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Baroque MusicGeneral Characteristics
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: I
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: III
Bach: St. Matthew Passion, Opening Chorus
The “Walking Bass”
Steady, step-like bass notes underlying a melody
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, Aria
The term refers to the placement in time of chord changes.
In Baroque music, harmonic rhythm tends to be steady, becoming faster near cadences.
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier I, Prelude No. 2
Bach: Violin Concerto in D Minor BWV 1043
Dynamic changes will be restricted to occuring between movements.
“Terraced” dynamics refer to sudden changes, such as a p to a f.
However, most terraced dynamics are relatively subtle.
Bach: Orchestral Suite in D Major, Gavotte
Bach: Violin Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1060
Less important to Baroque composers
Instruments were more interchangeable:
‘Cello/Viola da Gamba
However, tone color was used when it would be effective.
Handel: a passage from Saul featuring a bell carillon.
Bach: Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genug
Bach’s love for the sound of oboe and voice
Long, serpentine “tapeworm” melodies are often found, especially in slow movements.
Bach: Mass in B Minor, Laudamus
Orchestral Suite in D Major, Aria
Songlike melodies in short phrases weren’t unheard of, however.
Bach: Cantata No. 84, III: Woll euch
Particular sound of Baroque music
Heard underlying instrumental music and almost all vocal music as well.
A sustaining instrument (‘cello or viola da gamba) and a keyboard instrument.
The keyboard player is given only the bass line, together with a set of figures which indicate the harmonies.
The “continuo player” on the keyboard realizes the figures into a fully-fleshed out harmonic accompaniment.
The string instrument plays the notated bass line.
Bass line and figures: the performance gives an idea how it might be realized.
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Harpsichord & ‘Cello:
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, Adagio
Organ & ‘Cello
Cantata No. 11 Ach bleibe doch