The Baroque chamber orchestra, a type of ensemble today that can vary greatly from group to group, is involved in a type of performance many musicians remain confused about. For a modern musician, the confusion surrounding the Baroque style stems from a notion that spending time learning a style of instrument that is no longer commonplace is something that is not worthwhile or is even detrimental to a modern instrumental career. Much of this stems from the idea that the romantic era of music is the most valid and academic form of music studied and performed. This has to do with the intense exposure that classically trained musicians are given in the field of romantic and modern era music.
Today it is very common for violinists to insist on playing the music of Bach, like the 6 sonatas and partitas, romantically without consideration of the performance practices in the time the music was written. The avoidance of authentic baroque performance being included in the modern interpretation stems from the natural aversion modern players have to the “baroque sound.” What many people consider to be a baroque sound is one that sounds unpolished and underdeveloped, most likely due to the lack of vibrato and varying bow and articulation techniques from today’s playing. When looking at baroque music that is commonly played on modern instruments, there is no better example than the music of J.S. Bach. In the case of the 6 Sonatas and Partitas, today and especially in the middle to late
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The Baroque era began in the year 1600, at the end of the Renaissance period (Kamien 99). The word Baroque has had several different meanings. Back in its time, the word Baroque has meant: Bizarre, Flamboyant, and Elaborately ornamented. Historians, however, used this word to indicate the particular style in all different forms of art that fills space; which includes canvas, stone, or sound (Kamien 99). The Baroque Period is also known as “the age of absolutism” because so many different rulers of the time used and abused their royal power to control their subjects. For example, in Germany, the duke of Weimar imprisoned the famous Johann Sebastian Bach into prison for a month just because Bach asked to leave his job as the Duke’s musician (Kamien 99). This era in time was also home to scientific discoveries by Newton and Galileo. The Baroque era has shaped the world, as they knew it, to what the people of the twenty-first century all know and love.
The second concert I attended was performed by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra performed “Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582” by Bach, which is part of the Baroque era. The string instruments of the orchestra performed with the hair of the bow, in other words, arco (7). By using lots of motion or most commonly known as mosso (8), the orchestra increased the tension of the piece. The orchestra played at a pretty fast tempo (9), probably allegro. The piece had a distinct part where the harp played. The ensemble was large, in order to attain the full sound of the piece. The instruments played in the orchestra did not comply with the typical orchestras of the Baroque era because it did not have a distinct part where were the main instruments were the piano and the bass, or more commonly known as basso continuo (10).
The Baroque Era started in 1600 and lasted till 1750. Some of the famous composers from the Baroque Era include Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Handel, and JS Bach. Music in Baroque society became amusement for aristocrats, modern orchestra began to evolve, and the idea of opera are beginning to develop. In many Baroque pieces the use of a Basso Continuo, which is played by two instruments typically a keyboard and a member of the strings family was found in many pieces during this time. The Baroque period can be characterized with clear and distinct meter, repeated rhythmic patterns, homophonic texture, and terraced dynamics. The Baroque is also classified by its distinct genres including Fugue, Solo Concerto, and Cantata. The Ritornello form being introduced had an impact on Baroque music because it is outlined using harmonic progressions, key modulations, and motives from the main theme in order to give character to a piece.
Music of the baroque period was considered very complex and similar to the other forms of art of this time. Additional brass, woodwind and string instruments had been created to add additional depth to the works of this time. Composers of this time attempted to give voices to their works and invoke emotions. The works were created to tell a story.
The Baroque musical period occurred throughout Europe from 1600 to 1750. The compositions during this period had certain characteristics. Some of these characteristics included unity of mood, continuity of rhythm and melody, and most compositions, in the middle to late Baroque period, included polyphonic textures (Kamien, 2011). Many musicians, such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Arcangelo Corelli, thrived during this period. They composed hundreds to thousands of compositions in various different musical forms and each piece holds the characteristics of the Baroque period uniquely. This paper will review the
During the Baroque period, instrumental music was written for every conceivable size of ensemble. On the smaller side, the Baroque sonata offers one of the finest examples of chamber music. Two types of sonata are found during this period: the sonata da chiesa (church sonata), and the sonata da camera (chamber sonata). The sonata da chiesa was more somber, while the sonata da camera was, much like the suite, usually comprised of dance forms. The gigue from Corelli's Sonata for 2 violins and lute is a fine example of the sonata da camera
The Renaissance and Baroque era entailed very different characteristics, due to the Renaissance composers writing more freely and being more individual then those of the Baroque era where they followed more ‘rules’ and experimented less. This essay will show the difference in two pieces by different composers, even though they were written less than a century apart.
The scientific revolution is traditionally considered to be framed between 1543—the year of On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres by Nicolaus
Baroque music is characterized through contrasts as dramatic elements, monody and the advent of the basso continuo, and different instrumental sounds. Contrast is an essential feature in the production of baroque arrangements. The alternations between bold and flamboyant and soft, solo and ensemble, different instruments and timbres all constitute a key portion in various baroque compositions. Composers similarly created more precise instrumental arrangements regularly stipulating the instruments on a musical piece that ought to be executed instead of allowing the performing musician to select.
First, in the baroque period vocal and instrumental music had the same importance, this allowed that the composers had a wide range in composition types. Some composers chosen more vocally style and others preferred the instrumental style, which generated an amount of balance in composition during this period. In addition, instruments were created with specific features to perform the baroque music, they presented a sound and form characteristic, they were built to sound full and rich, but in small-type-sized, mainly strings instruments. The bow and the technique to play this kind of music required a careful and distinct method which caused that its texture and timbre were unique and special for that era. The most representative instruments of baroque period were organ and harpsichord, however, in most of the compositions of this period strings, woodwinds and brass instruments were also used by the compositors, and these instruments were important for the baroque orchestra. Some instruments used in the baroque period were: violin, viola da gamba, lute, violoncello, oboe, bassoon and trumpet. Moreover, baroque orchestra was characterized as small number of instrumentalists, and it was form mainly by strings instruments with a few woodwinds and brass, which gave the colorful contrast in the orchestra, this was called chamber orchestra. On
The Baroque Period (1600-1750) was mainly a period of newly discovered ideas. From major new innovations in science, to vivid changes in geography, people were exploring more of the world around them. The music of the baroque period was just as extreme as the new changes. Newly recognized composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi were writing entirely new musical ideas and giving a chance for new voices to be heard that were normally not thought of sounds. Their musical legacy is still recognized today, and is a treasured discovery of outstanding compositions being reiterated with every performance of them.
When approaching a performance, accomplished musicians often consider the historical context from which a piece originates. They most often think of such considerations in the application of that context as it pertains to early music that is, the Baroque era or earlier. For any era, such historical considerations are called performance practice, and may include the use of vibrato, ornamentation, dynamic levels, tempi, instrumental timbres, performance setting, and balance. Vibrato and ornamentation are two important areas of consideration that vocalists must explore when aiming to give an authentically Baroque performance.
The baroque period of music commenced in the year 1600 and ended around 1750 (Fuller – “Baroque”). Its texture was mainly polyphonic (Fuller – “Classical”). Polyphonic means that two or more different melodies are played simultaneously (McComb). This provides an energetic rhythm, long melodies, and many ornaments. The most famous composers of this time period were Vivaldi, Corelli, Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel, J.S. Bach, and Couperin. Many new styles of music were introduced, such as operas, sonatas, oratorios, suites, fugues, and concertos. Orchestras began to develop, but it was not until the classical period when orchestral music was perfected (Fuller – “Baroque”).