A Quick Summary of Baroque Music
Baroque music has distinct features that differentiate it from other forms of music. For example, it placed a great emphasis on tonality focusing heavily on upper and lower tones. Additionally, the composers of this music favored layered melodies, which necessitated the repetition of notes in a composition.
Instruments Used In Baroque Music
The most distinctive instrument used in this type of music is the harpsichord. Playing this instrument required extensive knowledge of improvisational techniques, counterpoint, and basso continuo. Basso continuo refers to an accompanying part in a musical performance that includes harmonies and a bass line. Other instruments that feature prominently in baroque music include a cello, violin, lute, double bass, and a viola. Moreover, trumpets, sackbut, and horns are also common as are flutes, bassoons, recorders, and flutes among others.
Eras Closely Associated With Baroque Music
Baroque music started in the early 1600s and went on up to the mid-1700s. It succeeded Renaissance music, but it preceded Classical music. Baroque composers enhanced the use of musical ornamentations in their compositions. They also made significant changes to musical notations. These radical changes to traditional styles of playing Western music seemed bizarre to many people. In fact, baroque is a Portuguese term that translates to ‘oddly shaped pearl.’ A fitting name for this type of music because it was odd yet mesmerizing at the same time.
Prominent Baroque Musicians
Some of the greatest musical composers in history lived during the Baroque era. They included Antonio L. Vivaldi (1678 – 1741), Johann S. Bach (1685 – 1750), and George F. Handel (1685 – 1759) among others. Bach was particularly famous because his compositions had an unquestionable level of motivic, harmonic, and counterpoint organization. His adaptation of rhythms from France and Italy were also noteworthy. Similarly, Handel was a great composer as well. He was famous throughout Europe especially in Britain for his organ concertos, anthems, operas, and oratorios.
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