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During the Baroque Period, instrumental music became as important as vocal music ... A lot of music composed during the Baroque period is polyphonic. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Baroque%20Period%201600%20-%201750

Baroque Period1600 - 1750
Part 2
Baroque means very fancy, elaborate, over
decorated, or ornamented.

Musical Life
  • Music during the Baroque era was performed in
  • Courts of the Nobility / Royalty
  • Churches
  • Opera Houses
  • Churches and the Nobility controlled music during
    this time.

  • One way for a musician to earn a living was to
    be employed by Royalty. The nobleman, duke, or
    king paid musicians to provide music exclusively
    for events in his court. This is called the
    patronage system.

A Court composer was employed by Royalty full
time to
  • Compose music for entertainment in the court
  • Coordinate and conduct musical events held in the
  • Give music lessons to members of the royal family

  • Court musicians were treated the same as other
  • servants. They entered the palace through
  • the back door and ate in the kitchen.

  • Another way for a musician to make a living
    during the Baroque Period was to be employed by
    the Church.
  • If you are a musician (composer or performer)
    being paid a steady income by a king or the
    church, what could be so bad about that?

Church musicians were very busy. They were
hired full time to
  • Compose (and copy) music for each Sunday service
  • Compose (and copy) music for special days of the
    church calendar
  • Rehearse and direct choirs for each service
  • Play the organ
  • Rehearse and conduct church orchestras
  • Educate the boys in the choir school

New! Opera Houses
  • The only place the general public could go to
    hear music, if they can afford it, was the Opera
  • Opera in the Baroque Period was all about
  • Elaborate sets
  • Fancy costumes
  • Virtuoso performers (very highly skilled
    singers instrumentalists)

Music of the Baroque Period
  • What did it sound like?

Timbre (tam-ber) tone color the unique sound
each voice and instrument makes
  • Before the Baroque Period,
  • vocal music was most important
  • During the Baroque Period, instrumental music
    became as important as vocal music
  • Orchestras were small with mostly string
    instruments and a few woodwinds

More and more music was written for these
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • Trombone
  • Trumpets and French horns without valves
  • Timpani - the only percussion instrument used in
    serious music
  • Why do you think no music was written during
    this time for saxophone, drum set, or electric

  • Popular keyboard instruments of this time were
    the clavichord (top photo) and the harpsichord
    (bottom photo). There were also great pipe
    organs built in churches.
  • The harpsichord has a unique sound. When a key
    is pressed it causes a quill to pluck the
    corresponding string. No matter how hard or
    lightly the key is pressed, the sound is always
    the same.
  • What do you see on each instrument that reminds
    you of the architecture, clothing, or art of the

Listen to excerpts from each piece. In your
notes, write the instruments or voices performing
- the timbre.
  • Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 by J.S. Bach
  • Autumn from The Four Seasons by A. Vivaldi
  • Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah by G.F. Handel

Melody a series of pitches written one after
the other that is sung or played on an instrument
  • During the Baroque period, the melody written by
    composers was just a guide for the performer
  • Performers were expected to add their own
    ornaments to the melody

  • When performers were free to add their own
    ornaments to a melody, they were able to show off
    their talent.
  • This is much like improvising in jazz music of
  • If you were the composer of a melody you really
    liked, how would you feel about having a
    performer you may or may not know embellish your

Harmony the result when two or more notes are
played or sung at the same time
  • Monophonic music is a single melody. It can be
    performed by one or many people.
  • - Mono means one.
  • - Phonic means something to do with sound.
  • Homophonic music has a melody
  • and harmony parts that move together.
  • Most hymns are homophonic.
  • - Homo means alike.
  • - Phonic means something to do
  • with sound.

Polyphonic music has two or more melodies that
weave together to create harmony.
  • Poly means more than one.
  • A lot of music composed during the Baroque period
    is polyphonic.
  • The fugue is a sophisticated kind of polyphony.
    It is composed from a single melody layered on
    top of itself. In the example to the right,
    there are 4 layers of the same melody. (The
    melody doesnt always have to start on the same