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Baroque Era Study Guide
 Baroque = “bizarre”
o Formal, elaborate, music/art was complex
 Religious conflict between protestant/Catholic
 Virtuoso: highly skilled musician
 Amateur: a skilled non-professional musician
o Every home has a piano
o Everyone learns to play an instrument/sing
 Monody: solo song for voice with
accompaniment by instrument
 Internationalist: free exchange of cultures
 Figured bass: notated bass line for instruments,
requires players to improvise
o Basso continuo: usually 2 instruments, one
bass and one improvising (ex. Cello +
 Major-Minor Tonality: two commonly used
“sets” of notes: “happy” and “sad”
 Doctrine of the Affections: the union of text and
music – emotional connection
 Castrato: a male singer whose voice remains
high via surgery
 Equal temperament: universal tuning,
instruments can play in many keys
o Opera seria – serious plots (tragedy)
o Opera buffa – comedic plots (happy stories)
 Overture – instrumental opening
 Recitative – sung dialogue
 Aria – lyrical songs
 ABA form = da capo
 Barbara Strozzi
 Chorus – songs for full ensemble
 Libretto – the words and story
 Written by Librettist
o Started in Italy (opera seria)
 Claudio Monteverdi – plots from Greek
o France – more dancing
 Jean-Baptiste Lully
o England – smaller cast, simpler
 Henry Purcell
 Suite: instrumental collection of dances
o George Frideric Handel
 Water Music and Music for the Royal
 Concerto
o Solo Concerto – features one instrument
accompanied by orchestra
o Concerto Grosso – features a small group of
instruments accompanied by orchestra
 Antonio Vivaldi
 Concerto: The Four Seasons
 “The Red Priest”
 Girls’ Orphanage “Oespedale della
Pieta” Trained girls in music
 Keyboard Instruments
o Air Powered: Pipe Organ (church)
o Plucked Strings: Harpsichord, Clavichord,
Virginal, Spinet
o Hammered Strings: Pianoforte
 Bartolomeo Cristoferi
 “Soft-Loud”
o Fugue – subject (melody) played in a variety
of ways
 Contrapuntal devices
 SACRED Baroque Music
o Cantata – Sacred (usually) Lutheran work
for voices and instruments
 Johann Sebastian Bach
 Chorale: chorus for 4-part singers
o Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
 Contain a plot
 Arias, recitatives, choruses, like
o Oratorios
 Large-scale sacred music drama
 For voices and instruments
 Not staged or costumed
 Contains a plot
o Arias, recitatives, choruses
 George Frideric Handel
 German-born, composer of Italian
operas, famous for Oratorios,
especially in England
 “The Messiah”
o “The Hallelujah Chorus