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Journal Entry #9
In music, art, etc., do you enjoy a simple,
pure style like that of the Renaissance, or
do you enjoy the over-the-top, dramatic
style of the Baroque? Why?
BAROQUE MUSIC (SHMRFT)
Sound
 Unity of Mood
 Usually
expresses one basic mood throughout
(but not in vocal music)
 Emotional states represented – joy, grief,
agitation, called affections
 Specific rhythm/melodic patterns became
associated with specific moods
(SHMRFT) cont…
Harmony
 Chords increasingly important
 Chords gave prominence to the bass, which is
the foundation of a chord
 Basso continuo – accompaniment made up of
a bass part usually played by two instruments

a keyboard plus a low melodic instrument like cello or
bassoon
Harmony, cont…
 Basso continuo played in left hand, while
right hand creates chords based on
numbers written in the music, called
figured bass

Example: pg. 129
(SHMRFT) cont…
Filling in chords according to figured bass
is called realization
 Figured bass only specifies basic chords
 Performer has great freedom
 Also saved time for busy Baroque
composers
 Also saved paper, which was very
expensive

(SHMRFT) cont…

Figured bass is the shorthand system that
leads to song lead sheets and jazz
improvisation of today
(SHMRFT) cont…
Rhythm
 Patterns repeat throughout piece
 Created
forward momentum
 Forward motion rarely interrupted

Beat emphasized more than Renaissance
(SHMRFT) cont…
Melody
 Repeated throughout piece, melodies
heard again and again throughout
 Character of the melody remains constant
 Continuous expanding, unfolding, and
unwinding of melody
 Sequences
used
 Ornamentation
 Hard
to sing and remember
LISTENING FOR ORNMENTATION

Sonata da chiesa, Op. 5, No. 1
 Arcangelo
Corelli
 Also listen for harpsichord
(SHMRFT) cont…
Dynamics
 Volume level stays constant for long time
 Terraced dynamics – sudden shifts in
dynamics
 Organ, harpsichord, clavichord: narrow dynamic
changes
Organ and harpsichord – incapable of gradual
dynamic changes
 Clavichord – very small piano-like instrument

 Capable
of gradual dynamic changes, but only within
small range (ppp-mp)
LISTENING FOR TERRACED
DYNAMICS

Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah
 George
Frederic Handel
 Listen for trumpet and timpani
(SHMRFT) cont…
Texture
 Early Baroque: homophonic
 Late Baroque: usually polyphonic
 Soprano and Bass: most important
 Imitation
 Some vocal pieces may switch texture for
change of mood
SHMRFT, cont…
Texture, cont…
 Music depicts specific meanings (word painting)


“heaven” – high, “hell” – low, “grief” – descending
chromatic scale
Words emphasized by writing many rapid notes
for a single syllable of text - mellismas

Technique also demonstrated singer’s virtuosity
LISTENING TO MELLISMAS

Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted from Messiah
 George
Frederic Handel
THE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
10-40 players
 Based on instruments of violin family
 Main parts

 Basso
continuo – harpsichord & cello or bass
& bassoon
 Upper strings – 1st and 2nd violins & violas
Use of woodwind, brass, percussion varied
 Other instruments could be added –
recorder, flute, oboe, trumpet, horns,
trombone, timpani
 Trumpet & timpani joined in for festive
music

LISTENING FOR FESTIVE TRUMPET

Gloria from Gloria in D Major
 Antonio
Vivaldi

Different than modern orchestra:
4

groups of instruments
Trumpet was different, no valves
 Difficult
to play, associated with royalty
 Trumpeters were the top of the orchestra
ladder
 Treated like military officers
BAROQUE FORMS

movement – a piece that sounds fairly
complete and independent but is part of a
larger composition
 each
movement:
 has
its own themes
 comes to a definite end
 is separated from the next movement by a brief
pause
3-Part: ABA
 2-Part: AB
 Through-composed
 Always contrast between bodies of
sound
 Examples:

 alteration
between small and large
groups of instruments
 Voices and instruments
CHAPTER 2: MUSIC IN BAROQUE
SOCIETY

Before 1800: music written to order for
 Churches,
aristocratic courts, opera houses
All new; no one wanted “old-fashioned”
 Music was main source of entertainment

 One
court might employ an orchestra, chapel
choir, opera singers
 Large court might have 80+ performers,
including best opera singers of the day

Court Music Directors
 Supervised/composed
 Operas,
performances
church music, dinner music, concerts
 Discipline
of other musicians
 Upkeep of instruments and music library
 Job: good and bad
 Pay
and prestige very high
 Anything they wrote got performed
 Most were slaves to their employer

Church music very grand
 Most
churches had organ, choir, orchestra
every service
Most ordinary citizens heard music in
church
 Fine church music increased prestige of
each city

 Cities
competed to attract best musicians

Church Music Directors
 Also
had to produce steady flow of new music
 Trained choristers
 Upkeep of instruments and library
 Earned less, lower status than court directors
 Low income was often supplemented by
firewood, grain, irregular fees for
weddings/funerals

Other Musicians
 Some
town musicians also employed
 Some earned money writing operas for
commercial opera houses
 Venice:
city of 125,000 people, 6 opera houses
between 1680-1700
 Handel worked for a London opera house 17191728. When it went bankrupt, Handel started his
own, working as composer, conductor, manager.
Handel: one of the first great freelance
musicians.

How to become a musician in the Baroque
 Often
passed from father to son (Bach,
Vivialdi, Purcell, etc.)
 Apprenticeships for young boys
 Starting as choirboys
 Orphanages
 Many
orphans and poor children received the best
musical training in orphanage schools
 Women
not allowed to be music directors or
court instrumentalists, many succeeded in
composing
 To get a job, musicians had to pass difficult
exams, auditions, and composition
submissions
 Also


nonmusical requirements:
Donations to town treasury
Marrying the daughter of retiring musician (Bach and
Handel turned down same job because they didn’t want
to marry the organists daughter)
VOCABULARY
Galileo
 Newton
 Baroque
 Ornamentation
 Opera
 Affections
 Basso continuo
 Figured Bass
 Realization

Terraced Dynamics
 Sequences
 Clavichord
 Orchestra
 Written-to-Order music
 Court Music Director
 Church Music Director
 Apprenticeship
 Orphanage

GROUP PRESENTATIONS
Isaac Newton
Alec Camp
Aaron Brunnworth
Taimoor Aziz
Nick Caban
Baroque Dance
Dominique Flyte
Claire Chandler
Emma Brown
Julian Harvey
Famous Baroque Operas
Chris Pearson
Nate Novak
Ryan Kaminsky
Blake Noud
Galileo
Bilal Aziz
Jacob Burns
Kieryn Beyerl
Anna Stamer
Baroque Royal Courts
Phil Kosydor
Kalyn Moore
Andrew Drake
Sami Greytak