeated over and over Dynamics sudden changes from loud to soft and soft to loud called terraced dynamics Texture more rapid changes in texture (homophony, imitative polyphony) throughout a single movement or piece of music Harmony new emphasis on chords; orchestra mainly consists of strings and basso continuo (bass melody instrument like cello or bassoon + chord generating instrument harpsichord, organ, or lute) Mood the same mood throughout movement; this heightened emotional state called affect (vocal music is exception; vocal music has many changes of mood, but closely follows text)

29 Ecstacy of St. Teresa Bernini


31 The Palace at Versailles

32 The Royal Chapel, Hall of Mirrors & Royal Coach

33 The Royal Chapel,

34 The King’s Bedroom, Marie Antoinette’s Room, The Opera House

35 CARAVAGGIO, Michelangelo Merisi da The Crucifixion of Saint Peter Oil on canvas 90 1/2 x 70 in. Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popola, Rome

36 Henry Purcell

37 George Frideric Handel

38 Antonio Vivaldi

39 Johann Sebastian Bach


41 Bernini, Baldacchino (altar canopy) of St
Bernini, Baldacchino (altar canopy) of St. Peters Gilt bronze, Height approx. 100 ft.

42 Judith Beheading Holofernes
Artemisia Gentilleschi - Student of Caravaggio c. 1598; Oil on canvas, 56 3/4 x 76 3/4 in; Galleria Nazionale dell'Arte Antica, Rome

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