Baroque Period Music Essay Introduction

Baroque music Essay

607 Words3 Pages

The Music of the Baroque Era
The style of polyphonic music containing elaborate ornamentation and contrasting elements, that is how Baroque music is defined. The Baroque era was a kind of transitional era in art and music. The Renaissance means rebirth and is typically regarded as such. The Baroque era in music is not a set style in music but many diverse styles which may be broken down into at least three distinct periods. A renewed interest in art and music was experienced throughout the Renaissance which then led to the Baroque era which was more of a transitional stage leading up to the maturity of classical music in the Classical era which began as Baroque ended. (Howard n. pag.)
The origins of the word Baroque itself is as obscure…show more content…

The Baroque style music was voices only. It was sung in a cappella, a choral style music with only singing and no instruments. If instruments happened to be used, it only imitated the melody of the voices. It would not pick up its only melody or tune. The Baroque style music brought up more than just choir singing. It introduced soloists. When solo music was sung, this brought up the idea of thoroughbass. Which is a bass part was assigned to the singing (Arnold 174).
The term Baroque, no matter which definition you choose to accept, really does not fit the entire period to which the name is applied. It could certainly be applied to certain times during the period but not to the entire 150-year range that it has been described as covering. This was certainly an important era in the history and growth of musical styles lending tonality and monadic styles that are still present in music today. Definitions of specific time periods in music really only assist us in tracking the changes of form, style, and historical significance of each era and are not so important in giving an accurate description of the music of the times. Although, when looked at objectively, the word Baroque could be seen as accurately describing the period because of its unusual diversity or irregularity of music style.

Works Cited

Arnold, Denis, ed. The New Oxford Companion to Music. 2 vols. New York: Oxford UP,

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The Baroque Era of Music Essay

515 Words3 Pages

The Baroque period of music lasted from approximately 1600 – 1750 AD. It falls into the Common Practice period and was the most predominant style of writing after the Renaissance period and before the Classical period (the Classical period uses many elements from the Baroque period). The word Baroque means highly decorated and essentially gives us an insight into what the music of the time was like. Many pieces in the Baroque style have three or four different parts which work together to produce a melodic melody which modulates to relative keys. The Baroque period developed from the Renaissance period. These two periods shared the same idea of counterpoint, yet Baroque music differed from that of the Renaissance period by having stronger…show more content…

A very commonly practiced stylistic characteristic of the Baroque period was ornamentation. Ornaments are musical flourishes and are used to dress up the music. Ornamentation was used commonly in ternary form (ABA) with the second A section using ornamentation in the melody. ‘Where’er You Walk’ by Handel is an example of this idea. To dress up the melody from section A, ornamentation was added by the singer (not written in the music) during the repeat. The main ornaments of the period include uppermordent, lowermordent, turn, inverted turn, trill, acciaccatura and appoggiatura which all have their different function but never the less add to the piece of music. A famous contrapuntal composition also used in the Baroque era was the Fugue. A Fugue consists of a melody that is then repeated up a 4th or 5th. An example of this is Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor’. Another characteristic which was commonly used in the Baroque period of music was the use of sequence. Modulation to other keys related to the original key was also very prominent in Baroque music. There were several composers of the era which contributed greatly to the development of music. Composers include Handel, Bach, Purcell, Corelli, Abinoni and Telemann. Instruments of the time were not as expansive as the range of instruments available today and also the instruments available were not as capable of things that they are today. Instruments of the era include violin,

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