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The Baroque 1600-1750 Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque styles A simplification of musical style: polyphonic to homophonic Two most important developments in the Baroque opera pure orchestral music Many composers of the Italian Baroque were violinists Corelli Tartini Locatelli

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the baroque 1600 1750
The Baroque 1600-1750
  • Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque styles
    • A simplification of musical style: polyphonic to homophonic
  • Two most important developments in the Baroque
    • opera
    • pure orchestral music
  • Many composers of the Italian Baroque were violinists
    • Corelli
    • Tartini
    • Locatelli
    • Geminiani
  • Instrument making reached new heights
    • warmth of sound with natural expression
harpsichord makers
Harpsichord Makers


  • Ruckers family
    • Hans Ruckers (1598)Andreas Ruckers (1651/53) Joannes II (1642)Andreas II (1645)Joannes Couchet (1655) Petrus Joannes Couchet (1671) 1629
string makers the amati family
String Makers - the Amati family
  • Andrea (Cremona, Italy, 1525-1611)
    • the founder of the great Cremonese school of violin making
  • Antonio (1560-1649) and Hieronymus (1562-1630), sons of Andrea
  • Nicolo (1596-1684), son of Hieronymus, grandson of Andrea, and nephew of Antonio, is considered the greatest instrument maker of the familyThese are violins by Andrea Amati (1560 and 1570) which he made for Charles IV of Francethe presence of a label with a famous name has no bearing on whether the instrument is genuine.
  • Andrea Amati Cremonensis fecit anno 1546 (i.e., made by Andrea Amati of Cremona in the year 1546)
string makers stradivari
String Makers - Stradivari
  • Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, and established his shop in Cremona, Italy
  • Stradivari made harps, guitars, violas, and cellos--more than 1,100 instruments in all
  • About 650 of these instruments survive today
  • The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has the 1701 "Servais" cello made by Stradivari, uniquely famous for its state of preservation and musical excellence. It takes its name from the 19th-century Belgian,Adrien Francois Servais (1807-1866), who played this cello.
  • Since December 1987, the exhibition of the Herbert R. Axelrod Stradivarius Quartet of ornamented instruments has been on view in the Hall of Musical Instruments, where the "Servais" can also be seen. These instruments can be heard in concerts and on Smithsonian recordings.
herbert r axelrod
Herbert R. Axelrod
  • Axelrod started the magazine Tropical Fish Hobbyist.
    • This magazine, and the resulting publishing company (T.F.H. Publications), became the largest publisher of animal and pet books in the world.
  • Axelrod built up one of the most extensive private collections of Cremonese violins
  • Including a set of matched inlaid Stradivari which are on permanent loan to the Smithsonian Institution.  His collection also includes the Guarnerius del Gesu’s and a quartet of Stainers, for a total of more than 30 instruments, 29 of which are on loan to outstanding artists who would otherwise not be able to afford such wonderful instruments
string makers stainer
String Makers - Stainer
  • Jacob Stainer (Absam, Austria, c. 1617-83)
  • His instruments were in demand all over Europe until the appearance of those made by Antonio Stradivari, whose flatter and broader models had greater singing power
  • Jacob Stainer violins are comparatively rare today
  • Stainer violins were the favorite of J. S. Bach
what about the bergonzi
What about The BERGONZI ?

The most illustrious of several violin makers in the Bergonzi family was Carlo, born in Cremona, Italy, in 1683 (d. 1747). Carlo Bergonzi apprenticed under Hieronymus Amati (father of the great Nicolo), worked with Joseph Guarneri, and finally became the greatest pupil of Antonio Stradivari, whose workshop he inherited. His instruments are greatly esteemed and often are compared to those of his masters, but in general they are not considered as fine.

the baroque and the arts
The Baroque and the Arts
  • The term “Baroque”
  • Politics:
    • Absolute monarchies
  • Science:
    • The New World
  • Middle class culture:
    • Amateurs
  • Religion:
    • Protestant & Catholic
  • Art:
    • Dramatic
    • Artists under patronage
    • Music in Colonial America
what was happening
What Was Happening
  • Musical Systems
    • Division of the octave in Western music
    • Intervals:
      • Whole and half steps
    • Scales:
      • major, minor, chromatic
  • the major and minor system
    • Transposition
    • Modulation
    • Active chords:
      • dominant, subdominant
    • Rest chords:
      • tonic
giulio caccini
Giulio Caccini
  • Giulio Caccini (b Rome or Tivoli, 1551, d Florence 1618)

Italian singer, composer, and lutenist. Taken to Florence by Cosimo I de' Medici, c. 1565. Sang in 1579 at festivities for wedding of Francesco de' Medici and Bianca Cappello. One of members of Count Giovanni de Bardi's Camerata, some of his music was included in Peri's Euridice to Rinuccini's libretto which he then also set in 1600. From 1595 to 1600 worked in Genoa, returning to Florence 1600 on receiving commission to compose opera Il rapimento di Cefalo, performed in Florence 1600 for wedding of Maria de' Medici to Henri IV of France. Visited Paris 1603 and 1604-1605 at invitation of Maria de' Medici. His daughter Francesca was a celebrated singer.

  • Ave Maria
baroque timeline
Baroque Timeline
  • C. 1557-1612 Giovanni Gabrieli
    • Nephew and pupil of Andrea Gabrieli
    • Greatest composer of the Venetian school
    • Organist at St. Mark’s Cathedral
    • One of the first to write for combined voices and instruments
    • First to develop orchestration
    • First to indicate varied dynamics
  • Polychoral (more than one choir) and antiphonal (call and response) style:
    • developed in St. Marks
    • principal composer: Giovanni Gabrieli
the baroque
The Baroque
  • 1564-1642 Galileo Galilei
  • Development of Monody or, the accompanied song
    • Florentine Camerata
    • birth of opera
  • Harmonic structure
    • Basso continuo
    • major-minor tonality
    • equal temperment
  • Style characteristics
    • driving rhythm, freer in vocal music
    • dissonance is now used as an expressive device
    • The melody is continuous, tied to text
    • terraced dynamics
a starting point
A Starting Point
  • Monody (one song) music for a singer and instrumental accompaniment. This style actually developed over many years, but CE 1600 seems to be the “coming out” time.
  • Monody was developed by a group of writers, artists, and musicians in Florence, Italy, known to us as the “Florentine Camerata” or Florentine Salon.
florentine camerata
Florentine Camerata
  • Members included
    • Vincenzo Galileli (1520-1591), dedicated himself to the teaching of music and was the father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
    • Giulio Caccini (c. 1545-1618), a composer and inventor of the recitative style
    • Jacopo Peri (1561-1633), a composer, singer, and organist and possibly a member of the group
    • Count Giovanni Bardi (they met at his home)
florentine camerata16
Florentine Camerata
  • The Camerata intended to resurrect ancient Greek drama and felt that music would increase the power of the text.
  • This led to stile rappresentativo (representative style) or a style of music where a melody freely moves over simple chords.
  • Music in 1600 was beginning to move away from complex counterpoint.
the birth of opera
The Birth of Opera
  • This was le nuove musiche (the new music).
  • This style could be applied to an entire drama.
  • Perhaps this is the single most important development of the Baroque: the invention of OPERA!
what s in an opera
What’s in an Opera
  • Recitatives
  • Arias
  • Ensembles
  • Overture
  • Libretto
  • Ritornello
claudio monteverdi may 15 1567 november 29 1643
Claudio MonteverdiMay 15, 1567 - November 29, 1643
  • 1567 Born in Cremona, Northern Italy, son of a chemist
  • 1583 After musical training at the cathedral school in Cremona, publishes his first compositions, a set of sacred madrigals
  • 1589 Appointed violist at the Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua’s court around (Monteverdi was 23)
  • 1595, 1599 Traveled to Hungary and to Flanders
  • 1599 Marries a court singer, Claudia de Cattaneis
  • 1601 becomes the Director of Court Music in Mantua
  • 1607 Production of his first important opera, Orfeo. Monteverdi’s wife dies, after which he suffers a nervous breakdown
  • 1612 The Duke dies and Monteverdi leaves for Venice
claudio monteverdi 1567 1643
Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643
  • 1613 Appointed Music Director at St. Mark’s
  • 1630 Takes holy orders after surviving a serious outbreak of the plague in Venice
  • 1643 Monteverdi dies in Venice
  • Expanded the orchestra and wrote for specific instruments (the first to do this was Giovanni Gabrieli - c. 1557-1612)
  • Composed 8 books of madrigals, dramatic scenes, religious music and operas
  • Greatest early Italian Baroque composer
  • Composed the first operatic masterpiece in the modern style (Orfeo)
  • Composed in 1607 in Mantua.
  • Monteverdi is the first great opera composer
  • Orfeo is the first great opera
  • Composed in 1607, the year Jamestown was founded.
  • Based on the Orpheus legend of the poet who tried to rescue his beloved from Hell. Monteverdi is true to the legend - the rescue attempt fails
  • One of three surviving operas by Monteverdi.
  • L’Orfeo is considered the first authentic opera.
  • Orfeo was at first produced only privately but later became part of a move toward public opera
  • Orfeo was first performed in America as a concert at the Met in 1912 with the first stage performance in 1929 in Northampton, Mass.
  • Its greatest audience today comes from TV
orfeo may well be the first great experiment in orchestration
Chord playing instruments

2 clavicembalos

1 double harp

2 chitarrones

2 bass citterns

3 bass gambas

2 organs with wood pipes

1 organ with reed pipes

Stringed Instruments

2 small violins

A 10 string ensemble (violins, violas, cellos)

2 contrabass viols


4 sackbuts

2 cornettes

1 high recorder

1 high trumpet

3 soft trumpets

Orfeo may well be the first great experiment in orchestration
orfeo synopsis
Orfeo - synopsis
  • Legend has it that Orpheus had such a wonderful voice that the beasts of the jungle followed after his song and trees uprooted themselves to follow after him!
  • Orpheus - poet and singer
  • Eurydice, his wife who dies
  • Orpheus follows her to Hades and wins her back with his singing on one condition
  • Orpheus’ grief turns him against all women
  • The Muses collect his body and bury it at the foot of Mt. Olympus
  • Apollo, his father appears and together they return to heaven where Orfeo will see Eurydice in the stars.
l orfeo
  • The opera is in 5 acts
  • This is the most popular of all Greek myths.
  • Performance:
    • Toccata and prologue (1-2)
    • Orpheus searches for Euridice
      • La messaggiera (9)
      • Tu se’ morta (10)
    • Orpheus looks back (5)
    • Orpheus and his father, Apollo, ascend to heaven (8)