The rise of the middle class that gave way to the rise of composition and performance of secular mus

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The rise of the middle class that gave way to the rise of composition and performance of secular mus

Back to Top What is the philosophy of Baroque music? Although a single philosophy cannot describe years of music from all over Europe, several concepts are important in the Baroque period. A belief in music as a potent tool of communication One of the major philosophical currents in Baroque music comes from the Renaissance interest in ideas from ancient Greece and Rome.

The Greeks and Romans believed that music was a powerful tool of communication and could arouse any emotion in its listeners. As French humanist scholar Artus Thomas described a performance in the late sixteenth century, I have ofttimes heard it said of Sieur Claudin Le Jeune who has, without wishing to slight anyone, far surpassed the musicians of ages past in his understanding of these matters that he had sung an air which he had composed in parts …and that when this air was rehearsed at a private concert it caused a gentleman there to put hand to arms and begin swearing out loud, so that it seemed impossible to prevent him from attacking someone: This has been confirmed to me since by several who were there.

Such is the power and force of melody, rhythm and harmony over the mind. In the baroque, it is the spirit of the second practice—using the power of music to communicate—that came to dominate the era.

The rise of the middle class that gave way to the rise of composition and performance of secular mus

In modern times, artists frequently earn a living producing exactly the kind of art they are moved to create. Accordingly, we often think of the artist—and the degree of his or her artistic inspiration—as the starting point for a work of art. Throughout much of the Baroque era, however, composers only earned a living writing music if they were fortunate enough to be on the payroll of a political or religious institution.

The musical needs of that institution, therefore, dictated the music the composer produced. Bach wrote the number of cantatas he did, for example, not necessarily because he found the form inspirational, but because of the liturgical demands of the Leipzig church that employed him. When viewed in this light, Baroque music can provide a fascinating window into history.

Back to Top What are the characteristics of Baroque music? Contrast as a dramatic element Contrast is an important ingredient in the drama of a Baroque composition.

The differences between loud and soft, solo and ensemble as in the concertodifferent instruments and timbres all play an important role in many Baroque compositions.

Composers also began to be more precise about instrumentation, often specifying the instruments on which a piece should be played instead of allowing the performer to choose.

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Brilliant instruments like the trumpet and violin also grew in popularity. Monody and the advent of the basso continuo In previous musical eras, a piece of music tended to consist of a single melody, perhaps with an improvised accompaniment, or several melodies played simultaneously.

As part of the effort to imitate ancient music, composers started focusing less on the complicated polyphony that dominated the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and more on a single voice with a simplified accompaniment, or monody. If music was a form of rhetoric, as the writings of the Greeks and Romans indicate, a powerful orator is necessary—and who better for the job than a vocal soloist?

The best philosophers agree, and the very nature of our voice, with its high, low and middle ranges, would indicate as much.

Along with the emphasis on a single melody and bass line came the practice of basso continuo, a method of musical notation in which the melody and bass line are written out and the harmonic filler indicated in a type of shorthand. As the Italian musician Agostino Agazzari explained in Since the true style of expressing the words has at last been found, namely, by reproducing their sense in the best manner possible, which succeeds best with a single voice or no more than a fewas in the modern airs by various able men, and as is the constant practice at Rome in concerted music, I say that it is not necessary to make a score… A Bass, with its signs for the harmonies, is enough.

But if some one were to tell me that, for playing the old works, full of fugue and counterpoints, a Bass is not enough, my answer is that vocal works of this kind are no longer in use. As part of this new interest, scholars and musicians have spent countless hours trying to figure out how the music might have sounded to 17th and 18th century audiences.

While we will never be able to recreate a performance precisely, their work has unearthed several major differences between Baroque and modern ensembles: Beforehowever, there was no pitch standard.

The note to which Baroque ensembles tuned, therefore, varied widely at different times and in different places.

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As a result, the music notated on a score might have sounded as much as a half tone lower than how it would traditionally be performed today. In an effort to allow for this discrepancy, many baroque ensembles adjust their tuning to the repertoire being performed: While most of the instruments in a baroque ensemble are familiar, there are several prominent members no longer featured in modern ensembles.

The harpsichord was the primary keyboard instrument and an important member of the continuo groupand instruments important in the 16th and 17th centuries like the lute and violstill continued to be used. Variations in instruments still popular today also gave the baroque ensemble a different sound.

String instruments like the violin, viola and cello used gut strings rather than the strings wrapped in metal with which they are strung today, for example, giving them a mellower, sweeter tone.

A baroque score contains little if any information about elements like articulation, ornamentation or dynamics, and so modern ensembles need to make their own informed choices before each performance. Mechanical differences between baroque and modern instruments also suggest that the older instruments would have sounded differently, so ensembles like Music of the Baroque often adjust their technique to allow for this.

Because baroque and modern bows are structurally different, for example, string players using modern bows often use a gentler attack on the string and crescendos and diminuendos on longer notes.The rise of a new middle class, however, gave financial freedom for some people to spend time and money on entertainment in the form of music and dance.

Thus, the rise of the middle classes also gave way to the rise in composition and performance of secular music, which became the music of choice for composers of that day. Although the mining communities which gave rise to these choirs largely died out in the s and s with the decline of the Welsh coal industry, many of these choirs continue, and are seen as a traditional part of Welsh culture and perform worldwide.

level courses are intended for advanced juniors and seniors, usually music majors, wishing to pursue thesis, independent study, or small seminar coursework in composition, theory and analysis, musicology, ethnomusicology, or performance, under the guidance of an individual faculty advisor. Although the mining communities which gave rise to these choirs largely died out in the s and s with the decline of the Welsh coal industry, many of these choirs continue, and are seen as a traditional part of Welsh culture and perform worldwide. The performance of religious music, especially in New England, gave rise to the first music schools in America and the first truly American composers. Sacred Music in the Eighteenth Century The a cappella singing of vernacular translations of the psalms by a whole congregation was common in Protestant England during the sixteenth and.

Isorythm in 14 century music, the technique of repeating the identical rhythm for each section of a composition, while the pitches altered Chansons French for song; a genre of French secular Founded: Apr 27, The performance of religious music, especially in New England, gave rise to the first music schools in America and the first truly American composers.

Sacred Music in the Eighteenth Century The a cappella singing of vernacular translations of the psalms by a whole congregation was common in Protestant England during the sixteenth and.

THE RISE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS The rise of the middle class was a result of the industrial revolution.

The "middle class" first appeared in Europe in the late middle ages, with the revival of trade and development of structures (armies, diplomatic marriages, endowments) that .

In the realm of instrumental music, the notion of contrast and the desire to create large-scale forms gave rise to the concerto, sonata and suite. Vocal music Opera: A drama that is primarily sung, accompanied by instruments, and presented on stage.

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