Influence of Baroque Music to Classical Music

Topics: Baroque music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven Pages: 12 (4166 words) Published: October 3, 2012

Music of any period reflects, in its own way, some of the same influences, tendencies, and generative impulses that are found in the other arts of that time (Donna, 2005). Thus the word "baroque," usually used despairingly by eighteenth-century art critics to describe the art and architecture of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, came to be applied also to the music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

After some years after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the ornate, formal and strict form of the High Baroque became “old-fashion” and lost its favor. Music slowly began to change form the style and forms of the High Baroque to a simpler yet tuneful form around 1750. The period following the Baroque is called the Classical period. The transition to the new styles and forms of Classical music was, like all transitions, rather complicated. The use of the baroque bass figure lost its taste and became obsolete. The preference of a simple structure rather than polyphonic constructions became dominant most especially in secular music. There was also a preference for one clear melodic line without melting with many others. Although baroque music differs greatly from classical music, they have striking similarities as evident in specific styles and forms. Though Classical composers tend to avoid the antiquated Baroque, one cannot fully abandon the styles and forms of the immediate predecessors. Instead, these styles were further developed to form a new meaning and use on the new musical structure. Forms like the opera and orchestra revolutionized—the former branching out from serious to variety, and the latter have a complete upheaval. Moreover, on the late Classical period, great composers such as Beethoven and Mozart studied the works of Baroque composers Bach and Handel. The later works of the classical composers were characterized of having innovative yet powerful polyphony inspired by Bach’s masterpieces, and contrapuntal melodic lines imbued with the oratorios and suites of Handel.

General characteristics of baroque music
Baroque composers were united in a common goal: to express or represent a wide range of feelings vividly and vigorously. They sought musical means to express or arouse the affections. Rather than they express their personal feelings, composers wanted to represent human emotions in a generic sense (Norton, 2010). The music is regarded for its distinct, formal compositional styles and forms. Style

Various styles laid the foundation of baroque music. Expressive and expansive in melody yet deeply rooted in chordal harmonies, baroque music is typically highly rhythmical and quite easy to listen to. The comfortable regularity and lively rhythmic qualities of much of baroque music have made it appealing to many modern listeners. For more detailed listeners, one can interpret the music having poignant and stirring melodies, engaging conversation-like dialogues in sound, and rich harmonies and textures (Daniels & Wagner, 1975). Modality was replaced by tonality which gave a strong feeling of joy or lament. In 2008, Ferris explains that composers developed and theoreticians articulated the tonal system, in which every note of the major or minor scale bears a specific relationship to every other note, and all of the pitches are more or less similar to the tonic. Composers at that time recognized and utilized triad chords as an entity, which resulted to meaningful and consonant units of sound. The use of triads most especially the three principle chords (tonic, dominant, and subdominant) paved a stable and harmonic direction to tonal music (The Baroque Period). Thus, the tonal system of harmony was wholly adopted during the seventeenth century. In addition, the continuous use of the polyphonic texture during the Early Baroque was revolutionized to form a new texture—the homophony. Imitative polyphony (more than one melodic...
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