Baroque Music 1600-1750
Contrast is used as a dramatic element in Baroque Music such as the differences between forte and piano or staccato and legato. Different 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. Can you believe that performers used to be able to choose what to play on the spot, often like more contemporary Jazz! Brilliant instruments like the
also grew in popularity, alongside the
, which was one of the first invented keyboard instruments.
The harpsichord played and sounded much different than our modern day piano as it had tiny hooks that “plucked” the strings (much like picking a guitar) instead of how traditional pianos have hard felt hammers that hit the strings in order to make a sound.
The harpsichord also had the colors of keys swiched from what our traditional pianos are today! The white keys were black, and the black keys were white. How cool does that look?!?
Not until the Baroque period did the concept of “melody” and “harmony” truly begin to be articulated.
Vocabulary for our students to learn that go along with Baroque Music, and are used each day in the studio are as follows.
short and detached notes
connected and smooth sounds
“a little” ex: un poco crescendo= a little increase in volume
the main line of music that is the primary sound
supporting notes, rhythms, chords that are secondary to melody
the different and unique sounds that each instrument or voice makes
Composers of the Baroque period
BACH, Johann Sebastian 1685 - 1750
PERGOLESI, Giovanni Battista 1710 - 1736
VIVALDI, Antonio 1678 - 1741
MONTEVERDI, Claudio 1567-1643
Here is a traditional Baroque piece for your listening enjoyment! This is Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor. How many different instruments can you pick out and hear individually? Can you hear the Melody and the Harmonies?