What does the word Baroque mean? Baroque is a French word from Portugese origins that means an irregularly shaped pearl.
Characteristics of Baroque Music Use of a Basso Continuo - harpsichord and cello providing the base of the composition. Emphasized contrasts in texture, pace and volume. Strong use of improvisation in both melodies, and the embellishments of those melodies. Most importantly - if you hear a harpsichord, its almost always Baroque.
Baroque: Three Periods early: opera homophonic texture middle: instrumental music late: polyphony
Characteristics of Baroque Music Unity of Mood: a piece usually expresses one mood Rhythm: patterns are repeated through out the beat is emphasized Melody: repeated
The Baroque Orchestra small (10 to 40 players) basso continuo and violin family strings brass, woodwinds and percussion used occasionally tone color was subordinate to the melody, rhythm or harmony
The Elements of Opera opera: a drama in which some or all of the lines are sung to an orchestral accompaniment libretto: the text of the opera librettist: the one who writes the libretto overture or prelude: the orchestral introduction to an opera
Opera Singing Styles aria: a song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment recitative: a vocal line that imitates speech, accompanied by basso continuo ensembles: compositions for two or more singers
Opera Origins Florentine Camerata Attempt to recreate the Greek tragedy singing followed the rhythm and pitch fluctuations of speech homophonic: soloist and simple chordal accompaniment (basso continuo) polyphony rejected because it would obscure the text
Baroque music differs greatly from Medieval and Renaissance music.
Composers used mixed groups of instruments to perform works of great complexity. Music was no longer only functional, it was made to be enjoyed as its own entity. Composers began to search for inspiration for their compositions in not only the church, but in nature. Baroque music is very similar to jazz in its use of improvisation and figured bass.
Critical Listening What is Vivaldi trying to portray in this piece of music?