Music of the Baroque Era
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The Baroque Era edit
"Baroque" is traditionally the term applied to a highly grand and decorative form of artistic expression in the 17th century. The term was first used to describe architecture and art, but was later applied to music. The period is often described as existing from the birth of opera and oratorio in the 1600s until the influence of classical style became widespread in the 1760s. Learning resources should be published in this area to further explain the Baroque era, style and composers who were influenced by the time.
The Baroque era hosted one of the most loved composers ever to have put pen to paper.
The German composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote many cantatas, several oratorios, and lots of other choral and instrumental music. Bach was probably one of the most prolific composers to ever live, at one stage writing a large-scale cantata and two organ pieces every week (for nearly three years) He is often considered a master of harmony, and students today still learn his principles of harmonisation.
The French court composer Jean-Baptiste Lully was perhaps the first Baroque composer to gain notoriety. With his compositions for the French court, Baroque music became more magnificent than what had come before, with larger orchestration.
In England, Henry Purcell showed a very different style to other composers of the time.
Musical Forms edit
A fugue is a musical composition involving two or more independent parts. It is organized around a "subject" (like a theme) which is repeated in varied ways throughout the composition. The subject can appear in one of four ways: 1) original form; 2) inverted ("upside down"); 3) retrograde (backwards); or 4) retrograde inverted. J.S. Bach was famous for his fugues.
A suite is a collection of short pieces of music all associated with dances. All the dances are in the same key. They contrast one another in terms of time signature and/or metre. Although a suite's pieces were all once associated with dances, the Baroque suite is meant for listening, not as dance accompaniment.