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Early Baroque Music

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Early Baroque Music

The Baroque Period (1600-1750) was mainly a period of newly discovered ideas. From major new innovations in science, to vivid changes in geography, people were exploring more of the world around them. The music of the baroque period was just as extreme as the new changes. Newly recognized composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi were writing entirely new musical ideas and giving a chance for new voices to be heard that were normally not thought of sounds. Their musical legacy is still recognized today, and is a treasured discovery of outstanding compositions being reiterated with every performance of them.

Baroque which came from the French word barroque and the Portuguese word barroco originally meant deformed and misshaped. In a sense baroque is an appropriate term to describe this new for of ideas in time. On the other hand, no real word can describe the richness of this time period. Baroque music, just like any other music, reflects the time period that it was written in. The baroque era opened with the Thirty Years War, which included the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683, and ended with the development of independent nation states throughout Europe. The face of Europe was completely changed during the baroque period. Most music in the baroque era ended up being predominantly vocal, and its biggest factors were the opera and its styles. Most composers of the baroque period shared the same ideas of how their music should sound like and how it should move the affections. The baroque period had two different practices. The prima practica and the seconda practica were the practices that spited controversy with each other. The "first practice" was just the style of vocal polyphony that was established in writing by Zarlino. The "second practice" was just Claudio Monteverdi's way of being adventurous. He said that the first practice was music that the text prevailed, and that the second practice the text overpowered the music. In Monteverdi's cruda amarilli he demonstrates the use of his second practice. Since Monteverdi used this second practice Composers start to see instrumental music as a different medium from vocal music and because of this they started to see them separately as two components, now borrow vocal idioms in instrumental writing, and vice versa. While trying to express the affections in man, they wanted to bring about the arousal of emotions like excitement, broadness, being a hero, and wonder. While doing this they also focused on a new idea of basso continuo which was a concentration of the bass where the chord was structured on the bass, and later the inversions became known as figured bass. With this new bass a new contrapuntal system was used where the melodic lines now had to fit into the pattern of chords set up by the continuo.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a huge composer during the baroque era. He started out as a principal organist and later went on to write many organ and keyboard compositions. He was hired to write many hymns and

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