Music of the Baroque

• Explore the Cultural Context of the Baroque
• Explain vocabulary of the period --- as needed!
• Define and listen to three musical forms:
• Fugue
• Concerto Grosso
• The Baroque Suite
• Introduce two influential Baroque composers
• Arcangelo Corelli
• Georg Fredrich Händel
c. 500–1400
Renaissance c. 1400–1600
Common practice
c. 1600–1750
Galante c. 1720 – 177
Classical c. 1770–1820
Romantic c. 1815–1910
Modern and contemporary
Modern c. 1890–1930
20th century
Contemporary c. 1975–present
21st century
The World of 1750
The world of 1600
The first opera is produced
Shakespeare produces Hamlet and
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Elizabeth I on the throne (dies 1603)
Charles I of England is born
Peter Paul Ruben begins his stay in Italy
Giordano Bruno is burned at the stake as
a heretic in Rome
Andrea Amati violin maker Dies
East India Company founded
Dutch opticians invent the telescope
The 1st Chamber of Commerce is founded
in Marseilles
Wigs and dress trains become the fashion of
the upper class
Plague breaks out in Spain
First postal rates are set in Germany
Population of Europe is approximately 63.5 million.
Tycho Brahe, astronomer dies (1601)
William Gilbert publishes De Magnete – the first treatise on
physical science based entirely on experimentation
London is 5th largest city in the world at 187,000
J. S. Bach dies
Thomas Gray writes
Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard
1 Playhouse opens in New York City
Neoclassicism begins to spreads
Antonio Salieri is born
George II is King of England
George Washington turns 18
Joseph Haydn turns 18
Ben Franklin turns 44 and publishes a proposal
to fly a kite in a thunderstorm
Population of Europe is approximately 140 million
London 2nd largest city in the world 676,000
Constantinople 3rd largest city in the world 625,000
Paris 4th largest city in the world. 556,000
Naples is 5th largest city in the world
Martin Luther and his 95 Theses ………..
The Argument Begins
The Baroque music is a legacy of the Protestant Reformation
The Peace of Westphalia in 1648
Ended the Thirty Years' War and nearly a century and a half of war, conflict,
political intrigue.
The treaty gave the territories almost complete sovereignty.
The Holy Roman Empire became a powerless entity, existing in name only.
The Authority and Power of the Pope dimmed significantly.
The artists, intellectuals, politicians, business people who created the Baroque
were among the first generations to experience the Bible
in their native languages.
The Argument over Meaning began, still continues and still creates
– Contrasting themes
• The violin reaches its penultimate form
• The piano is invented ca 1710
• Equal Tempered Tuning becomes the standard
• Opera is invented and its form defined
• Tonality is defined
The “Era of Common Practice”
• In 2010, a violin built in 1741 by Bartolomeo Guisseppe Guarneri
sold at auction for more than $18 million, the highest
price ever paid for a musical instrument.
• The Baroque violin is VERY different from the modern violin.
Most all Baroque period violins have been modified:
The fingerboard was tilted more, to produce great volume as orchestras got larger
The fingerboard of most old instruments was lengthened one centimeter so that the violin could be
tuned to the rising pitch of the 19th century.
The bass bar was made heavier to allow a greater string tension.
The chinrest was invented in the early 19th century
Antonio Stradivari made 1,000 to 1,100 instruments.
650 of these instruments survive including 450 to 512 violins.
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687)
Johann Christophe Bach (1642–1703)
Johann Michael Bach (1648–1694)
Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713)
Vincent Lübeck (1654–1740)
Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1656–1733) (Rondeau fanfare in D major)
Giuseppe Torelli (1658–1709)
Henry Purcell (1659–1695)
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725)
Johannes Schenck (1660–c. 1712)
Francesco Scarlatti (1666–c. 1741)
Johann Nicolaus Bach (1669–1753)
Ferdinando Antonio Lazzari (1678–1754)
Giovanni Antonio Piani (de), or Jean-Antoine Desplanes (1678–1760)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)
Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681–1732)
Johann Mattheson (1681–1764)
Georg Philipp Telemann (14 March 1681 – 25 June 1767)
George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690–1750)
1598 - Jacopo Peri produces Dafne in Florence Italy.
inspired by Camerata de' Bardi - an elite circle of literate Florentines
Dafne sought to restore Greek drama. The Greek Chorus sung their parts.
The Camerata were convinced that all roles in a Greek drama had been sung.
1600 – Peri writes the opera Euridice.
This is the earliest surviving operatic score
1607 - Claudio Monteverdi writes L’Orfeo .
L’Orfeo has remained in the active opera repertoire
since its initial performance
The entirety (1h 48m) of L’Orfeo is on YouTube.
The video shows the musical score.
It was a new musical form with an undisputed birthdate - 1598
Traditional opera consists of two modes of singing:
• Recitative, the plot-driving passages sung in a style that emphasizes the
inflections of speech
• Aria (an "air" or formal song) in which the characters express their
emotions in a melodic style.
The audience suffers through the necessary recitatives in great anticipation
of the beautiful arias that follow!
Emotions…… how people FEEL about events became important.
Musical Forms of the Baroque
Fugue Concerto Grosso Baroque Suite
Opera seria
Opéra comique
Passion (music)
Mass (music)
Chorale composition
Sonata da camera
Sonata da chiesa
Trio sonata
Chorale prelude
Stylus fantasticus
Counterpoint is the relationship between voices
• interdependent harmonically
• independent in rhythm and shape
The term originates from the Latin
punctus contra punctum :"point against point".
Tempus Fugit
Time Flies
Fugit from the Latin fugere
Meaning to flee
A fugue is a music composition in which
the main idea is chased by other ideas
The main idea FLEES and is never caught
First Known Use:
One or two or more themes are repeated by successively entering voices
and developed using technique of counterpoint, modulation and variation
In its simplest configuration a fugue may be the expression of a single
musical idea followed by the development of that idea.
A fugue is a continual flow of subject and answer
The fugue as a process rather than form
A fugue
Is a metaphor (one thing standing in place of another)
reveals the connections between seemingly unlike things.
develops an idea in ways that are never precisely the same – a fugue
“tweaks” ideas
demonstrates relationships between new ideas and old ideas
contrasts ideas through the use of conflict – that is “counterpoint”
its ability to permit the discovery that
new ideas are created out of the
same "stuff" as old ideas.
When listening to a fugue, try to hear these elements:
Subject (always the 1st melody)
Answer (usually the 2nd melody)
Counter subject (sometimes the 2nd melody)
Development of the subject
Coda (the final segment of the composition)
Melody that comprises the primary melodic and rhythmic content of the fugue.
An imitation of the subject that follows immediately after the
first statement of the subject. The answer is played by a
different instrument and usually at a higher pitch.
Counterpoint to subjects or answers played simultaneously by a
different instrument. Not every fugue will have a countersubject.
• One of his four Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest (1727),
composed for the coronation of George II of Great Britain,
has been performed at every subsequent British coronation,
• Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years,
Ludwig Van Beethoven:
"Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means”
The Baroque Suite is a composition of
four or five movements.
• 1st Movement is ALWAYS an overture
The following three or four movements
are ALWAYS dances
French Overture: Slow-Fast-Slow A style of composition usually used as an
introduction to a ballet, opera, or suite. It is divided into sections, the first being
stately and regal, using dotted rhythms, the second section is lively and usually
fugal, and if there is a third section, it is usually in imitation of the first section.
Italian Overture: Fast–Slow-Fast Precursor of the classical symphony -three movements - fast, slow, and fast
A very popular dance played at a moderate tempo
A lively, French dance in triple meter
A Spanish dance in triple meter.
With the emphasis on the second beat, a Sarabande has a 'halting', or iambic rhythm.
An upbeat a lively dance in compound meter.
Typically the concluding movement of an instrumental suite.
The gigue originated in the folk music of Ireland, Scotland and Britain.
18th century Baroque suites interpolate one or more additional
dances between the sarabande and gigue:
A moderate tempo dance In 4/4 time, the Gavotte always starts on the third beat
A moderate tempo dance in 2/2 time although it starts on the second half of the
last beat of the bar, creating a different feel than the gavotte.
The minuet is perhaps the best-known of the baroque dances in triple meter. It
can start on any beat of the bar. There may be a Minuet I and II, played in
succession, with the Minuet I repeated.
The passepied is a fast dance in binary form and triple meter that originated as a
court dance in Brittany. A movement frequently used by Bach and Handel.
The rigaudon is a lively French dance in duple meter, similar to the bourrée,. It
originated as a southern-French folk dances.
A Baroque Suite
• Composed for the fireworks in London's Green Park
27 April 1749.
• Composed to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian
Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
• Overture: Adagio, Allegro, Lentement, Allegro
In the French or "da capo" style, a style in which the faster movement is placed
between the outer slower movements. The final section is a repeat of the
opening exposition
• Bourrée
• La Paix: Largo alla siciliana
Literally "Peace": This movement in 12/8. It is thought that the opening
melody of this movement is from an authentic folk song that
Handel noted down while in Italy.
• La Réjouissance: Allegro
The Rejoicing! A celebratory movement with the brass section leading
• Menuets I and II
1: In the minor key, D minor. The movement formed the trio section of the minuet 2
2: Returns to the major key provides a joyful climax to the Suite.
Handel wanted to include stringed instruments
in his orchestration, but the King would not
permit that.
Handel assembled a large wind band of
24 oboes
12 bassoons
double bass
9 trumpets
9 hand horns
6 timpani
side drums (the players improvised!)
• After the disastrous evening, King George accepted the strings.
But did not relent on the wind band
• The subsequent performance orchestrations of Music for the Royal Fireworks
by Handel and others are the birth place of the Symphony Orchestra.
The Overture
Adagio 0 - 4:08
play slowly and calmly - at ease.
Allegro 4:08 - 7:13
play in a quick, lively tempo.
Lentement 7:13 - 7:45
play in a relaxed tempo – literally, “slowly.”
Allegro 7:45 - 9:25
Repeats 2nd movement
The Dance Movements
• Bourrée 2:20
La Paix: Largo alla siciliana 3:22
Literally "Peace": This movement in 12/8. It is thought that the
opening melody of this movement is from an authentic folk
song that Handel noted down while in Italy.
La Réjouissance: Allegro 2:15
The Rejoicing! A celebratory movement with the brass section leading
• Minuets I and II 3:21
1: In the minor key, D minor. The movement formed the trio section of the minuet 2
2: Returns to the major key provides a joyful climax to the Suite.
Twelve concerti grosso
Published in 1714.
Some of the finest examples of the baroque-style concerti grosso,
Corelli’s Op. 6 was the model for Handel's 1739 collection of twelve
Opus 6 Concerti Grosso.
A Concerto Grosso contrasts a small group of instruments against
a large group of instruments.
• The small group is called concertino.
• The large group is call tutti or ripieno, or concerto grosso.
Sometimes both play together, sometimes one plays by itself, or the two
groups might imitate one another.
“Concerto grosso” is Italian for “big concerto”.
Corelli's concertino group: 2 violins and a cello,
Corelli's ripieno group: A string section was added to form the ripieno group.
Both groups were accompanied by a basso continuo formed by some
combination of harpsichord, organ, lute or theorbo.
Handel wrote several collections of concerti grosso, and several of Bach’s
Brandenburg Concertos by Bach also loosely follow the concerto grosso form.
1st Movement 4:24
Vivace 0:0 - 0:19 concertino -tutti
Allegro 0:19 - 1:01 tutti sudden stop
Adagio 1:01 -2:06 concertino
Allegro 2:07 - 2:22 concertino - tutti
Vivace 2:23 - 3:23 tutti
Largo Andante 3:23 -4:24 concertino
Vivace – lively and fast Lively Mood Vivid (132–140 BPM)
Allegro – fast, quickly, and bright (120–160 BPM)
Andante – at a walking pace (84–90 BPM)
Adagio – slow and stately (literally, "at ease") (55–65 BPM)
Largo – broadly (45–50 BPM)
Grave – slow and solemn (20–40 BPM)
2nd Movement 1:43
3rd Movement 1:42
Grave 0:0 - 0:28
Andante Largo 0:28 - 1:42
4th Movement 2:10
Allegro concertino -ripieno
• New Instruments
• New Forms
• New Tuning
• Opera is invented and its form defined
• Orchestra is defined
The “Era of Common Practice” in music begins