Evolution of the Orchestra

Topics: Orchestra, Baroque music, Ludwig van Beethoven Pages: 2 (819 words) Published: February 24, 2012
From as early as the 17th century, all the way up until the 21st century, there have been revolutionary changes all over the globe. Countless advances in technology, philosophy, and art have changed the way people live forever. In a world where technology has gone from telegrams to handheld computers, the fact that the musical world has also seen dramatic changes often goes completely unnoted. More specifically, the orchestra sector of the musical realm has undertaken a quite noticeable evolution within itself. By listening to a composition from each of what are labeled as the four major eras of music, the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary, one can hear distinguishing differences between the eras. Despite the fact that each representational sample of each era was no longer than ten minutes, there are still very prominent differentiating qualities to each era. Given that the Baroque Era was the earliest period of the orchestra and the time when it was first conceived, it only makes sense to begin there. The Baroque Orchestra Suite No 4 composed by Johann Sebastian Bach maintains a very light and simple sound, which only makes sense since it was an era of learning and beginning. Then again, the idea the each instrument possesses its own unique and interesting part. This creates an antithesis within the Baroque Era, for it strangely yet wonderfully adds a sense of complexity to the orchestra’s sound. Following its Baroque predecessor comes the Classical time period of music. By this time, the orchestra has already undergone vast progression. Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Farewell Symphony” differs greatly from Bach’s Orchestra Suite No 4. During the Classical piece, it sounds like the instruments are having an emotive conversation with one another. The higher parts make a statement and are often answered by their lower counterparts. This keeps the complexity initially established by the entire idea of an orchestra itself as well established in the Baroque...
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