The Baroque Period

Topics: Baroque music, Opera, Johann Sebastian Bach Pages: 2 (603 words) Published: September 8, 2013
The Baroque period happened between 1600-1750. The word "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco which means “misshapen pearl”; it is a negative description of the elaborate and heavily ornamented music of this period. Baroque music forms a major portion of the classical music canon, being widely studied, performed, and listened to. Composers of the baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Philipp Telemann. The development of functional tonality happened during the baroque period. Functional tonality is the relationship between chords (cadences - perfect, imperfect, interrupted). This also led to elaborate ornamentations in music (e.g. trills, acciaccaturas, glissando). It changed the way we wrote music and new styles of techniques were invented. Baroque music expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established opera as a musical genre. An important technique used in baroque music was the use of ground bass, a repeated bass line. Modes (Modes - Any of the eight scales of the medieval music, each distinguished by its ending note, its arrangement of pitches in intervals, and its range.) were replaced by the major and minor key system (Diatonic scales). The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church. Opera’s were fist composed in the Baroque period. The first opera was written in 1597, called 'Dafne', and was composed by Peri. The first truly great opera was composed by Monteverdi in 1607, and was called 'Orfeo'. The music heightens the dramatic impact. There was a lot of instrumental ritornello (Italian for return, and means when a section returns). Before each verse of the aria (song), we hear an instrumental ritornello. Here are some examples of operas overture’s from different countries. Italy - Scarlatti's operas often began with an overture in three sections: quick, slow, quick. This was the Italian Overture (an...
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