AS Music: Baroque Ensemble Music
Music History Project 4: Baroque ensemble music: 1. What is meant by rounded form? Discuss its origins and main sections. Why was repetition so important for Baroque composers? Rounded form is where the opening passage in the tonic key keeps coming back around, the most common pattern generally being ABACA.
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The A section is called the refrain or rounded and the non-A passages are called episodes or couplets. The rounded form originated in France, and was first the name of a medieval song with a repeating pattern.
Later composers n the Classical era preferred to use the Italian spelling of the word, rondo. Repetition in Baroque music was important for composers and audiences, because composers of the Baroque era often wrote vast amounts of music as part of their employment, so were almost forced to adopt such time saving methods. Audiences of the Baroque era also were not able to fast forward, rewind or replay parts of music like we can today, so repetition allowed the audience to stay on track, and not lose the plot of the piece. 2.
The binary form in Baroque music: describe the structure and comment on analogy as would occur in the different sections: A vast amount of Baroque pieces, especially ones based on dances, are in binary form, which is music where there are two distinctly separate sections, each usually repeated. The letters ABA are often used to describe binary form in music. The two sections might be similar in length, or the second might be longer than the first. In binary form, section A usually begins in the tonic key, and then ends in another key, often the dominant, or if the starting key is minor, for instance, section A might end in its relative major.
Section B, however, usually goes through keys not previously heard in the piece, and then ends in the tonic key. 3. Compare and contrast Baroque instrumental music with that of the Renaissance : Instrumental music was much more important and plentiful in the Baroque period than it had previously been, when the majority of music was vocal. The improved instrument technology helped, and allowed and encouraged composers to develop genuinely instrumental ways of writing. Much of the Renaissance period music was written for voices only, and some Renaissance style music for instruments is very vocal in its character.
The more vocal styles of Renaissance music, contrasting with the instrumental music of the Baroque period is the main difference between the two. 4. In paragraphs of approximately 75 words summaries information on the following Baroque instrumental families: Strings Woodwind Brass Keyboard Strings: The first Violins, Violas and Cellos were made in Italy in the late 16th century. For some time, these instruments, called the Violin family, were used alongside instruments from the Viol family, but gradually overtook them in popularity.
The Baroque bow was straight or arch shaped rather than inward curving as today, the ridge was marginally lower, and its curve shallower, which in turn made multiple stopping easier. The neck bent back at a slightly larger angle, and with the lower bridge, therefore put the strings at a lower tension, making the sound less powerful. Woodwind: Recorders were heavily used throughout the Baroque period, the most commonly used type being f alto (treble). Recorders fell out of use after the Baroque period, coming back into use in the late 20th century.
Baroque flutes were normally made out of wood, with finger holes and Just one key for a hard to reach bass note. The done flutes lacked some of the sound quality of modern metal ones; they could not reach such high notes, and were held sideways. Oboe players produced sound, the same as they still do to this day, by blowing between two reeds. The Baroque oboe developed from the Shawn, a more powerful, even harsh instrument, which was often played outdoors. In some Baroque pieces, oboes doubled (played the same parts as) violins, but they sometimes had solo roles.
Brass: Trumpets in Baroque music were often connected with royal and military ceremonies, and were therefore regarded as a special instrument. They had no valves, so different notes were played by the musician using different lip pressures. Early brass instruments without valves are called ‘natural’. Trombones were largely favored in Venice in the early sass’s, mainly in ceremonial music for performance in church. Baroque trombones were less powerful than modern ones, so could therefore be better combined with softer instruments. To distinguish modern from Baroque instruments, the latter are mainly known as ‘sackbuts’, or ‘sackbuts’.
Horns are found in some later Baroque pieces, including Bach’s Brandenburg concerto No. , which includes a horn called corn dad acacia, (Italian for ‘hunting horn’). The corona dad acacia shared the rounded shape of the modern horn, but lacked valves and had a lighter, brighter sound, and was often used in high pitched sections of pieces. Keyboard: Harpsichords are keyboard instruments which have strings that are mechanically plucked when the keys are pressed. Harpsichords from the Baroque period vary in tone and construction from country to country.
Clavichords are keyboard instruments that have strings which are hit by tangents’ when the keys, which have a seesaw like action, are pressed. In the Baroque period, Clavichords were used mainly in Germany. They had a quiet sound, which therefore made them inappropriate for use at big public concerts, but ideal for making music at home. Unlike Harpsichords, Clavichords were touch sensitive, and in this way, along with the hammer sound production, they were like modern pianos. Organs varied vastly in their size, construction and tone. German organs commonly had two or more manuals and pedals.
English organs, on the other hand, normally had no pedals and rarely more than one manual. 5. What is meant by ‘retooling? Retooling form is the form that many late Baroque pieces, especially those from concertos, are in. The form is similar to Rounded, but more sophisticated. An opening passage is heard on two or more occasions throughout the piece, but not always necessarily in full, with other passages in between. These so called ‘in between’ passages, sometimes a lot longer than the riotousness, are called ‘episodes’ and are often for fewer instruments. A retooling can also be an instrumental passage within a vocal piece. . Describe briefly the structure off typical Baroque suite: There is no axed pattern of movement in Baroque suites, but later examples included the following dances, in this order: Allemande: usually moderate speed or fairly slow, in 4/4 time, with a short upbeat and plenty of gentle semiquaver movement. Current: quick or fairly quick, in 3/4 or 3/2 Serenade: slow triple time, usually 3/4, often with the second beat of the bar emphasizes. Segue; quick and lively, usually in a compound time such as 12/8 7. Explain how Baroque composers would expand on the dances that would appear in a suite.
What changes would they bring into their music? Dances are generally in binary form, but composers sometimes extended their work in one of the following ways: Two dances of the same kind (both binary) appear in the order first dance, second dance, first dance repeated, producing a kind of ternary (ABA) structure. Two versions of a single dance are given, the first ‘plain’, the second with much more ornamentation added. Some modern performers play the plain dance complete, with both sections repeated and then the double similarly. Baroque composers may have sometimes played either the plain dance or the double, not both.