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Chapter 8 Prelude: The Late Baroque Period

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1 Chapter 8 Prelude: The Late Baroque Period
Style Features of Late Baroque Music

2 Key Terms Walking bass Harmonic rhythm Basic Baroque orchestra
Festive Baroque orchestra Sequence Ornamentation Ritornellos Continuo Figured bass

3 Style Features of Late Baroque Music
Extravagance Many large-scale works for large ensembles Intense, dramatic emotional expression Control Thorough, methodical expression of emotion Composers extract maximum effect from small amount of basic material Many elements unite to create single “affect”

4 Rhythm Rhythmic vitality & energy
Strong influence of dance rhythms Distinctive, recurring patterns play against a steady beat & strong meter Freer rhythms in upper instruments Beat often emphasized by harpsichord & walking bass Steady harmonic rhythm, too

5 Dynamics Subtle expressive nuances common
Overall dynamic level steady for a section or an entire piece When indicated, dynamics were either loud or soft (f or p) Composers preferred abrupt, dramatic dynamic changes, not gradual ones Terraced dynamics

6 Tone Color New interest in sonority, instrumental colors
Distinctive sounds of harpsichord, organ, recorder, & “festive” Baroque orchestra Idiomatic writing–takes advantage of unique capabilities of each instrument Yet some works treated flexibly— Works for violin or oboe or flute Bach & Handel rewrote earlier works (or works by others) for different performing forces

7 The Baroque Orchestra Violin family instruments core of orchestra
Louis XIV’s orchestra was influential Called The Twenty-Four Violins of the King 6 violins, 3 groups of 4 violas, 6 cellos Continuo a standard part of orchestra Basic Baroque orchestra essentially a string orchestra Festive Baroque orchestra added winds, brass, & even percussion

8 Basic vs. Festive Baroque Orchestra
Basic Orchestra— Violins in 2 groups: Violins 1 Violins 2 Violas Continuo Cellos & Bass Viol (both play bass line an octave apart) Harpsichord or organ (play chords) Festive Orchestra may add— 2 Oboes 1 Bassoon Up to 3 Trumpets 2 Timpani (kettledrums)

9 Basic Baroque Orchestra

10 Festive Baroque Orchestra

11 Melody Often complex, ornate, virtuoso melodies
Often difficult to sing or play Extended range, reaching high & low Great variety of rhythmic note values Intricate, unpredictable twists & turns Irregular phrase lengths Infrequent repetition, sequences common

12 Ornamentation Addition of fast notes, motives, or effects to a melody
Ornaments were improvised Added spontaneously in performances by virtuoso solo singers & players Enough improvisations were written down to show us how they did it Even simple tunes were lavishly ornamented Other examples of improvisation— Cadenzas or chording continuo instruments

13 Texture Standard Baroque texture is polyphonic
Frequent use of imitative polyphony Composers may use homophonic texture for contrast (cf. ritornellos or chorales) But this texture appears in pieces that feature polyphony elsewhere Sounds feel alive because every line is in motion, even in dense orchestral works Simple works for solo and continuo still feel contrapuntal due to active bass

14 The Continuo (1) Melody or polyphony supported by solid harmonic scaffold–basso continuo “Polarized” texture results–strong bass in low register vs. clear, high melodic line(s) Continuo used in most Baroque works Except those for one instrument Continuo provides same advantages as rhythm section in jazz or rock band Keeps steady beat, provides bass line, & fleshes out harmonies

15 The Continuo (2) Includes both bass line & accompanying harmonies
Bass line played by cello or bass viol, etc. Chords played by keyboard or plucked strings Chords must follow figured bass (Baroque chord symbols)

16 The Continuo (3) Chording keyboard instruments—
Play bass line with left hand Improvise chords with right hand Performers can “realize” chords in simple or complex manner, according to ability

17 Musical Form Forms clearer, more regular than earlier
Standardized formal patterns made it easier to provide music for patrons ASAP Fugue, ritornello form, dance form, etc. “Scientific” urge to fill patterns in orderly, logical manner Entire fugues constructed from single theme Often symmetrical ordering of movements Baroque works could sustain rich musical experience over long time span

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