120_Bach_I - The Baroque In France & Germany In the...

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The Baroque In the Early Baroque, up until the early 18 th century, Italian composers dominated musical trends By the beginning of the 18 th century, both France and Germany had found their own paths. The differences between them were largely owing to political and religious currents 1
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FRANCE France, in the middle stages of the Baroque (late 1600s and early 1700s), was the period of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who shone on all of Europe from his Versailles palace Divine right monarchy required a vast bureaucracy and Louis delegated authority in the ‘music department’ to Jean Baptiste Lully . Lully was court composer by royal appointment and was given a monopoly on music publishing and production in France 2
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He exercised his authority over the King’s Orchestra with such zeal that while conducting he stabbed himself in his foot with his conductor’s staff. The wound developed gangrene and Lully literally died from his excessive performing style Absolute monarchy in France exemplifies a secular control and patronage of music; France was a Catholic nation, but it was the king and aristocracy who employed Lully and others to produce music for the affairs of both church and state The French have always taken dance 3
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seriously, and we remember that they raised ballet (an Italian import) to an art form The King’s Grand Ball was the most important date on the social calendar. Every happening at the ball was choreographed Composer Lully would write a special piece to accompany the entrance of the King and his entourage. This was an instrumental setting for the processional, and its signature sound combined a relaxed tempo with a jaunty rhythmic 4
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character. Such a piece in this style came to be called a French Overture 5
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120_Bach_I - The Baroque In France & Germany In the...

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