IB Music/Music History/Baroque Period

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Some baroque flashcards http://www.flashcardexchange.com/flashcards/list/526330



  1. Theory of affections - Johann Mattheson is credited with the coinage of this blazement. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/7687/doctrine-of-the-affections
  2. Specific rhythms, melodies associated with moods
  3. One mood throughout each piece
  4. Was caused by the Reformation


  1. Continuity of rhythm
  2. Forward motion


  1. Opening melody repeated in varied form
  2. Elaborate, ornamental, hard to sing or remember
  3. Dynamic expansion, not balance or symmetry


  1. Continuity of dynamics: stays same for long periods
  2. Terraced: any shifts are sudden
  3. Organ and harpsichord encouraged continuity of volume


  1. Mainly polyphonic
  2. Imitation between voices
  3. Homophony for contrast

Chords and the basso continuo[edit]

  1. Chords more important, not just product of melodic lines
  2. Bass part important as foundation of chords
  3. Basso continuo
    • Keyboard player plays bass part with left hand
    • Improvises chords from bass part with right hand
    • Right hand part called a figured bass
  4. The continuo is played by the organ or harpsichord and the cello or bassoon
  5. The basso is the figured bass

Words and music[edit]

  1. Standardized descriptive musical language
  2. Words emphasized by many rapid notes per syllable

Baroque orchestra[edit]

  1. Performance group based on members of violin family
  2. Basso continuo plus upper strings
  3. Woodwind, brass, percussion optional
  4. Trumpet given high, rapid complex lines
  5. Same part played by different instruments
  6. There was no conductor

Baroque forms[edit]

  1. Contrasting movements
  2. A B A, A B, or undivided

Ground Bass[edit]

  1. When a musical idea is repeated over and over in the bass
  2. It is variation form as the above melodies change
  3. It is also called a basso ostinato
  4. Used by Purcell

The concerto grosso and ritornello form[edit]

Concerto grosso[edit]

  1. Small group of soloists pitted against tutti
  2. 3 contrasting movements
  3. The 1 and 3 movement are in ritornello form

Ritornello form[edit]

  1. First and last movements of concerto grosso are in this form
  2. Opens with theme played by tutti
  3. Alternation between solo and tutti
  4. (There can be multiple solos at a time)
  5. fast
  6. like theme and variations
  7. what ever it starts with is the theme

The fugue[edit]

  1. Polyphonic composition based on one main theme called subject
  2. When the second voice enters, it presents the subject on the dominant and is called the answer
  3. Different voices imitate the subject
  4. Variation after each voice presents subject
  5. Countersubject, if present, always with subject
  6. Episodes occur between presentation of the subject
  7. Stretto: imitation before subject completed
  8. Varied by:
    1. Inversion (upside down)
    2. Retrograde (backwards)
    3. Augmentation (time values lengthened)
    4. Diminution (time values shortened)
  9. There were three sections
    1. Exposition: Where the subject, answer and countersubject are introduced
    2. Development: Where the subject changes key, can go through inversion, Retrograde, Augmentation and Diminution
    3. Recapitulation: Where the main subject is again played, it sort of recaps the whole piece through its major sections

Independent fugues[edit]

  1. are introduced by a short piece of music called either a Prelude, Passacaglia, Fantasia, or a Taccato
    1. Passacaglia: a harmonic progression that keeps being repeated
    2. Fantasia: a free flowing composition which demonstrates skill and technique
    3. Taccato: Shows virtuosity and uses many scales

Opera and the Oratorio[edit]


  1. Drama sung to orchestral accompaniment
  2. Text = libretto; always overly dramatic
  3. Can be serio or , pitches of speech of Greek drama
  4. Created rise of virtuoso singers—castrati among others
  5. Very emotional


  1. a song for solo voice
  2. typically further showing the audience emotions or intentions of a character


  1. A short song imitating speech
  2. Is usually before or after an aria


  1. Operas start with an overture/symphonia, it is the part where all of the instruments play at the beginning

Voice Categories[edit]

  1. Coloratura Soprano: Very high, rapid scales and trills
  2. Lyric Soprano: Light voice, sings roles of grace and charm
  3. Dramatic Soprano: Full and powerful voice, capable of passionate intensity
  1. Dramatic Tenor: Powerful voice, capable of heroic expression
  2. Basso Buffo: Takes comedic roles, can sing very rapidly
  3. Basso Profondo: very low voice, plays powerful roles, roles of great dignity


  1. Like an opera, but without costumes, scenery or acting
  2. Based on biblical stories
  3. not intended for religious ceremony

The Baroque sonata[edit]

By the time of Arcangelo Corelli, two polyphonic types of sonata were established: the sonata da chiesa (church sonata) and the sonata da camera ("ordinary" sonata, literally chamber sonata).

The sonata da chiesa, generally for one or more violins and bass, consisted normally of a slow introduction, a loosely fugued allegro, a cantabile slow movement, and a lively finale in some binary form suggesting affinity with the dance-tunes of the suite. This scheme, however, was not very clearly defined, until the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Friderich Handel, when it became the essential sonata and persists as a tradition of Italian violin music – even into the early 19th century, in the works of Boccherini.

The sonata da camera had consisted almost entirely of idealized dance-tunes, but by the time of Bach and Handel such a composition drew apart from the sonata, and came to be called a suite, a partita, an ordre, or, when it had a prelude in the form of a French opera-overture, an overture. On the other hand, the features of sonata da chiesa and sonata da camera then tended to be freely intermixed. Bach, however, while not using the titles themselves, nevertheless keeps the two types so distinct that they can be recognized by style and form. Thus, in his six solo violin sonatas, Nos. 1, 3, and 5 are recognizably sonate de chiesa; and Nos. 2, 4, and 6 are explicitly called partitas, but are admissible among the sonatas as being sonate da camera.[citation needed] Bach is also cited as being among the first composers to have the keyboard and solo instrument share a melodic line, whereas previously most sonatas for keyboard and instrument had kept the melody exclusively in the solo instrument.

The term sonata is also applied to the series of over 500 works for harpsichord solo, or sometimes for other keyboard instruments, by Domenico Scarlatti, originally published under the name Essercizi per il gravicembalo (Exercises for the Harpsichord). Most of these pieces are in one binary-form movement only, with two parts that are in the same tempo and use the same thematic material, though occasionally there will be changes in tempo within the sections. Many of the sonatas were composed in pairs, one being in the major and the other in the parallel minor. They are frequently virtuosic, and use more distant harmonic transitions and modulations than were common for other works of their time. They are admired for their great variety and invention.

The genre – particularly for solo instruments with just the continuo or ripieno – eventually influenced the solo movements of suites or concerti that occurred between movements with the full orchestra playing, for example in the Brandenburg Concerti of Bach. The trio sonatas of Vivaldi, too, show parallels with the concerti he was writing at the same time.

The sonatas of Domenico Paradies are mild and elongated works of this type, with a graceful and melodious little second movement included. The manuscript on which Longo bases his edition of Scarlatti frequently shows a similar juxtaposition of movements, though without any definite indication of their connection. The style is still traceable in the sonatas of the later classics, whenever a first movement is in a uniform rush of rapid motion, as in Mozart's violin sonata in F (K. 377), and in several of Clementi's best works.

The Chorale and Church Cantata[edit]

Chorales tend to have simple and singable tunes, because they were originally intended to be sung by the congregation rather than a professional choir. They generally have rhyming words and are in a strophic form (with the same melody being used for different verses). Within a verse, most chorales follow the AAB pattern of melody that is known as the German Bar form. (Lutheran)

The Baroque Suite[edit]

The Baroque Suite is a group of dances usually in the same key. Each piece is usually in binary form (A-A-B-B) or ternary form (A-B-A). The standard dances in the suite are the allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue.

Arcangelo Corelli[edit]

influential Italian violinist and composer of Baroque music. His compositions are distinguished by a beautiful flow of melody and by a mannerly treatment of the accompanying parts, which he is justly said to have liberated from the strict rules of counterpoint.

Claudio Monteverdi[edit]

  1. One of the most important early baroque composers
  2. Wrote Orfeo, first great opera
  3. Music director at San Marco

Henry Purcell[edit]

is generally considered to be one of England's greatest composers. He has often been called England's finest native composer. Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements but devised a peculiarly English style of Baroque music.

George Frideric Handel[edit]

Antonio Vivaldi[edit]

Johann Sebastian Bach[edit]