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The Baroque Era

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  1. The Baroque Era 1600-1750

  2. “Baroque” • Coined by a French Scholar, in reference to a building facade • From the Portuguese work “barrocco” (misshapen pearl), meaning “absurd” or “grotesque”

  3. Palazzo Pamphili

  4. Italy • The period was heavily influenced by Italian thinking • Monteverdi, Bernini, Scarlatti, Carvaggio • Pre-risorgimento

  5. A Period of Great Creative Output • John Milton (Paradise Lost), Isaac Newton - England • Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote), Velasquez – Spain • Rembrandt Van Rijn – Netherlands • Renee Descartes – France • Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz – Germany

  6. The Night Watch – Rembrandt

  7. The Musical Affections • Rage, excitement, grandeur, heroism, lofty contemplation, wonder or mystic exaltation • These emotions were meant to be represented by musical ideas • Emotion became the driving force behind composition • Codified in the “Book of Affections”

  8. Other Baroque Era Characteristics • Idiomatic writing (writing for specific instruments) • “Terraced” dynamics • Differentiation between vocal and instrumental writing • Standardization of instrumentation

  9. Some Baroque Instruments

  10. Baroque Characteristics con’t… • The Continuo – Figured Bass

  11. Baroque Characteristics con’t… • Codification of notation • Notation the way we know it today owes its existence to the Baroque era • Pre-baroque, notation looked very different

  12. Renaissance Notation

  13. Original Score for Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion”

  14. Baroque Characteristics con’t… • Use of “counterpoint”, or “contrapuntal” composition • Melodic material that is added above or below an existing melody. • The technique of combining two or more melodic lines in such a way that they establish a harmonic relationship while retaining their linear individuality.

  15. Some Baroque composers of “note” • Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) • Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) • Henry Purcell (1659-1695) • Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1714) • Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) • George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) • Johann Sebastien Bach (1685-1750)

  16. Opera • Revisitation of Ancient Greek Ideals – Staged Drama • It was argued that some of these plays involved singing • Claudio Monteverdi wrote the “first” opera in 1607 based on the Greek myth of “Orfeo and Euridice”

  17. Next Week - Bach vs. Handel for the Baroque Heavyweight Championship