Baroque Art And The Baroque Era

2216 Words Dec 9th, 2014 9 Pages
Baroque Ornamentation
The use of ornamentation in Baroque music was a creative, and sometimes improvised outlet for period musicians that spurred from human instinct to manipulate melodic material. This urge to change melodic material by altering the rhythm, or melody can be seen throughout history. Music including Gregorian chant, which predates the Baroque era, contains some elements of ornamentation. It can be seen throughout the Baroque, Classical era, and even in modern music. Although improvisation has been repressed by modern conventions of performance, it shows itself in the style of improvised jazz and avant-garde free improvisation. Performers use improvisation as a means of self-expression and a way to express composer intent. During the Baroque era, there were many different styles and methods of ornamentation depending on location, style, date, and composer of a piece of music. Understanding the historical developments of the Baroque era and the development of ornamentation can help modern performers of Baroque music better understand how to play a more historically accurate performance. The Baroque era lasted from about 1600 to 1750. The music from the Baroque began to develop contrapuntally and in harmonic complexity. Composers also relied on the performers ability to add ornamentation and to complete the harmonies in a basso continue score through improvisation. These scores consisted of a bass line with numbers and symbols written above, to indicate the…

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