Essay on Western Music

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Western Music dates back from 1200 BC. We can divide each major element of Western Music into periods. Some of the major periods of Western Music consist of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Music. Each period contributed key elements that have influenced the formation of music. These key periods helped form the musical geniuses;Bach, Beethoven,Mozart,Verdi, and Copland.

The Baroque period lasted from 1600-1750. The two best known Baroque composers are Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel. The music of the period is thick and complex polyphonic texture prevails in many composers works. The music gives a sense of drama and urgency is incorporated into in vocal forms such as the cantata, mass, opera, oratorio and passion, and in instrumental forms such as the concerto, concerto grosso, prelude, fugue, toccata sonata and suite. Vibrant rhythms and expressive dissonances heighten tension in many Baroque works.

Much of the Baroque keyboard music written for the harpsichord and clavichord was written in suites comprising separate dance pieces, changing in tempo and meter but maintaining key unity throughout. The Dance Movemets such as the allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue and others such as the gavotte, musette, bouree, minuet and pavane. Each dance movement is usually written in two sections called Binary form, and is generally performed with each section repeated. Other forms of keyboard music from the Baroque period are theme and variations, passacaglia, chaconne, invention, prelude, fugue, choral prelude, ricercare, fantasy, toccata and concerto.The two best known Baroque composers are Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel.

The Classical Era

(1750-1820 C.E.)

     Although the Classical Era lasted for only 70 years, there was a substantial change in the music that was being produced. Classical music placed a greater stress on clarity with regard to melodic expression and instrumental color. Although opera...
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