Baroque Era and Rock Music

Category: Baroque, Era, Rock
Last Updated: 27 May 2020
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Baroque Era and Rock Music To understand the correlation between Rock music and the Baroque Era, one must look more in-depth towards each culture’s history and social norms. The Baroque Era’s musical style was prevalent during 1600 - 1750. It can be described as a time when the music went hand in hand with the architecture, paintings, and literature of its time.

It was a time when musicians brought out more intense emotions within their Rock music, which was created during the 1950’s in the United States by an African-American named Chuck Berry; he used the same principles as musicians during the Baroque era and met the same parochial views by society. Musicians during both eras had several things in common, not just in their masterpieces, in their sociological environment. The Baroque era expanded our horizons with advances in technology such as the telescope, which helped us to gain a better understanding of the infinite.

Enlightened thinkers such as Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza and Locke tackled tough questions of existence. Foreign trade and colonization resulted in more people having direct contact with parts of the world that were previously unknown. Finally, this era led to the creation of a middle class in Europe, which heavily impacted the everyday citizen, and thus it’s music. During the Rock era the United States still had fresh memories of the great depression, a World War, and recently expanded middle class due to the military’s GI Bill, which paid for Ten’s of thousands veterans’ college tuition.

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The industrial revolution had transformed the country and intercontinental trade was unlike the world has ever seen; the influence of the roaring 1920’s Jazz era had bred a new generation leading to interracial music development. More importantly, a new tone and rhythm caused by integrating new technology such as electric guitars, and new style pianos were introduced. The Baroque era utilized new musical instrument advancements such as string instruments and more importantly the first primitive piano.

Musicians during both eras faced adversity with their new style of music. Antonio Vivaldi during the Baroque era was one of the first musicians whom were victims of censorship. (Arton) Naturally anytime there are changes there will be people who do not agree. This was more prevalent in the United States during the rock era because of their deep racial bigotry and segregation of blacks and whites; just like the Jazz era, early rock musicians were African American and therefore its sound was hated by some, but loved by the majority of the youth.

Some felt their indigenous traditions were under attack resulting in religious propaganda referring to rock music as “the devil’s music. ” It was believed rock music provoked “dirty” activities such as exotic dancing, and controversial references were sometimes made which invoked music censorship at radio stations. Some songs even were banned from the being played: “Radio stations ban Dottie O'Brien's "Four or Five Times" and Dean Martin's "Wham Bam, Thank You Ma'am" fearing they are suggestive…. The Weavers are blacklisted due to the leftist political beliefs and associations of several members. (Nuzum) Beyond the biased attitude from the previous generations lays a bigger correlation between the two: the artistic movement created and the influence it had on the world. Invoking rhythmic individuality and (Thornburgh) could have been arguably a stepping stone leading towards the civil rights movement in the United States. While the Baroque music style can be accreted to innovation and musical chorale. (Arton) Naturally there are differences in both styles of music such as its sound, implementation of vocal chorus, rhythm, texture, and its effect on their listeners’ emotions.

Baroque music was meant to be listened to, there were no words, no ability to read it, and there were no recorders so it could be enjoyed later. Wealthy or privileged individuals at times travelled hundreds of miles to hear it, and left only with the memory of its elegance, a gentle hum in their ear, and excitement to hear it again. During the rock era, radio stations aired the nation’s favorite songs over and over, concerts were very affordable and popular for all classes, and the invention of the record player allowed its admirers to hear music whenever they esired. All styles of music have their own sound, texture, rhythm, and subtle meaning. Which is naturally why each is separated in different categories. Oddly enough the instruments used in several styles of music today can be traced back to the Baroque era. Drastically different sounds, but implemented many of the same tools. Rock music at times implements Baroque chorus in the background using the same principles Baroque music first did in Germany when they married the Chorale. (Arton)

In the video presentation we hear Chuck Berry’s 1958 hit song “Johnny B. Goode” and Antonio Vivaldi's Concert for “Two Flutes”. Both drive the audiences emotions of excitement however, both naturally have a completely different sounds. While “Two Flutes” provoke feelings of sophistication, class, artistic reminiscent, and calm enjoyment. “Johnny B. Goode” induces excitement and makes the audience want to dance, participate with vocal gestures and it often affirms the feeling of youth and fun. Both clips have their own artistic theme, texture and rhythm.

Both styles of music styles are a like as they utilized the modern technology of their time, broke social norms, faced resistance from those whom didn’t accept change, and can be accredited with influencing social norms of their era which directly contributed to history as we know it today. References Nuzum, Eric. "USA, CANADA. " freemuse. Freemusepedia, 01 JAN 2001. Web. 13 Jan 2013. <http://freemuse. org/sw20542. asp>. Thornburgh, Elaine. "Baroque Music-Part One. " Era of Baroque Music. n. page. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. lt;http://trumpet. sdsu. edu/M151/Baroque_Music1. html>. Arton, . "BAROQUE COMPOSERS AND MUSICIANS. " Historical context, Geography, Biographical Notes. internet arton publications. Web. 13 Jan 2013. Smith, . "What is “baroque,” and when was the baroque period?. " Baroque Music. Music of the Baroque. Web. 13 Jan 2013. <www. baroque. org/baroque/whatis. htm>. Richardson, Todd. "Baroque and Classical Influenced Rock Music. " merlinravensong. N. p.. Web. 16 Jan 2013. <http://merlinravensong2. tripod. com/Classic-Rock>

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