The Baroque Era (1600-1730s)

  • Period: 1567 to

    Claudio Monteverdi

    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 Baroque periods of music history.Used dissonances in his music (madrigals) for text expression
    Seconda prattica: monody with dissonance – very expressive
  • Period: to

    Francesca Caccini

    She was a soprano and The first woman to compose operas. She sang lead roles in several early operas: Sung in Peri’s opera Euridice at age 13. She was bought out by the Medici family.
  • Opera invented

    Opera invented
    In Florence, a small group of artists, statesmen, writers and musicians known as the Florentine Camerata decided to recreate the storytelling of Greek drama through music. Enter Jacopo Peri (1561–1633), who composed Dafne (1597), which many consider to be the first opera. Early operas were mostly lyrical recitative throughout (monody).
    They wanted to revive greek drama. Solo voice + basso continuo – the singer would “speak in tones” without fully singing
  • Equal Temperament

    An adjusted (tempered) tuning: all half steps are an equal distance apart. It is actually mistuning every step except the octave.
    This mistuning increased the range of harmonic possibilities available to a composer
  • Other Baroque Changes

    The rhythms became more definite, regular, and insistent. There is a new acceptance of meter: bar lines! Functional harmony is established, there is a major/minor tonality system, chords are standardized, and Tonic is finally understood by most. Baroque Art became ornate and churches became places for art.
  • Sonata

    A sonata is a chamber piece for a solo instrument and keyboard or solo keyboard. Violin sonatas are the first types of solo sonatas. There are Sonata da Chiesa and Sonata da Camera. Sonata da Chiesa: A church sonata that is more serious in tone and more contrapuntal in texture. The four movements are arranged S F S F.
    Sonata da Camera: A sonata for the chamber or room that is usually a group of stylized dances.
  • Violin

    Its present shape came from the baroque era. In fact, most of the highly prized modern violins were built during this era by makers like Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri. When those makers originally built their instruments, however, they made the necks shorter and protruding straighter from the end of the body. They also made a much smaller bass bar — a strip of wood glued underneath the top of the box. The modifications to create the present design were mostly made in the early 19th century.
  • The viola da gamba (viol or viole)

    The viola da gamba (viol or viole)
    It began the baroque era as a consort instrument and maintained that role, esp. in England, for several decades. In Italy, after the flowering of the viola bastarda (a small bass viol) from the late Renaissance, it was completely supplanted by the violin family. D. The bass size, however, emerged as the viol with the greatest use outside of the consort, seeing duty as a popular continuo instrument and even a solo instrument in its own right.
  • Hurdy Gurdy

    Hurdy Gurdy
    The hurdy-gurdy dates back to the 10th century when it was a large, two-person instrument known as the organistrum. Later,it developed a smaller form known as the symphonia. One of its greatest periods of popularity, however, occurred in the baroque era, especially in France. In the baroque era, two of these were also a melody strings which could play tunes by being stopped by keys along their length.
  • Recorder

    The main acoustical difference of the baroque recorder is that the bore tapers virtually to the end of the instrument, rather than “choking” the bore near the last fingerhole and widening to the bottom as in the Renaissance recorder. The result is a clearer sound and an upward expansion of the range.
  • Bassoon

    A large double reed instrument, the curtal, was already in use by the middle of the 16th century. In fact, in Spain it was known as the bajon, so the name of the bassoon may have had its origins there. The curtal continued in use, particularly in a continuo role, into the 18th century. By that time, however, the bassoon had already emerged in Germany as a refinement, much as the oboe refined the shawm.
  • Cornetto

    The cornetto is a hybrid instrument with the fingerholes of a woodwind and a brass-type mouthpiece. It was used extensively in the Renaissance in ensembles and later as a solo instrument capable of playing virtuosic divisions. Into the early baroque, it survived in the solo/chamber context, vying with the violin for status as the most virtuosic treble instrument. By about 1630, however, the violin had definitely begun displace it in that capacity.
  • Trumpet

    The trumpet actually changed little from the Renaissance into the baroque. The most obvious difference was an increase in the flare of the bell, creating a louder, brighter tone. Besides the absence of valves, the biggest difference between the modern trumpet and the baroque trumpet is the length: baroque trumpets are basically twice as long as modern trumpets. They often play in the same range but the baroque trumpet is much higher in its harmonic series when playing the same notes.
  • Organ

    Organs in the baroque era continued many of the traditions begun earlier, but the general trend was towards larger instruments with a greater selection of tonal possibilities. Groups of pipes were placed in enclosed chests for softer effects, or at the back of the player (Rückpositiv) for delicate solo work.
  • French/Flemish Harpsichord

    French/Flemish Harpsichord
    The roughly piano-shaped, or “wing-shaped” style won out in the baroque era.. One important line of harpsichords began in Flanders in the late Renaissance in the workshops of the Ruckers family. This Flemish tradition produced fairly large instruments with a robust tone. After some generations, this style was taken over by French builders, some of whom, like Pascal Taskin, frequently rebuilt earlier Flemish harpsichords and added new ranks of jacks or even new keyboards
  • Harp

    The old gothic style harp, with a small body and bray pins, survived into the 18th-century in some places, but the new trend was towards instruments with a more mellow tone (through a larger body with a softwood top) and greater chromatic capabilties. Already, the later 16th century saw the “arpa doppia,” a larger-bodied instrument with one row of diatonic strings and one row of chromatic strings, sometimes cross-strung for plucking by either hand.
  • Lute

    At the end of the Renaissance, 10 course lutes were common although even a virtuoso like Dowland seems have used only 7 courses (a course is a pair of strings). Baroque lute-makers expanded the number of courses to 11 and even 13 or 14 by the 18th century. Baroque lutes were also tuned differently from Renaissance lutes, using a more harmonically based “D minor tuning” instead of the more “guitar-like” tuning that continued to be used for the viol in the baroque era.
  • Monody

    It is sung melody (in Italian text) with basso continuo. It is Homophonic.
    Termed the seconda prattica (second practice)
    The new Baroque style of singing with just a solo voice and basso continuo
    The texture is homophonic (melody with accompaniment)
    The “new style” as opposed to the older Renaissance choral style of polyphony
    This is the first time in music history that homophonic melodies were favored in notation and in practice
  • Period: to

    Baroque Era

    By "Baroque" historians emphasized the extravagant & bizarre qualities of this music. Harmonies, forms, & textures were freer during this time period compared to the Renaissance. Baroque had polyphony+homophony equally important and a lot of ornamentation (usually improvised) and extremes. The Architecture & fashions became ornamented. This was an age of opulenc and focus on extravagance resulting in the favoring of virtuosos.
    Virtuoso=one who has extreme talent/capabilities for a skill.
  • Period: to

    Early Baroque

    Some Traits of baroque music were Fortspinnung, counterpoint, chromatic harmony used for expression, polyphony with basso continuo, bass lines driving the harmony and music, binary and Ternary forms were most popular, single affection (emotional exuberance and theatricality)
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    Other 17th Century Genres

    Other genres during this century were Opera, Cantatas, Oratorio, Arias not attached to a larger genre. They were all influenced by the idea of recitative and aria found in the new Baroque operas.
  • Period: to

    Barbara Strozzi

    Barbara Strozzi was an Italian composer and singer of the Baroque Period. During her lifetime, Strozzi published eight volumes of her own music, and had more secular music in print than any other composer of the era. Her mother was a servant to Giulio Strozzi who adopted Barbara
  • Trombone

    The trombone, or sackbut as it is sometimes called today to distinguish it from its modern counterpart, has changed very little from baroque times to today. Perhaps the most obvious difference is an increase in the flare of the bell, creating a louder, brighter tone on today’s instruments. Like the cornetto, the trombone possesses an Italian chamber repertoire from the early baroque era.
  • Period: to

    Jean-Joseph Mouret

    He was a French composer whose dramatic works made him one of the leading exponents of Baroque music in his country and one representative composer from this French court: served the son of King Louis XIV. He composed operas, suites, and “grand divertissements [entertainments]”. Some of his works have been used for TV commercials and in other media
  • First Public Opera Theatre: Teatro San Cassiano

    First Public Opera Theatre: Teatro San Cassiano
    The first public opera theater opened in Venice. This momentous act sparked a global opera boom with Venice as its celebrated capital, which would ensure that forevermore the Teatro San Cassiano would be revered as the world's first public opera house.
  • Period: to

    Louis the 14th of France

    Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in history. He was an accomplished dancer and showed them off
  • Arias become popular because Operas are

    Arias became the most desired and appreciated pieces. An aria is an extended piece for a solo singer that has more elaboration and coherence than recit. It is more song-like with a steady beat and tempo. It was also formally structured and could be analyzed.
  • French Overture

    They usually followed the pattern: slow-fast-slow. The rhythms were stately and dotted in the slow section; this section was homophonic.
    The second section was fast and used fugal imitation and the last section was a brief return to the opening slow material.
    Similar to the overtures that were used in conjunction with Italian operas: 3 short simple sections: Fast, slow, fast, with a dance-like finale
  • Musette

    Other bagpipes are filled with air by means of a tube that the player blows in repeatedly in order to achieve the necessary air pressure in the bag. This contorts the face of the player, however, so the bellows system was devised as a means of making the instrument more usable in polite society. The musette also has a softer tone than many other bagpipes, so it’s more suitable for indoor use.
  • Period: to

    Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    He was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and violinist who lived in Salzburg. He was one of the most important composers for the violin, especially in the instrument’s early years. He wrote catholic sacred music, violin sonatas, and ensemble music. Biber’s new technique of playing the violin allowed him to easily reach 6th and 7th positions,
    play double stops and polyphony, and experiment with scordatura.
  • Tuning System Changes

    Black keys on an organ or harpsichord seemed out-of-tune when played with the white keys. Composers often limited their keys to <4 sharps/flats. So, Builders began to tune all half steps equally.
  • Functional Tonality

    Each chord has its own function: Dominants, tonics, pre-dominants, etc. Functional Tonality was used and expanded until the late 1800s.
    Chords took on a hierarchy of importance.
  • More Female Musicians

    Women had more opportunities to study and work as professional musicians during ths era. They could be employed in courts as singers and harpsichordists.
    Honorable mentions are Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi.
  • Baroque Instruments

    Strings were made of gut rather than steel, woodwind instruments were most often actually made of wood, and trumpets and horns did not have valves.The main Keyboard instruments in the Baroque were the organ, harpsichord, and clavichord.
    Strongly influenced by the style of vocal music
  • Oboe

    The baroque oboe seems to have developed from the shawm starting around the 1650s in Paris. It also began to find a place in the orchestra starting in the 1670s. Its early orchestral use was in doubling the first violin part, but gradually it began to be used independently for its own color and expressive capability.
  • Timpani

    Descended from the medieval nakers, timpani were used initially just with trumpets in military ensembles and sometimes even on horseback. That military association continued into the baroque era with timpani seeing use with trumpets and, later, with the oboe band of the French court. By the early 18th century, composers regularly began to call for timpani in orchestral works, although there are a few isolated scorings in the late 17th century as well.
  • Italian/German Harpsichord

    Italian/German Harpsichord
    Viewed from above or from the position of the player, Italian harpsichords are long and thin. So they have an excellent bass range. Italian harpsichords also have a little tell-tale “dog-leg” at the bass end of the bridge over which the strings pass. Many Italian harpsichords have only two 8′ ranks of strings rather than two 8′ and a 4′ typical of other national styles. Italian harpsichords also have a somewhat dry sound which makes them ideal for playing continuo.
  • Castrato Voice

    Castrato Voice
    Castrated males began to be sopranos in church choirs. Reportedly, the practice started in Spain and spread to Italy & southern Germany. The voice was created by castrating boy singers as they reached puberty. Unfortunately, things didn't always work out, no way to guarantee results and many boys became “rejects.” Initially, creating castrati may have been an attempt to keep women out of the choirs as the written soprano parts began to go high.
  • Period: to

    Mid Baroque Era

    The Mid-Baroque (1650s) cantatas were usually secular and in
    In Italian. They were typically composed for 1 or 2 singers with basso continuo and possibly a small string ensemble. The texts were often about love, sometimes pretty suggestive, and were meant as entertainment.
    By now, new genres emerged: Sonata, Concerto, Suite, Overture, Fugue.
    Instrumental music claimed new importance in the Baroque
    Instruments were improved
    Instrumental music was almost equal in importance to vocal music
  • Period: to

    Arcangelo Corelli

    Arcangelo Corelli was an Italian violinist and composer of the Baroque era. His music was key in the development of the modern genres of sonata and concerto, in establishing the preeminence of the violin, and as the first coalescing of modern tonality and functional harmony. He was the master of the Trio Sonata
  • Period: to

    Henry Purcell

    He was a singer, organist, composer of instrumental and vocal music. He also worked in the court of Charles II (reigned 1660-85) when stage plays were allowed again. Purcell assimilated the musical styles of Europe: Italian operatic style, Grand aspects of French music, and the lyric melodic quality of English song. He also
    wrote incidental music for plays
  • Period: to

    Alessandro Scarlatti

    The father of composer Domenico Scarlatti. He was a teacher in Naples in which many of his students helped create the new classical style. His death marks a better indicator of the end of the Baroque than does Bach’s in 1750.
  • Period: to

    Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

    She was a was a French musician, harpsichordist and composer. She was called “the wonder of our century.”
  • Period: to

    Francois Couperin

    He was a French composer, wrote in Rococo style organist and harpsichordist. He was known as Couperin le Grand to distinguish him from other members of the musically talented Couperin family.
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    Antonio Vivaldi

    He was an Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, impresario, and Roman Catholic priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, Vivaldi is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He is considered the greatest master of the Baroque concerto and composed over 800 concertos.
  • Period: to

    Georg Philip Telemann

    He was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. He composed more than 125 orchestral suites
  • Period: to

    Jean-Philippe Rameau

    He was a French composer and theorist that tried to establish a rational foundation for harmonic practice. “Treatise on Harmony” (1722) was the beginning of the ideas of modern music theory.
  • The Fugue

    It is both a form & a genre that is based on the principle of imitation. Fuga means "fight" in Latin.
    Subject: the central theme of strong character that pervades the entire fabric of the piece which constitutes the unifying idea & the focal point of interest in the contrapuntal web.
    The central aspect of a fugue is the main subject which is then imitated & passed around to all of the voices
    Countersubjects, answers to the subject, & alterations to the subject make up the remainder of the fugue
  • Period: to

    Domenico Scarlatti

    He was an Italian composer and keyboard virtuoso. He served Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He had a progressive style and was aware of his modern flare. He wrote over 500 sonatas for harpsichord, operas, cantatas, and keyboard exercises.
  • Period: to

    G. F. Handel

    George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti grossi, and organ concertos.composer living in England writing Italian music. He was also virtuoso organist that understood the Baroque musical style and the newer Galant style (Italian singable style) Extraordinarily trained in counterpoint; he could improvise fugues at the keyboard like Bach
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    J.S. Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque period. Bach is undisputedly the greatest master of the fugue.Bach was one of the most skilled musicians in the Baroque
    Bach wrote a lot of music in all genres except opera.
  • Period: to

    Pietro Metastasio

    He was a court poet in Vienna and was primary a librettist for opera seria in the late Baroque and Classic periods. He was also Incredibly famous as a librettist and even set the standard for opera style circa 1750.
  • Concerto Grosso and Ripieno Concerto, Concertos and Baroque Sonatas

    Concerto Grosso is similar to the solo concerto, except the soloist is a small group of solo players called the concertino. The Concertino instrumentation varied and most of the time there were no cadenzas. Ripieno Concerto was no small group: the entire ensemble functions as one with different soloists and groups of instruments performing the concertino function. Concertos: ritornello forms and Small group verses a larger group.
    Baroque Sonatas usually used binary forms
  • Trio Sonata

    A trio sonata consists of two treble lines and basso continuo.
    Most Baroque composers wrote all types of sonatas.
    Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) made clear distinctions between the different types of sonatas; He was the master of the Trio Sonata. The trio sonata and the solo sonata were the most popular types of chamber music.
  • Programmatic Music

    Music that takes something outside of itself (like a poem, story, play, pictures, etc.) and uses that outside thing to determine the music
  • Cello

    The name cello, in fact, comes from the fact that, in the early 17th century, the instrument was built as a large member of the violin family and dubbed violone, which means “big violin.” In France, this instrument was known as the basse de violon (bass violin). It was generally tuned a tone lower than the modern cello, down to Bb instead of C.
  • Flute

    The baroque flute (traverso, traversière) in D emerged toward the end of the 17th century, apparently the invention of the Hotteterre family of woodwind players/makers in Paris. It differs from the Renaissance flute in having a long, narrowing taper from the head joint to the foot and that helps to bring some of the harmonics better into tune. Unlike the typical Renaissance flute, it was also made in sections.
  • Horn

    The introduction of the horn into a musical context outside of the hunt is credited to Count Sporck, a late 17th-century Bohemian nobleman who fell in love with the cors de chasses he heard in France. These hunting horns, or “trompes,” were long and thin compared to modern horns and were held by the player with the arm through the coil.
  • Clavichord

    The clavichord continued in use in the baroque era, perhaps most often as a practice instrument for organists who didn_t have constant access to their main instrument. It was soft and portable, so it was a very convenient keyboard for that purpose. Like the Renaissance clavichord, it produced its sound by means of metal tangents striking the string. Since the tangents are attached to the keys themselves, players are able to control the dynamics to a certain degree.
  • Guitar

    The guitar emerged from the Renaissance, for the most part, as a very small four course instrument. Although some five course guitars were known earlier, the 17th century saw the five course guitar become established as an important solo and accompaniment instrument in its own right, with virtuoso player/composers active in Italy, France, and Spain.
  • Passacaglia and Chaconne

    Passacaglia is a Baroque form that draws upon the principle of the ground bass. The bass melody is in a stately triple meter, usually 4 to 8 measures long and the theme is repeated over and over in the bass serving as a foundation for a set of continuous variations on top. Chaconne is related to the passacaglia and is a harmonic progression is repeated instead of an actual melody
  • Period: to

    Late Baroque Era

  • Comic Operas Appear In Italy

    Most operas during this time are quite serious and in Italian. But, 1706 had more humorous operas appear. Audiences liked the comedies: attendance at comic operas surpassed opera seria. The
    earliest comic operas were mostly slapstick (1700-40s). Late 1750s-60s comic operas used more realistic characters and serious topics (became Opera Buffa in 1760).
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    Frederick the Great

    He was the King of Prussia from 1772 until his death. He achieved many things including: Military victories, Reorganizing Prussian armies, and a patronage of Prussian Arts. He was also a gifted musician in which he played the flute. He even composed at least 100 sonatas and 4 symphonies. He spoke German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Latin, ancient and modern Greek, and Hebrew.
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    Charles Burney

    He was an organist, amateur composer, writer, and music scholar.
    Some things he wrote were:The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771), The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Provinces (1773), A General History of Music (1776-1789, Four volumes)
  • Empfindsamkeit style

    Empfindsamkeit style
    This style desired to be simple and expressive of “natural” feeling. This style strove to be “natural” and was a reaction against the strict learned style of counterpoint . The translation, although inacccurate to the style, is: “Sensitive/Sentimental style”
    The primary composer of this style was the eldest son of J.S. Bach: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.
    This natural style moved the German speaking areas towards the classical style but Italians already had in Naples operas
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    Rococo Style

    “Rococo” derives from the French word, “rocaille” meaning “scroll”. It had an ornate style which scrolls were often featured.
    Rococo is “over-the-top” in ornamentation and decoration: French
    There were many ornaments: trills, turns, grace notes, etc.
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    Franz Joseph Haydn

    He was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. and was also instrumental in the development of chamber music (ex. string quartet & piano trio). His contributions to musical form have led him to be called "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". He was the primary mover within the new classic style concerning instrumental music but did not invent the style.
  • The San Carlo Theatre

    The San Carlo Theatre
    It is the oldest opera house still functioning in Europe.
  • Opera Buffa

    Opera Buffa is a genre of opera that was created after more comical operas began to appear. Opera buffa had more realistic characters that you would see in your daily life. Mozart wrote three very famous opera buffa: Le nozze di Figaro (1786), Cosi Fan Tutte (1790), Don Giovanni, (1787)