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Baroque Instrumental Music Became as important as vocal music New instruments - improved old inst. Great virtuosos Early - not yet focus on individual color Performed on whatever instruments available Late - timbre became important Wrote more idiomatically Baroque instruments

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Baroque instrumental music l.jpg
Baroque Instrumental Music

  • Became as important as vocal music

  • New instruments - improved old inst.

  • Great virtuosos

  • Early - not yet focus on individual color

    • Performed on whatever instruments available

  • Late - timbre became important

    • Wrote more idiomatically


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Baroque instruments

  • Strings (with gut strings)

  • Woodwinds - recorder, flute, oboe, bassoon

  • Brass - trumpets, horns - natural instruments

  • Keyboard - organ, harpsichord, clavichord


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Baroque Concerto

  • Opposition between two dissimilar bodies of sound

  • Solo Concerto

    • Virtuoso playing, experiments in sonority

    • Allegro-Adagio-Allegro

  • Concerto Grosso

    • Opposition between small group - concertino - and large group - tutti or ripieno

    • Bach’s 6 Brandenburg Concerti


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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

  • Biography, works and Influences

    • Report by ---- none this year

  • Like Bach - renowned in his day as a performer

  • Established ritornello

  • Use of pictorial imagery


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Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

  • Based on poetry - word painting

  • Programmatic concerto for solo violin

  • First movement - “Spring”

    • Birds joyous welcome of spring

    • Murmur of streams, thunder and lightning

    • Ritornello or refrain


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Baroque Suite

  • Dances - all in the same key

    • Allemande - German

    • Courante - French

    • Sarabande - Spanish

    • Jig - English

    • Minuet, gavotte, bourée, passepied

  • Binary structure (A-B) ---> A-A-B-B

  • Corelli, Bach, Couperin, de la Guerre


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Jacquet de la Guerre (c. 1666-1729)

  • Biography, Works and Influences

    • Report by ----- none this year

  • Sacred cantatas, chamber music

  • Pieces for Harpsichord - suite


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Baroque Orchestral Suite

  • Handel - Water Music

    • Lively rhythms and catchy melodies

    • Opens with French overture

    • #2 Alla Hornpipe

      • English country dance in lively triple meter

      • A-B-A form

    • Terraced dynamics


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Baroque Sonata, etc.

  • Sonata da camera - chamber sonata

    • Suite of stylized dances

  • Sonata da chiesa - church sonata

    • More serious and contrapuntal - s-f-s-f

  • Trio sonata - 2 violins + continuo (2 players)

  • Passacaglia - ground bass, stately triple meter

  • French Overture, Italian Overture


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Baroque Keyboard Music

  • Prelude

    • Expansion of a melodic or rhythmic figure

    • Homophonic

  • Fugue

    • Subject started alone - in one voice

    • Imitated in another voice while 1st continues with countersubject

    • Opposition between home and contrasting keys


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J.S.Bach - Prelude and Fugue in C min.

  • From Well-Tempered Clavier

    • New system of temperament - 48 preludes & fugues

  • Prelude

    • Unity of mood, single affection

    • Improvisatory style - perpetual motion

  • Fugue

    • In 3 voices

    • Subject, countersubject, bridge, episodes


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Baroque Instrumental Forms

  • Can you name 4 important instrumental forms of the Baroque period?

  • Can you explain/describe each?

  • Can you give an example of a piece in each form?


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