Project One – Musical Instruments in the Baroque and Renaissance eras
Baroque is used to cover the period between 1600 and the emergence of the Viennese Classical style around 1750
Renaissance cover roughly 1430 to 1600
Ars Nova refers to 14th century polyphony and takes its name from a treatise written by Philippe de Vitry in 1322.
Instruments in the Baroque Era
String Instruments – Learning Log Page 20
Pieces for String – Listening Log Page 37
The Harpsichord and piano – Learning Log Page 21
Pieces for Harpsichord and Piano – Listening Log Page 38
Wind Instruments – Learning Log Page 22
Pieces for Wind –Listening Log Page 39
Brass instruments Learning Log Page 23
I did not realise how long ago the recorder had been developed. I played this early on in school and the school I went to still does this today as my niece and nephew have both played recorder in their time as part of a school recorder ensemble.
Research Point – Early Instruments – Learning Log Page 24
Project two – Baroque compositional forms
Refined use of counterpoint, unsymmetrical phrase lengths, development of tonal harmony. Strong sense of national style, distinct musical languages from different European countries. Instrumental music began to take over from vocal music in importance and ornamentation, often improvised, featured heavily with melodic lines.
Dominated by a change in texture, growing importance of harmony. Continued to use polyphony (several independent melodic lines) in new ways. A single melody line had textural prominence, followed by a strong composed bass line. Accompaniment filled in on harpsichord according to figured bass which would indicated the required chords. Bass strengthened by a cello or bassoon – known as basso continuo. Composers considered the underlying harmony resulting Erin the interaction of the melodic lines. Harmonic thinking, with defined cadential points the end of phrases, became an ever more important aspect of musical composition. Composers began writing for particular instruments, taking into account the characteristics of the instrument. The result was a gradual distinction between vocal and instrumental style, with a complete divergence in the two styles by the en dog the ears.
Consonance and dissonance were important and all dissonance were required to be resolved. Certain dissonant intervals such as the tritone and the seventh were used against the harmony in order to create striking motional effects and dissonance became defined as a note which did not belong to the surrounding note. The use of dissonance, in conjunction with new harmonic considerations, led to the strengthening and widespread use of the major-minor system.
Rhythm was either in regular patterns based on dance patterns or free. based on improvisation or recitative. Concetpsnof bars and baronies implemented in the middle of the seventeenth century giving composers a way of organising their music into metrical units.
Baroque forms were simple and often based on binary (AB), ternary(ABA and Rondo (ABACA) structure (A, B and C are different themes)> Dance movements were common and the rise of instrumental music led to the creation of forms such as figure, concerto, concerto gross, sonata and partita. Opera began to emerge and orchestral music was often written in the form of a suite. Vocal music included the mass, cantata, oratorio and passion.
One of the most important forms of the errand provides imitative treatments of a main theme (subject) in two or more parts.
- subject stated at the opening, answered by a second statement this time a 4th or 5th higher or lower. Answer can be modified if necessary to fit in with the harmony
- Countersubject recurring contrapuntal line heard against the initial subject and all of the fugue’s main thematic ideas are heard during the exposition.
- Imitative compositional devices are used throughout the remainder of the work including augmentation (same melodic material but in longer note. values), diminution (material with sorter note vales), inversion (heard upside down), stretto overlapping entries, occurring closer together than in the original statements)
Exercise Understanding Baroque forms – Learning Log Page 25
Project three – Composers of the Baroque Era
Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-87)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)