The financial realities of staging frequent opera productions also had an effect. 2. Around the middle of the 17th century in Germany the sequence of allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue became relatively standard, although other dance movements, such as additional allemandes or courantes,bourreés, gavottes and minuets, were often inserted. In late 17th century France, however, the Italian-born Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault created a uniquely French version of opera known as tragédie-lyrique. Bach’s most famous keyboard works could be thought of as his 48 Preludes and Fugues. Since he judges according to his own fingers, his pieces are extremely difficult to play; for he demands that singers and instrumentalists should be able to do with their throats and instruments whatever he can play on the clavier, but this is impossible… Turgidity has led [him] from the natural to the artificial, and from the lofty to the somber; and…one admires the onerous labor and uncommon effort—which, however, are vainly employed, since they conflict with Nature. Start studying Baroque musical characteristics. And the growth of a new middle class breathed life into an artistic culture long dependent on the whims of church and court. The Baroque style in plays was characterized by six fundamental rules that governed it: 1. Along with the emphasis on a single melody and bass line came the practice of basso continuo, a method of musical notation in which the melody and bass line are written out and the harmonic filler indicated in a type of shorthand. timbre: While most of the instruments in a baroque ensemble are familiar, there are several prominent members no longer featured in modern ensembles. This type of musical writing stems from the Renaissance where if one line of music goes up the other goes down at the same time. The famous Renaissance composers Palestrina and Lassus had died a few years earlier. Keyboard music became a regular part of the musical diet during the Baroque. Common Renaissance dances that Baroque composers crafted into instrumental “Suites” would have included the allemande, the courante, the gigue, and the sarabande. (By the mid- eighteenth century, our focus shifts to the German composers Bach and Handel.) While we will never be able to recreate a performance precisely, their work has unearthed several major differences between Baroque and modern ensembles: pitch: In 1939, modern orchestras agreed to tune to a’=440hz (the note A pitched at 440 cycles per second), which replaced a previously lower pitch (a’=435hz) adopted in 1859. Baroque Musical Characteristics Ornamentation and the use of polyphonic writing can often make the music sound both highly elaborate and on occasions dissonant. Basso continuo consists of a couple different elements: one must be an instrument that can play more than one note at a time (almost always a harpsichord), and the other element is some type of instrument that plays a bit low, like a cello or a bassoon. Sacred works for voices and instruments were often called concertos, while similar secular works were generally termed arie (airs), cantatas or musiche. Major composers in the Italian cantata genre include Luigi Rossi, Antonio Cesti, Alessandro Stradella, and in the first half of the 18th century Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel, Benedetto Marcello and Johann Adolf Hasse. Corelli was also a master of the trio sonata that grew from the Renaissance canzona and featured two violins plus a continuo. Justin Wildridge is a media composer and multi-instrumentalist based in South-West of England where he works from his own studio. It was a time of musical change. Brilliant instruments like the trumpet and violin also grew in popularity. The critic implied that the novelty in th… In an effort to allow for this discrepancy, many baroque ensembles adjust their tuning to the repertoire being performed: a’= 415hz for late baroque music, a’=392hz for French music, a’=440hz for early Italian music and a’=430hz for classical repertoire. The allemande would be in a moderate four, whereas the sarabande a slow three. 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