The Baroque Era - MEI Middle Music

Music in History!
1. Medieval
Single line melodies
Guido of Arezzo – The first known composer to write notes down on a music “staff”.
2. Renaissance – Rebirth
More than one line sung at a time (polyphonic music)
Featured chants, madrigals, mass (church) and motets.
3. Baroque – The Age of Opulence
What are the dates of the Baroque Era? 1600 – 1750
What does the word baroque mean? Oddly shaped pearl
General characteristics of the Baroque era: Huge exaggeration “fancy music”, musicians were
hired by wealthy individuals, composers did not have to write just church music, but could write
for theater and private performances.
Some instrumental forms composed in the Baroque era were: preludes,
fugues, suites, concerto, sonata, toccatas, theme and variations.
Example 1:
• Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
• Title: “The Four Seasons” (orchestra)
• Form: Concerto
This piece, written by Antonio Vivaldi, was inspired by one of the four seasons. Its music reflects the
words below:
Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances,
The pleasure of a bountiful harvest.
And fired up by Bacchus' liquor, many end their revelry in sleep.
Make sure to include information about what you heard in the music in your answer.
Name of the piece: Autumn, Allegro
Music in History!
Popular instruments were: clavichord, harpsichord, organ
A concerto is: a composition which contrasted a small group of instruments with the rest of
the orchestra
A fugue is: a melody that is introduced repeatedly
A toccata is: a piece of music that is played very quickly with rapid runs and full chords
Example 2:
• Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
• Title: “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” (organ)
• Form: Fugue
• Other famous works:
Overture No. 3 in D Major – Air (orchestra “suite”)
Brandenburg Concertos (orchestra),
The Well-Tempered Clavier (harpsichord)
Youtube – Toccata and Fugue in D minor: Watch for the rapid runs in the toccata section and
the repeated melody in the fugue section!
Listening Map - Overture No. 3 in D Major – Air: Try to follow the “star” line on the music map
with your finger (bass line movement). What do you think the symbols on the top line
Some vocal forms were composed in the Baroque era were: oratorios, cantatas, masses,
operas, passions, chorales
Example 3:
• Composer: George Frideric Handel
• Title: “The Hallelujah Chorus” (choral)
• Form: Oratorio
• Other famous works: The Harmonious Blacksmith (variations),
The Messiah (oratorio), “Water Music” (orchestra)
Youtube: Silent Monks – watch how the melody is represented in the range it is sung!
Why did the Baroque era end in 1750? Bach died!