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. pay. ) The origins of the word baroque itself is as obscure as the melodies contained in its music. Many people believe that the word baroque came from two different places. Some believe that it came from the word ba rocco, which is Italian and means bizarre or strange. Others believe that it is Portuguese and it came from the word meaning distorted or irregularly shaped pearl.
The was considered more beautiful because of its uniqueness. Either way the name stuck. The era began in 1600 and ended with Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685-1750) death in 1750. Bach is likely the best known and most widely appreciated composer of the era, although Antonio Vivaldi and George Frideric Handel were certainly very important composers of the time as well.
... . I enjoyed the concerts which had a baroque style of music. The thing that amazed me was the ... was composed by Antonio Vilvadi born in 1678 (Baroque Composers -n. d). The Vilvadi four seasons ... Anniversary of Bach’s death. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra was stationed at the right hand corner ... Sebastian Bach during the baroque era. Bach used to serve prince Leopold and composed the music for him. The ...
The music of the Baroque itself is very colorful and dramatic. The word-painting of Bach’s cantatas can involve torturous melodic lines and extraordinary harmonies that are trademarks of the age (Arnold 174).
The Baroque style music was voices only. It was sung in a cap pella, 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 thorough bass.
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, 1995. Hoffman, Miles. The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z.
New York: Houghton, 1997. Howard, J. A. If it ain’t Baroque…
1999: n. pay. 10 Nov 2001. Schonberg, Harold C. The Lives of the Great Composers. 3 rd ed.
... replaced the medieval sounds of the music coming from the church. The orchestra of the Baroque period was increasing in size and consisted ... the early Baroque period strove to bring forth as much emotion and passion into their pieces as possible, they composed the music to ... of the music we know today was produced in the late period but the major changes associated with the Baroque era took place ...
New York: W. W. Norton & Co. , 1997 Sher rane, Robert. Music History 102: a Guide to Western Composers and their music. 21 Dec 97: n.
pay. The Internet Public Library 10 November 2001.