Passepied Music Definition Essay

Baroque music (US: or UK:) is a style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Pachelbel.

The Baroque period saw the creation of tonality, an approach to writing music in which a song or piece is written in a particular key; this kind of arrangement has continued to be used in almost all Western popular music. During the Baroque era, professional musicians were expected to be accomplished improvisers of both solo melodic lines and accompaniment parts. Baroque concerts were typically accompanied by a basso continuo group (comprising chord-playing instrumentalists such as harpsichordists and lute players improvising chords from a figured bass part) while a group of bass instruments—viol, cello, double bass—played the bassline. A characteristic Baroque form was the dance suite. While the pieces in a dance suite were inspired by actual dance music, dance suites were designed purely for listening, not for accompanying dancers.

During the period, composers and performers used more elaborate[clarification needed]musical ornamentation (typically improvised by performers), made changes in musical notation (the development of figured bass as a quick way to notate the chord progression of a song or piece), and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established the mixed vocal/instrumental forms of opera, cantata and oratorio and the instrumental forms of the solo concerto and sonata as musical genres. Many musical terms and concepts from this era, such as toccata, fugue and concerto grosso are still in use in the 2010s[update]. Dense, complex polyphonic music, in which multiple independent melody lines were performed simultaneously (a popular example of this is the fugue), was an important part of many Baroque choral and instrumental works.

The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl".[2] Negative connotations of the term first occurred in 1734, in a criticism of an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, and later (1750) in a description by Charles de Brosses of the ornate and heavily ornamented architecture of the Pamphili Palace in Rome. Although the term continued to be applied to architecture and art criticism through the 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that the term "baroque" was adopted from Heinrich Wölfflin's art-history vocabulary to designate a historical period in music.

Etymology[edit]

The term "Baroque" is generally used by music historians to describe a broad range of styles from a wide geographic region, mostly in Europe, composed over a period of approximately 150 years. Although it was long thought that the word as a critical term was first applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734. The critic implied that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.

The systematic application by historians of the term "baroque" to music of this period is a relatively recent development. In 1919, Curt Sachs became the first to apply the five characteristics of Heinrich Wölfflin's theory of the Baroque systematically to music. Critics were quick to question the attempt to transpose Wölfflin's categories to music, however, and in the second quarter of the 20th century independent attempts were made by Manfred Bukofzer (in Germany and, after his immigration, in America) and by Suzanne Clercx-Lejeune (in Belgium) to use autonomous, technical analysis rather than comparative abstractions, in order to avoid the adaptation of theories based on the plastic arts and literature to music. All of these efforts resulted in appreciable disagreement about time boundaries of the period, especially concerning when it began. In English the term acquired currency only in the 1940s, in the writings of Bukofzer and Paul Henry Lang.

As late as 1960, there was still considerable dispute in academic circles, particularly in France and Britain, whether it was meaningful to lump together music as diverse as that of Jacopo Peri, Domenico Scarlatti, and Johann Sebastian Bach under a single rubric. Nevertheless, the term has become widely used and accepted for this broad range of music. It may be helpful to distinguish the Baroque from both the preceding (Renaissance) and following (Classical) periods of musical history.

History[edit]

The Baroque period is divided into three major phases: early, middle, and late. Although they overlap in time, they are conventionally dated from 1580 to 1630, from 1630 to 1680, and from 1680 to 1730.

Early baroque music (1580–1630)[edit]

Further information: Transition from Renaissance to Baroque in instrumental music

The Florentine Camerata was a group of humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals in late Renaissance Florence who gathered under the patronage of Count Giovanni de' Bardi to discuss and guide trends in the arts, especially music and drama. In reference to music, they based their ideals on a perception of Classical (especially ancient Greek) musical drama that valued discourse and oration. As such, they rejected their contemporaries' use of polyphony (multiple, independent melodic lines) and instrumental music, and discussed such ancient Greek music devices as monody, which consisted of a solo singing accompanied by a kithara (an ancient strummed string instrument). The early realizations of these ideas, including Jacopo Peri's Dafne and L'Euridice, marked the beginning of opera, which were a catalyst for Baroque music.[9]

Concerning music theory, the more widespread use of figured bass (also known as thorough bass) represents the developing importance of harmony as the linear underpinnings of polyphony. Harmony is the end result of counterpoint, and figured bass is a visual representation of those harmonies commonly employed in musical performance. With figured bass, numbers, accidentals or symbols were placed above the bassline that was read by keyboard instrument players such as harpsichord players or pipe organists (or lutenists). The numbers, accidentals or symbols indicated to the keyboard player what intervals she should play above each bass note. The keyboard player would improvise a chord voicing for each bass note. Composers began concerning themselves with harmonic progressions, and also employed the tritone, perceived as an unstable interval, to create dissonance (it was used in the dominant seventh chord and the diminished chord. An interest in harmony had also existed among certain composers in the Renaissance, notably Carlo Gesualdo; However, the use of harmony directed towards tonality (a focus on a musical key that becomes the "home note" of a piece), rather than modality, marks the shift from the Renaissance into the Baroque period. This led to the idea that certain sequences of chords, rather than just notes, could provide a sense of closure at the end of a piece—one of the fundamental ideas that became known as tonality.[citation needed]

By incorporating these new aspects of composition, Claudio Monteverdi furthered the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition—the heritage of Renaissance polyphony (prima pratica) and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque (seconda pratica). With basso continuo, a small group of musicians would play the bassline and the chords which formed the accompaniment for a melody. The basso continuo group would typically use one or more keyboard players and a lute player who would play the bassline and improvise the chords and several bass instruments (e.g., bass viol, cello, double bass) which would play the bassline. With the writing of the operas L'Orfeo and L'incoronazione di Poppea among others, Monteverdi brought considerable attention to this new genre.[16]

Middle baroque music (1630–1680)[edit]

The rise of the centralized court is one of the economic and political features of what is often labelled the Age of Absolutism, personified by Louis XIV of France. The style of palace, and the court system of manners and arts he fostered became the model for the rest of Europe. The realities of rising church and state patronage created the demand for organized public music, as the increasing availability of instruments created the demand for chamber music, which is music for a small ensemble of instrumentalists.

The middle Baroque period in Italy is defined by the emergence of the vocal styles of cantata, oratorio, and opera during the 1630s, and a new concept of melody and harmony that elevated the status of the music to one of equality with the words, which formerly had been regarded as pre-eminent. The florid, coloratura monody of the early Baroque gave way to a simpler, more polished melodic style. These melodies were built from short, cadentially delimited ideas often based on stylized dance patterns drawn from the sarabande or the courante. The harmonies, too, might be simpler[clarification needed] than in the early Baroque monody, and the accompanying bass lines were more integrated with the melody, producing a contrapuntal equivalence of the parts that later led to the device of an initial bass anticipation of the aria melody. This harmonic simplification also led to a new formal device of the differentiation of recitative (a more spoken part of opera) and aria (a part of opera that used sung melodies). The most important innovators of this style were the Romans Luigi Rossi and Giacomo Carissimi, who were primarily composers of cantatas and oratorios, respectively, and the Venetian Francesco Cavalli, who was principally an opera composer. Later important practitioners of this style include Antonio Cesti, Giovanni Legrenzi, and Alessandro Stradella.

The middle Baroque had absolutely no bearing on the theoretical work of Johann Fux, who systematized the strict counterpoint characteristic of earlier ages in his Gradus ad Parnassum (1725).[19][clarification needed]

One pre-eminent example of a court style composer is Jean-Baptiste Lully. He purchased patents from the monarchy to be the sole composer of operas for the French king and to prevent others from having operas staged. He completed 15 lyric tragedies and left unfinished Achille et Polyxène. Lully was an early example of a conductor; he would beat the time with a large staff to keep his ensembles together.

Musically, he did not establish the string-dominated norm for orchestras, which was inherited from the Italian opera, and the characteristically French five-part disposition (violins, violas—in hautes-contre, tailles and quintes sizes—and bass violins) had been used in the ballet from the time of Louis XIII. He did, however, introduce this ensemble to the lyric theatre, with the upper parts often doubled by recorders, flutes, and oboes, and the bass by bassoons. Trumpets and kettledrums were frequently added for heroic scenes.

Arcangelo Corelli is remembered as influential for his achievements on the other side of musical technique—as a violinist who organized violin technique and pedagogy—and in purely instrumental music, particularly his advocacy and development of the concerto grosso. Whereas Lully was ensconced at court, Corelli was one of the first composers to publish widely and have his music performed all over Europe. As with Lully's stylization and organization of the opera, the concerto grosso is built on strong contrasts—sections alternate between those played by the full orchestra, and those played by a smaller group. Dynamics were "terraced", that is with a sharp transition from loud to soft and back again. Fast sections and slow sections were juxtaposed against each other. Numbered among his students is Antonio Vivaldi, who later composed hundreds of works based on the principles in Corelli's trio sonatas and concerti.

In contrast to these composers, Dieterich Buxtehude was not a creature of court but instead was church musician, holding the posts of organist and Werkmeister at the Marienkirche at Lübeck. His duties as Werkmeister involved acting as the secretary, treasurer, and business manager of the church, while his position as organist included playing for all the main services, sometimes in collaboration with other instrumentalists or vocalists, who were also paid by the church. Entirely outside of his official church duties, he organised and directed a concert series known as the Abendmusiken, which included performances of sacred dramatic works regarded by his contemporaries as the equivalent of operas.

Late baroque music (1680–1730)[edit]

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The work of George Frideric Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach and their contemporaries, including Domenico Scarlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Georg Philipp Telemann, and others advanced the Baroque era to its climax. Through the work of Johann Fux, the Renaissance style of polyphony was made the basis for the study of composition for future musical eras. The composers of the late baroque had established their feats of composition long before the works of Johann Fux.[19]

A continuous worker, Handel borrowed from other composers and often "recycled" his own material. He was also known for reworking pieces such as the famous Messiah, which premiered in 1742, for available singers and musicians.

Timeline of composers[edit]

See also: List of Baroque composers

Instruments[edit]

See also: List of period instruments and Baroque instruments

Strings[edit]

Woodwinds[edit]

Brass[edit]

Keyboards[edit]

Percussion[edit]

Styles and forms[edit]

Dance suite[edit]

See also: Suite (music) § Dance suite

A characteristic Baroque form was the dance suite. Some dance suites by Bach are called partitas, although this term is also used for other collections of pieces. While the pieces in a dance suite were inspired by actual dance music, dance suites were designed for listening, not for accompanying dancers. Composers used a variety of different dance movements in their dance suites. A dance suite often consists of the following movements:

  • Overture â€“ The Baroque suite often began with a French overture ("Ouverture" in French), a slow movement which was followed by a succession of dances of different types, principally the following four:
  • Allemande â€“ Often the first dance of an instrumental suite, the allemande was a very popular dance that had its origins in the German Renaissance era. The allemande was played at a moderate tempo and could start on any beat of the bar.
  • Courante â€“ The second dance is the courante, a lively, French dance in triple meter. The Italian version is called the corrente.
  • Sarabande â€“ The sarabande, a Spanish dance, is the third of the four basic dances, and is one of the slowest of the baroque dances. It is also in triple meter and can start on any beat of the bar, although there is an emphasis on the second beat, creating the characteristic 'halting', or iambic rhythm of the sarabande.
  • Gigue â€“ The gigue is an upbeat and lively baroque dance in compound meter, typically the concluding movement of an instrumental suite, and the fourth of its basic dance types. The gigue can start on any beat of the bar and is easily recognized by its rhythmic feel. The gigue originated in the British Isles. Its counterpart in folk music is the jig.

These four dance types (allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue) make up the majority of 17th-century suites; later suites interpolate one or more additional dances between the sarabande and gigue:

  • Gavotte â€“ The gavotte can be identified by a variety of features; it is in 4
    4 time and always starts on the third beat of the bar, although this may sound like the first beat in some cases, as the first and third beats are the strong beats in quadruple time. The gavotte is played at a moderate tempo, although in some cases it may be played faster.
  • Bourrée â€“ The bourrée is similar to the gavotte as it is in 2
    2 time, although it starts on the second half of the last beat of the bar, creating a different feel to the dance. The bourrée is commonly played at a moderate tempo, although for some composers, such as Handel, it can be taken at a much faster tempo.[2]
  • Minuet â€“ The minuet is perhaps the best-known of the baroque dances in triple meter. It can start on any beat of the bar. In some suites there may be a Minuet I and II, played in succession, with the Minuet I repeated.
  • Passepied â€“ The passepied is a fast dance in binary form and triple meter that originated as a court dance in Brittany. Examples can be found in later suites such as those of Bach and Handel.
  • Rigaudon â€“ The rigaudon is a lively French dance in duple meter, similar to the bourrée, but rhythmically simpler. It originated as a family of closely related southern-French folk dances, traditionally associated with the provinces of Vavarais, Languedoc, Dauphiné, and Provence.

Other features[edit]

  • Prelude â€“ a suite might be started by a prelude, a slow piece written in an improvisatory style. Some Baroque preludes were not fully written out; instead, a sequence of chords were indicated, with the expectation that the instrumentalist would be able to improvise a melodic part using the indicated harmonic framework. The prelude was not based on a type of dance.
  • Entrée â€“ Sometimes an entrée is composed as part of a suite; but there it is purely instrumental music and no dance is performed. It is an introduction, a march-like piece played during the entrance of a dancing group, or played before a ballet. Usually in 4
    4 time. It is related to the Italian 'intrada'.
  • Basso continuo â€“ a kind of continuous accompaniment notated with a new music notation system, figured bass, usually for one or more sustaining bass instruments (e.g., cello) and one or more chord-playing instruments (e.g., keyboard instruments such as harpsichord, pipe organ or lute)
  • The concerto (a solo piece with orchestral accompaniment) and concerto grosso
  • Monody â€“ an outgrowth of song
  • Homophony â€“ music with one melodic voice and rhythmically similar (and subordinate) chordal accompaniment (this and monody are contrasted with the typical Renaissance texture, polyphony)
  • Dramatic musical forms like opera, dramma per musica
  • Combined instrumental-vocal forms, such as the oratorio and cantata, both of which used singers and orchestra
  • New instrumental techniques, like tremolo and pizzicato
  • The da capo aria "enjoyed sureness".
  • The ritornello aria â€“ repeated short instrumental interruptions of vocal passages.
  • The concertato style â€“ contrast in sound between groups of instruments.
  • Extensive ornamentation, which was typically improvised by singers and instrumentalists (e.g., trills, mordents, etc.)

Genres[edit]

Vocal[edit]

Instrumental[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bukofzer, Manfred F. (1947). Music in the Baroque Era: From Monteverdi to Bach. New York: E. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-393-09745-5. 
  • Burrows, Donald (1991). Handel: Messiah. Cambridge, New York, and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37620-3. 
  • Carter, Tim; Geoffrey Chew (2013). "Monteverdi, Claudio". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. 
  • Carver, Anthony F. (2013). "Concertato". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  • Clarke, Hugh Archibald (1898). A System of Harmony. Philadelphia: T. Presser. ISBN 978-1-248-37946-2. 
  • Chua, Daniel K. L. (2001). "Vincenzo Galilei, Modernity, and the Division of Nature". In Clark, Suzannah. Music Theory and Natural Order from the Renaissance to the Early Twentieth Century. ISBN 9780521771917. 
  • Donington, Robert (1974). A Performer's Guide to Baroque Music. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. ISBN 978-0-571-09797-5. 
  • Dorak, Mehmet Tevfik (2008). "Baroque Music". Dorak.info. [self-published source?]
  • Estrella, Espie (2012). "The Suite: Baroque Dance Suite". About.com. 
  • Grout, Donald J.; Claude V. Palisca (1996). A History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton. 
  • Haagmans, Dirk (1916). Scales, Intervals, Harmony. University of Michigan: J. Fischer & Bro. ISBN 978-1-4370-6202-1. 
  • Hyer, Brian (2013). "Homophony". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  • Kenyon, Stephen (1997). "The Baroque Suite". Jacaranda Music. [self-published source?]
  • La Gorce, Jérôme de (2001). "Jean-Baptiste Lully". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press.
The harpsichord, an important Baroque-era keyboard instrument wherein pressing the keys causes a quill to pluck the strings, was used both in accompaniment and solo roles. Pictured is a double-manual harpsichord by Vital Julian Frey, after Jean-Claude Goujon (1749).

Introduction to music[edit]

What is music? Music is a general melody of sounds that unify the mind and soul. Not even language differences can stop music from reaching out to her selected audience. Even before recorded history, people created music, whether through drumming, singing or chanting. Some of our strongest emotions may be brought on by listening to a piece of music. In this modern age, we hear music around us almost all of our waking hours, in one form or another: radio, television or film music and our personal music (iPods, MP3 players, etc.) is with us throughout the day. Most of us listen to recorded music or go to performances regularly, and some of us play a musical instrument. In earlier time modern audio recording technology, music was available only in the presence of a musician, or to those who played an instrument or sang. Music varies in genres, pop, rock, R'n'B etc.

Musical concepts[edit]

A basic definition of music (in the Western World) is the chronological organisation of sounds; that is, making certain sounds at certain times, which make melodic, rhythmic and harmonic sense.

The first, most basic concept, is keeping the sounds "in time". This leads us to some of the first few musical concepts: beat, rhythm and duration.

  • Beat is the regular pulse which provides a `timeline` for the rhythm to anchor itself to.
  • Rhythm is essentially repeated patterns of long or short, stressed or unstressed sounds or silences which fit into the main beat.
  • Duration is the length of notes or sounds or silences which facilitate the rhythm.

Music is also the relationship between sound and silence. Duration and rhythm apply to silence in the same manner as they apply to sound.

One way to look at how we perceive music is as horizontal and vertical patterns. We hear melodies as a horizontal pattern. The notes (and silences) are heard one after the other over a period of time.

We hear chords (groups of notes played simultaneously) in a vertical pattern. A mixture of one or all of these: melody, rhythm, chords, and silence form musical patterns.

Rhythm[edit]

Rhythm is the most basic concept of music. In all cultures worldwide, the most simple and basic forms of music are purely rhythms. A rhythm is a pulse; a repetition of sounds in a pattern. Simple rhythms can be recognized straight away. Tapping rhythmically at a drum constitutes tapping it at timed intervals in a pattern. The most common rhythmic pattern in modern-day Western music is time (say four-four time). This is where four pulses come one after the other, with the first of each four being given emphasis (known as an accent). Try this exercise:

  • Say the words "one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four..." etc. continuously, and at even time intervals.
  • Now each time you say "one", say it slightly louder: "one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four..." etc.
  • You have just been saying the words "one", "two", "three" and "four" in time.

Reading[edit]

Tutorials[edit]

Melody[edit]

In music, pitch is used to describe how high or low a note sounds. Anyone would know the difference between a high-pitched scratching of fingernails across a blackboard, and the low, rumbling growl of thunder. When Maria tells the children in The Sound of Music that "the first few notes just happen to be...do re mi", she was referring to pitch. Using pitch, together with rhythm, we can start to construct melodies. Without rhythm, notes would just be long, sustained sounds. Without pitch, each sound would be the same (for example, the beating of a single drum).

Dynamics[edit]

In music, we use the word dynamics to describe how loudly or softly a note is played. Dynamics falls under the wider category of expressive techniques, which are instructions for the performer to play loudly or softly, smoothly or detached, and many other effects.

Timbre (tone colour)[edit]

In music, the "colour" of a sound being produced is referred to as timbre, or tone colour. Timbre is the difference between the harsh, scratchy sound of an electric guitar with distortion; the glassy, rounded sound of a piano; and the bird-like whispering sound of a flute. All these instruments could play exactly the same note, yet anyone would be able to recognise instantly an electric guitar from a piano from a flute.

Structure[edit]

Musical structure is usually defined by several things including scales and/or arpeggios , rhythm, key signature, melodic patterns, variations Etc. To keep this particular paragraph concise, all or some of the elements of music theory can be used in the structure of a musical piece. Many composers that listen to Bach are fascinated by the palindromes, variations and inversions of patterns contained in its compositional structure, most of which will never be noticed unless you plan on going through the notation with a magnifying glass.

--Subnote, Colhsh: Musical Structure also refers to the overall layout of a musical work as a whole, these come in several forms the simplest form is Binary form, in which there is one section of music "A" which is then juxtaposed against a contrasting "B" section which finishes it, giving the piece an "A-B" structure. An expansion on this is ternary form which is the same as binary, except that the "A" section is repeated, making the overall structure "A-B-A"

Another musical form that was popular during the classical era is that of the Rondo form, in which there is an "A" section that is repeated throughout the work, but is interrupted by contrasting episodes, making any work in a random form typically have the structure of "A-B-A-C-A-D-Etc."

Larger structures include "Sonata form," which was developed in the Classical Period. The "Sonata form" often is the structure of the first movement of a Sonata, Symphony, and Concerto. The Sonata form is comprised of four sections.

  • Exposition - Introduces a main theme in the tonic key, and a subordinate theme in a related key - often the dominant, or if in a minor key - the relative major.
  • Development - Develops and elaborates the themes and explores new and exciting key centers.
  • Recapitulation - Returns to the tonic key and states the main theme and subordinate theme. The subordinate theme is often reworked to stay in the tonic.
  • Coda - Concludes the piece.

Texture[edit]

Texture refers to the layering of sounds on top of each other. It describes the depth, nature, and relationship of those layers of sound, or voices. It can describe the vertical and horizontal relationship between the voices. Some common textures are:

  • Monophonic texture: A melody by itself, without harmony, and without another melody. For example, singing in the shower, monks chanting, or a fife and drum corps.
  • Polyphonic texture: Two or more melodies, heard at the same time. For example, singing "Row, row, row your boat" as a round, or a Bach Fugue.
  • Homophonic texture: A melody accompanied by harmony, or by less important melodies. Most popular music is homophonic, and much classical music as well, such as Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, or a church hymn.
  • Mixed texture: More than one musical texture. For example, singing a round (polyphony) accompanied by guitar chords (homophony).

Texture can also be described with such terms as thick, dense, or open.

See also[edit]

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