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Reflection Essay on Baroque Music

According to Craig Wright, ““baroque” is the term used to describe the art, architecture, dance and music of the period 1600 to 1750 (Wright, 97). ” The sound has been described as “rough, bold [and] instrumental” (Ibid). Originally, the term “baroque” was pejorative (Ibid). One of the main traits of baroque art and architecture, that extends itself to the music of the period, is massiveness. Everything in baroque society was larger than life. Grandiose was also a term that was used to define the music of the period.

With this grandiosity was also an attention to detail that showed itself in “vigorous, pulsating rhythms with strong, regular beats and many smaller subdivisions (Ibid). ” During the baroque period, there was much development and innovation in the field of music. During this time, three musical forms developed and reached their zenith, the Baroque Opera, Concerto Grosso, and the Cantata. These three forms were best represented by Claudio Monteverdi, Antonio Vivaldi, and Johann Sebastian Bach. The first form that came to innovation was the Baroque Opera. This was best exemplified by the operas of Claudio Monteverdi.

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One of his operas was The Coronation of Poppea. In it, you hear the swelling melodies and subtle undertones that define baroque music . Though it is one of Monteverdi’s last compositions, many critics view it as one of his best, sowing the seeds for all future Italian opera. Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun notes that “[t]his is a pinnacle of early baroque style (Smith, 2009). ” Craig Wright states that Monteverdi and other composers of early opera used a particular style to convey heightened passions. It was a “new, more expressive and flexible style of solo singing for the stage called stile rappresentativo (Wright, 107).

” This form allowed the singer to move from one mood to another without alerting the viewer to the subtle changes in mood. This was a key component of baroque music, as one of the key aims of baroque is to create emotion in the listener and to give a sense of grandness to the vocal production. Eventually, “stile rappresentativo would soon be transformed into two different and contrasting types of vocal writing, recitative and aria (Ibid). ” The second form of baroque music that emerged during this time period was concerto grosso.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, concerto grosso was “characterized by a contrast between a small group of soloists and the full orchestra (Britannica, 2009). It flourished eventually as secular music for the royal court (Ibid). Britannica says that the typical “instrumentation…was that of the trio sonata (Ibid). ” It consisted of two violins, a bass string instrument and a harmonizing instrument like a harpsichord. “Wind instruments were also common (Ibid). ” The number of movements for the concerto varied depending on the composer. Some had three movements, others had four.

The fast movements “often used a ritornello structure, in which a recurrent section, or ritornello, alternates with episodes, or contrasting sections played by soloists (Ibid). ” The composer best known for this form was Antonio Vivaldi. Vivaldi’s greatest concertos are the series known as the Four Seasons. More than 150 recordings have been made of the Four Seasons alone. In his works, you can hear the melodies and subtleties that make up baroque music. The final form of music that was developed during this time was the cantata. The cantata was a form first used by the Italians, and was later adopted by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Though Bach never called them cantatas, they were considered such due to their structure. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Bach rejected calling his works cantatas because that connoted secular music, and if there was something that Bach was not, it was secular. When one listens to Bach’s music, one can hear the massiveness of the sound that is obviously designed for a church and for a multi-voiced orchestra. Under Bach, “the music of the Baroque reaches its greatest glory (Wright, 127). ” He was a great virtuoso on the organ, studying his craft by listening to others and even traveling hundreds of miles just to hear a performance.

He was a composer of church music, and later became a court conductor. One of Bach’s greatest known cantatas is a seven-movement work known as Awake, a Voice is Calling. It is a more formalized structure, with movements one, four, and seven being choruses, movements two and five being recitatives and movements three and six aria duets. This piece is a chorale piece, which is a spiritual melody or religious folk song (Ibid). The Baroque period, while a young period in musical history is full of new and innovative developments.

The opera, the concerto grasso, and the cantata are all innovative developments in music that show us how our rich musical history developed and changed over the hundreds of years that we have been maintaining our musical heritage. We need to embrace and encourage our musical growth and musical challenges so we may continue to grow as a culture and as a society. Works Cited "Cantata. " Encyclopedia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 18 Apr 2009. <http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/93023/cantata>. "Concerto Grosso. " Encyclopedia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 18 Apr 2009.

<http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/131094/concerto-grosso>. Smith, Tim. "Opera Vivente tackles timeless 'Coronation of Poppea'. " Baltimore Sun 09 Mar 2009 Web. 18 Apr 2009. <http://weblogs. baltimoresun. com/entertainment/classicalmusic/2009/03/opera_vi vente_tackles_timeless. html>. Wright, Craig. Listening to Music. Second Edition. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1996. Print. Josquin Desprez was a giant of Renaissance music. According to Craig Wright, he was the greatest composer of the Renaissance or any age. He was born on the border between modern France and Belgium and died in the same region.

He was attracted to Italy for the same reason many other composers were attracted to the region—professional and monetary gain (Wright, 86). He worked consistently as a singer at the cathedral of Milan, the chapel of a cardinal in Rome, the Sistine Chapel of the pope, and in the chapel of the Duke of Ferrara. According to Wright, he “possessed a temperamental, egotistical spirit typical of many artists of the Renaissance: He composed only when he, not his patron wished; he demanded a salary twice that of composers only slightly less gifted; and he would break into a rage when singers tried to tamper with the notes he had written (86).

” One patron threatened to throw him in prison if he did not stop composing for outside clients, yet he was recognized for his genius. He was praised by contemporary humanists of the time, and he was a favorite of Martin Luther, who said in essence, that Josquin mastered the notes; the notes did not master him (Ibid). “Josquin wrote more than twenty settings of the Ordinary of the Mass and a large number of French chansons (Ibid). ” According to Wright, he especially excelled in a form called the motet.

A motet is a composition written for a choir, setting a Latin text on a sacred subject. It was intended to be sung in a church or chapel or at home in a private devotion. Most were sung a capella, which literally means “in the chapel (Ibid). ” This means that they were performed by voice alone, without any instrumentals. Instruments other than the organ were not allowed in churches during the Renaissance (Ibid). This clean, a capella sound accounted for the “often serene quality of the sound of Renaissance sacred music (Ibid).

” Wright states that the Renaissance is often called “the golden age of a capella singing (Ibid). ” It is in this setting that Josquin wrote Mille Regretz, a beautiful a capella piece that brings male and female voices together in harmony. The male and female voices play off each other, pulling the listener into the music and the gentle harmonies that are displayed. Josquin’s talent is evident, as the music has clean lines and tones, and the notes are precise and well-toned to blend together flawlessly.

The first voices you hear are the male and female voices in harmony, and then it seems as if the female voice takes over, but there is a subtle bass to the tones, then the men dominate the piece while the women play a supporting role. Next the men and women are in harmony together, blending and rising their voices in a slightly mournful tune reminiscent of the Ave Maria. This piece speaks very well to the time period in which it was written.

Mille Regretz means “A Thousand Regrets” in Italian, and it would seem as though this religious piece plays to the penance one would have to pay for their sins. There is a great emphasis placed on the polyphonic nature of the tones, and the multitonalism that results from the blending of the voices; all characteristic of Renaissance religious music. This piece probably represents Josquin at his height, as a power player in the courts and chapels of Italy. Listening to this piece, there is no reason to doubt his standing as one of the premier composers of his day, and this piece attests to it.

This has the a capella quality that was desirous in Renaissance music, and there are few voices involved, which means that it was most likely meant for a small chapel and not for a grand cathedral. Josquin accomplished his goal of creating peaceful, religious music that soothes the soul and easily defined the time period in which it was popular. Then there is the quality of imitation involved. Josquin used this technique often. Imitation is a process “whereby one or more voices duplicate in turn the notes of a melody (Ibid).

” You can clearly hear the imitation by the male and female voices as they move through the piece. In Josquin’s imitative writing, all the voices have a chance to equally present the melodic material and all are of equal importance (Ibid). You can also clearly hear the “point-counterpoint” pattern in the singing that is common when the voices are working together to compliment each other. The sound produced would, on paper, appear to be discordant, but is far from such, as the “point-counterpoint” creates a harmony that belies what is placed on the paper.

The voices work smoothly together to create a cohesive whole, so the piece comes together as a masterwork. Josquin’s work was a sublime effort despite his temperamental soul. Though he may have been tormented by having to achieve perfection, his works show he did just that. We can look at his music and clearly see the liturgical future that music took. He was a pioneer in sacred music, and his contributions must continue to be appreciated for how it speaks to us and our musical future. Works Cited Wright, Craig. Listening to Music. Second Edition. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1996. Print.

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Baroque Music Essay

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baroque music essay

Baroque Music Essay

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Concert Report Questionnaire Sample

Frederic Chopin was a romantic era composer, and you could tell that in the pieces performed due to the amount of harmony in his pieces which was not something often done in previous eras. His pieces were highly emotional and had different dynamics within the pieces. Bach however is considered pre-classical era. Many of his pieces were written for harpsicord, but the form of

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baroque music essay

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The Classic Era

Baroque music tends to be for small chamber orchestras and is usually very intricate, with many layers. Classical music tends to be for larger orchestras and for showing off virtuoso talents or entertainment rather than for praising God or presenting solemn tunes to kings, as much Baroque music was.…

The Baroque Period

The Baroque period is the first to be among the musical pieces that people today are generally familiar with.…

Music: Sonata Form and Classical Period

The baroque era.

During the end of the sixteenth century to the mid eighteenth century, the Baroque Era prospered in Europe and its provinces. This section studies the Baroque expressions and the political setting against which they created. The writing of this period incorporated various subjects and structures, some recognizable yet numerous new and inventive. As the government developed progressively absolutist the theater entered into a golden age in France. Three playwrights written by Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, and the comedic satirist Jean-Baptiste Poquelin also known by his stage name Moliere transformed French dramatic literature. In England, Stuart…

Mozart Research Paper

Mozart’s Life in comparison to the movie “Amadeus Mozart was a supreme melodist and is one of the most popular classical composers of all time. “Mozartean” is practically synonymous with elegance and grace.…

The Piano Concerto

The piano concerto did not become relevant until the late 18th century. The Baroque keyboard instruments (Harpsichord, clavichord, and organ) were primarily used throughout the 18th century to write keyboard music. While Mozart’s concept of the concerto was the model for many composers throughout the 19th century, the keyboard concerto was said to have originated in the family of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach’s greatest contributions to the concerto are his six Brandenburg concertos. Although he primarily wrote these for chamber and orchestral instruments, it was not until the fifth Brandenburg concerto that Bach chose to raise the status of the harpsichord from continuo part to principal soloist, which in essence became the first keyboard concerto. Manfred Bukofzer, German American musicologist has continually stated that the Brandenburg concertos are “the most inspired and complex concerti grossi of the baroque era” (Nelson 10).…

How Did Mozart Influence The Modern World

Mozart is one of the most influential composers and musicians of all time. His creative genius has inspired emotion in hundreds of people. Mozart’s music has stood the test of time, finding itself immersed in the modern world as well as an integral influential part of the past. Though suffering from a troubled life, his music spurred the classical period not only impacting the music of his time but that of many future generations.…

Movie Review: My Immortal Beloved and Amadeus

As this two individual lived in different time, they encountered different approach with music. Mozart lived during classical period, a guy full of ideas being restricted to express his thought in his masterpieces because of the boundaries made by their law, while…

Comparing the Classical and Baroque Eras of Music

From the 1600’s through the 1900’s, two distinct forms of musical composition and periods came into play that would change the way the world looked at musical performance in all its revelations. Baroque music displayed music that expressed drama, expression of self and talent in retrospect to the way church felt had previously felt about in the medieval era of thinking. The form of Classical era music that began to engulf much of western Europe gave the spectator a sense of a wide emotional spectrum to feel as the instrumentation made its way among staff notation, Orchestra, etc. Although both had similarities and differences, one must take a closer look at two important composers of both periods to gain a grasp on the individual notions of each and how they helped to drive the periods.…

Music in the Baroque Period

Music is in everyone’s lives these days. You always see people with headphones in their ears or jamming out in their cars. Many people listen to music in the privacy of their homes, where they can listen to music as loud as they want and can sing along and not have anyone look at them funny. But do all these people who listen to music on a daily basis really know where it came from? A lot of people will say that Michael Jackson is the king of pop or that Elvis was the invention of rock. Many people don’t know that true music started long before this. The art of classical music; and music for music’s sake. There once was a time when music was only played for the church and nothing else, no concerts to go to, or no time to just listen to it to enjoy it. In the baroque period there came a time of change for music, and music was now being played for music’s sake.…

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  1. Baroque Music Essay | Bartleby

    The Baroque Era of Music Essay The Baroque period of music lasted from approximately 1600 – 1750 AD. It falls into the Common Practice period and was the most predominant style of writing after the Renaissance period and before the Classical period (the Classical period uses many elements from the Baroque period).

  2. Reflection Essay on Baroque Music -

    According to Craig Wright, ““baroque” is the term used to describe the art, architecture, dance and music of the period 1600 to 1750 (Wright, 97). ” The sound has been described as “rough, bold [and] instrumental” (Ibid). Originally, the term “baroque” was pejorative (Ibid).

  3. Baroque Music Essay - 846 Words | Bartleby

    Baroque Music Essay. The genre known as baroque music earns its name from the Portuguese word meaning broken pearl. The phrase “broken pearl” is a way to describe the style of music. Baroque music began in the 1600s through the 1750s. There were many different composers but there a few that stood out more than others.

  4. How Baroque Era Influenced the Music World? Essay - Free Essays

    Baroque, which is an early form of Italian music, thrived between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries during the Renaissance period when people believed music to be an important tool of communication (Richardson, n.d). Baroque originated from an Italian word ‘barocco,’ which means “irregular shape”.

  5. Baroque Music Essay - 201 Words | Studymode

    Essay Sample 1. Baroque music is very exquisite and unique, composers and performers use more elaborate musical ornamentation and they also changed musical notation and came up with new ways to play instruments. 2. The composer I listened to was Georg Friedrich Handel. His work of the classical genre to me is quite impressive.

  6. Baroque Music Essay - 442 Words | Internet Public Library

    Baroque Periods Impact in Today 's Modern Arts Baroque music is a period of history that was widespread between 1600-1750 ( Baroque changed music to make it more of an entertainment for people which helped generate its popularity amongst all types of people.

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    Baroque music is the vivid reflection of the transition from the Renaissance style to new trends, and today, the representatives of that period are known to the world for their works that are distinguished by […] The Age of the Baroque Peter Paul Rubens was one of the key figures of the Baroque and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

  8. Classical And Baroque Music Essay - 560 Words | Studymode

    Baroque music tends to be for small chamber orchestras and is usually very intricate, with many layers. Classical music tends to be for larger orchestras and for showing off virtuoso talents or entertainment rather than for praising God or presenting solemn tunes to kings, as much Baroque music was.… 400 Words 2 Pages Satisfactory Essays

  9. The Music Era Of Baroque -

    In Western music, the period that extends from 1600 to 1750 is known as the Baroque era. Characteristics of Baroque music are complexity, emotional, overly ornamented and embellished. Usually Baroque music was homophonic in texture, one melody with a single high voice or instrument, combined with bass chords or accompaniment.