Chapter 7: Introduction to Baroque Art and Music

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Chapter 7: Introduction to Baroque Art and Music. The Baroque Era (1600-1750). First appeared in Italy Baroque : Excessive ornamentation in the visual arts and a rough, bold instrumental sound in music Energetic detail G randiose, flamboyant Drama created through contrast. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Chapter 7: Introduction to Baroque Art and Music

  • Chapter 7: Introduction to Baroque Art and Music

  • The Baroque Era (1600-1750)First appeared in Italy Baroque: Excessive ornamentation in the visual arts and a rough, bold instrumental sound in musicEnergetic detailGrandiose, flamboyantDrama created through contrast

  • Baroque Architecture and MusicConstruction on the grandest scaleSaint Peters in RomeSpace filled with abundant, even excessive, decoration

  • Baroque MusicGrandiose music composed for such vast spacesCompositions for colossal forcesBaroque orchestra of King Louis XIV sometimes had as many as 80+ playersSome sacred choral works required 24, 48, or even 53 separate lines or partsLove of energetic detail within a large-scale compositionHighly ornamental melody above a solid chordal foundationAbundance of melodic flourishes

  • Arcangelo Corelli Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo, Opus 5, No.1Bass provides the structural support while the violin adds elaborate decoration above

  • Baroque Painting and Music

  • Characteristics of Baroque MusicRemarkable variety of musical styleIntroduction of many new musical genres:Opera, cantata, oratorio, sonata, concerto, and suiteTwo elements remain constantExpressive, sometimes extravagant melodyStrong supporting bass

  • Expressive MelodyUse of soloist to communicate raw individual emotionAll voices not created equalEmphasis on the highest and lowest sounding linesMiddle lines fill out the texture

    S---------------------------------------------------------A---------------------------------------------------------T ---------------------------------------------------------B---------------------------------------------------------

  • Monody: Solo song

    Solo singer supported by a bass line and a few accompanying instrumentsMore elaborate, showy, style of singingMusic reinforces the text

  • Rock-Solid HarmonyProvides strong harmonic framework for elaborate melodiesBasso continuo (continual bass): A small ensemble of at least two instrumentalists who provide a foundation for the melody heard aboveUsually a low string instrument and a harpsichordFigured bass: Numerical shorthand places below the bass lineBasis for improvised chords

  • Elements of Baroque Music -MelodyTwo different melodic stylesSomewhat mechanical instrumental style, full of figural repetitionsMore dramatic, virtuosic style of singing marked by flourished and melismasMelody expands lavishly over long musical spans, not short symmetrical phrases

  • Elements of Baroque Music -HarmonyChord progressions that we hear today originated in the BaroqueMusic built around stock chord progressions (I-VI-IV-V-I)Melody unfolds while the chord progressions repeatModern two-key system: Major and Minor

  • Elements of Baroque Music -RhythmUniformity rather than flexibilityMeter and certain rhythmic patterns are established at the beginning and continue to the endStrong recurring beat (groove)Rhythmic clarity and driveRhythmically propulsive

  • Elements of Baroque Music -TextureHomophony: Basso continuo provides a wholly chordal frameworkMany 17th-century composers rebelled against the predominantly polyphonic, imitative texture of the RenaissanceHostility to Polyphony gradually diminished

    Polyphony: CounterpointNew genre of the FugueBach and Handel

  • Elements of Baroque Music -DynamicsEarly 17th-century, composers began to write dynamics in their musicUse of two basic terms: piano (soft) and forte (loud)Sudden contrasts of dynamics rather than gradual crescendos and diminuendosTerraced dynamics: Shifting of volume suddenly from one level to anotherSimilar to contrasts between major and minor

    Figure 7.4 Rubenss The Horrors of War (1638) is a reaction to the Thirty Years War (16181648), which ravaged Europe at this time. Here Mars, the god of war (center, wearing a military helmet), is pulled to the right by Fury and to the left by a mostly naked Venus, goddess of love. Beneath these figures, the populace suffers, a music book is trampled, and a lute lies broken.

    *Figure 7.1 The high altar at Saint Peters Basilica, Rome, with baldachin by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Standing more than ninety feet high, this canopy is marked by twisted columns and curving shapes, color, and movement, all typical of Baroque art. With 164,000 square feet, St. Peters is by far the largest church in the world.

    Figure 7.2 Saint Peters Square, designed by Bernini in the mid-seventeenth century. The expanse is so colossal it seems to swallow people, cars, and buses.

    *Figure 7.5 Judith Beheading Holofernes (c. 1615) by Artemisia Gentileschi. The grisly scene of Judith slaying the tyrant general was painted several times by Gentileschi, perhaps as a vivid way of demonstrating her abhorrence of aggressive male domination.

    *Figure 7.6 A Woman Playing the Theorbo-Lute and a Cavalier (c. 1658) by Gerard ter Borch. The bass strings are at the top of the instrument and off the fingerboard. The theorbo was often used to play the basso continuo in the seventeenth century.