The Baroque (1600 - 1730s)

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  • Jan 1, 1534

    Church of England formed

    The church in England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 when King Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII had a disagreement about the king's right to divorce. Henry settled the disagreement by severing England's relationship with the Vatican, dissolving the Catholic monasteries, and declaring himself the Supreme Head of his new Church of England. He was subsequently excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
  • Jan 14, 1573

    Florentine Camerata

    A meeting in Florence during the late Renaissance where a group of humanists discusses the future and trends of music and drama during the time. Under the patronage of Count Giovanni Bardi, significant contributors Giulio Caccini, Vincenzo Galilei, and Girolamo Mei discuss the idea of using greek drama as a model for music. This concept would lead to monody and shape baroque opera.
  • Giovanni Artusi's critical essay

    The first of two critical essays by Giovanni Artusi ("On the Imperfection of Music"). The essays criticize the foundations of seconda practica and the deviation from the old style. His critique is directed towards Claudio Monteverdi in his discussion of Monteverdi's madrigal, "Cruda Amarilli"
  • Equal Temperament

    An adjusted tuning: all steps are an equal distance apart. Is actively mistuning every step except the octave.
  • Rhythm

    Rhythms during the Baroque era became more definite, regular, and insistent. Barlines were also introduced as the new acceptance of meter
  • Functionality

    Functional harmony was established during the Baroque era. Also, major/minor tonality system was regularized, chords were standardized and tonic was understood by most
  • Monody

    The new Baroque style of singing with solo voice and basso continuo. The texture is homophonic and the "new style" as opposed to the older Renaissance choral style of polyphony.
  • L'Orfeo

    Monteverdi composes L'Orfeo, an opera which is performed during carnival at the Mantuan court. The opera is an example of Early Baroque opera coming out of the Renaissance style. L'Orfeo is labeled on the score by Alessandro Striggio as La Favola d'Orfeo. Favola in Musica described an opera usually containing references to pastoral content and Greek drama
  • Symphonie Sacrae

    Heinrich Schutz completes and publishes Symphonie Sacrae, a significant polychoral work. First published in Venice, the piece is in latin and uses psalms as its core text
  • L'Incoronazione d'Poppea premiere

    An opera composed by Monteverdi that was performed during the 1642-43 carnival season at the Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo. The libretto was by Giovanni Francesco Busenello and told the story of a love affair between Nero and Poppea. In addition to the main story line, there was a complex web of plots that was traditional of Early Italian baroque opera some of which include Seneca, Valeto, and Drusilla.
  • Lully appointed a post in French court

    King Louis IX appointed Lully the compositeur de la musique instrumentale. First being noticed as a dancer, this position recognized Lully for his musical talents and provided him a position to compose as well as dance.
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    Monteverdi (1567 - 1643)

    Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, string player, choirmaster, and priest. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of music history
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    Early Baroque: 1600 - 1640

    The Early Baroque era was between 1600 &1640. Music's primary focus during this time was on homophonic texture, and tests conveyed extreme emotion. The words began being easier to understand and the belief that music affected listeners emotionally also began to rise. There was also a frequent use of dissonance and contrasted sounds, such as solo v. chorus or loud v. soft. This is also the era where opera was created.
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    Cavalli (1602 - 1676)

    Francesco Cavalli was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. Cavalli's operas make use of a small orchestra of strings and basso continuo to meet the limitations of public opera houses.
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    Froberger (1616 - 1667)

    Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso and organist. He was influential in developing the musical form of the suite of dances in his keyboard works. He also made harpsichord pieces that are highly idiomatic and programmatic
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    Thirty Years War

    The bloodiest of the European wars of religion, fought between Roman Catholic and Protestant political entities, mostly in the German states. Among the many results of this war was the solidification of the power of Protestant principalities in German lands and the beginning of the decline of the Holy Roman Empire.
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    Strozzi (1619 - 1677)

    Barbara Strozzi was an Italian singer and composer of the Baroque period. During her lifetime, she published with volumes of her own music, having more music printed than any other composer of that era. This was made possible without the support of the church and consistent patronage of the nobility.
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    Lully (1632 - 1687)

    Jean-Baptiste Lully was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered a master of the French Baroque style. Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period.
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    King Louis XIV of France

    King of France, credited with vastly strengthening the power of the monarchy in France, and also France's regional and global political influence in the mid-17th-century. He was greatly concerned with maintaining his powerful image and the admiration of his subjects, and the envy of other nations. He was the principal patron of Jean-Baptiste Lully, who wrote copious amounts of court music for him, including many of the first French operas and ballets. Louis himself was an accomplished danseur.
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    Middle Baroque: 1640 - 1680

    The Middle Baroque era lasted between 1640 & 1680. This era emphasized the new style spread from Italy to all of Europe. Major and minor scales now replaced church modes and instrumental music started becoming popular. This era is also where compositions for specific instruments began to be written, such as solo for violin or piano suites.
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    Scarlatti (1660 - 1725)

    Pietro Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer, known especially for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti
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    Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)

    Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and Roman Catholic priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.
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    Late Baroque: 1680 - 1750

    The Late Baroque era lasted from 1680 to 1750. This era is when instrumental music became just as important as vocal music, and the use of virtuoso performers, both vocal and instrumental, also saw a rise. The dominance was in melody and bass line in 4 part texture, and inner voices were indicated by numbers rather than written in the score.
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    Rameau (1683 - 1764)

    Jean Philippe Rameau was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the 18th century. He replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is also considered the leading French composer for the harpsichord of his time, alongside François Couperin
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    Handel (1685 - 1759)

    George Frideric Handel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti Grossi and organ concertos. He started three opera companies to supply the English with Italian opera
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    Bach (1685 - 1750)

    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is widely known for his 'Bradenburg Concertos' and for vocal music such as 'St Matthew Passion'. He is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time