[2015] Stephanie Gannaway: Baroque Music

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by groovycomputerchick
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Arts & Music
Subject:
Music
Grade:
6,7,8,9

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[2015] Stephanie Gannaway: Baroque Music

Baroque music expresses order, the fundamental order of the universe. Yet it is always lively and tuneful. Follow the development of music through this brief outline, from the earliest times to the present day, with baroque music set in historical context.

Music

The English word baroque is derived from the Italian barocco, meaning bizarre, though probably exuberant would be a better translation more accurately reflecting the sense. The usage of this term originated in the 1860s to describe the highly decorated style of 17th and 18th century religious and public buildings in Italy, Germany and Austria, as typified by the very baroque angelic organist adorning the Gottfried Silbermann organ completed in 1714 for the Cathedral in Freiberg, Saxony (illustrated above). Later, during the early-to-mid 1900s, the term baroque was applied by association to music of the 17th and early 18th century, and today the term baroque has come to refer to a very clearly definable type or genre of music which originated, broadly speaking, around 1600 and came to fruition between 1700 and 1750.

When Bach died in 1750 he left a legacy which summarized his art, his life’s work in which he had, by general recognition, brought baroque musical forms to the peak of their development. He left 48 Preludes and Fugues for the keyboard adopting the new “equal temperament” enabling all keys to be played equally and modulation between keys; he left us the Art of the Fugue (complete, though many deny this, attaching an incomplete fugue which is not part of the “Art”), and the Goldberg Variations, a set of 30 Variations on a popular tune. He also left numerous collections of chorale variations, canons, and fugues, as well as many pieces in more standardized form such as preludes, sonatas and concertos

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