120_Baroque_Overhead_09 - THE BAROQUE(ca 16001750 BAROQUE...

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THE BAROQUE (ca. 1600–1750) The era of divine right, absolute monarchy Versailles, France: Louis XIV (the Sun King) Courts all over Europe maintained musical establishments. The Church also subsidized musical composition and performance Baroque music by categories: 1. By countries: Italy and Germany, France and England 2. By religion: Protestant and Catholic 3. By social class: aristocratic and middle classes 4. New genres: large-scale instrumental compositions 1
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The common denominator: “a faith in the power [of music] to move the affections [i.e., the emotions]—to stir the passions of the listener.” –––– Claude Palisca “The Doctrine of the Affections ”— a set of beliefs about human emotions that informed musical composition Why study the Baroque? The chief new genres that the Baroque bequeathed to us are the Opera and the Concerto The Origins of Opera Opera is sung drama that combines scenery, dramatic action and music—i.e., continuous or nearly continuous music Traditional opera opens with an 2
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orchestral passage called an overture . The drama then unfolds through 1 to 5 acts, each act separated by instrumental preludes Opera musical settings: The aria is an accompanied song or “air” for solo voice ( sometimes for a duet ) The aria represents a lyrical expression and a showcase for vocal ability Arias are often prefaced by a section of recitative —a kind of musical recitation Operatic Hierarchy: Vocalists are ranked according to range, vocal quality, and by their dramatic roles: the main characters are featured soloists The composer writes the music; the librettist authors the libretto 3
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CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI (1567–1643) Composer of the first great opera, L’Orfeo Monteverdi is a pivotal figure, coming at the end of the Renaissance and at the beginning of the Baroque In the employ of the Duke of Mantua, Vincenzo Gonzaga , Monteverdi composed works for the Gonzaga family’s court entertainments Before writing opera, Monteverdi cultivated the Italian madrigal cf. English madrigal “As Vesta was Descending” by Thomas Weelkes Italian and English madrigals share a 4
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tradition of word painting (e.g., Weelkes: “ascending” and “descending,” “running down,” “two by two,” etc. ) Monteverdi’s experience in this idiom enriched his opera, L’Orfeo L’Orfeo also drew on a new idea; monody , or song for solo voice with instrumental accompaniment Note: monody vs. monophonic “Monody” refers to 17 th -century Italian songs in the style of aria and recitative 5
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Meeting in the home of Florentine nobleman Count Giovanni de Bardi, the Camerata sought to recreate the power of ancient Greek drama Their working hypotheses: 1. the poetic texts of Greek drama were sung 2. new vocal forms should present only one melody at a time 3. instruments should only be used to support the melody 4. the sound of dramatic speech
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2010 for the course PHYSICS 121 taught by Professor Padiego during the Fall '09 term at University of Western States.

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120_Baroque_Overhead_09 - THE BAROQUE(ca 16001750 BAROQUE...

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