MUSIC100 Chapter 6 - MUSIC100 Chapter 6 THE BAROQUE ERA:...

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MUSIC100 Chapter 6 THE BAROQUE ERA: 1600 – 1750 - Often, innovations in music are greeted with scepticism and disapproval by the establishment - New musical styles are often described as ugly, disagreeable, or even offensive; and critics use unflattering names for them - The word “baroque” began as a term of disapproval - The word was first applied to music in the eighteenth century - In 1768, the French philosopher Rousseau defined Baroque music as that in which The harmony is confused, full of modulations and dissonances; the melody is harsh and unnatural; the intonation is remote; and the motion is constrained Life in the Baroque Era - The Baroque era was a period of absolute monarchs - These monarchs had total control over every aspect of their realms: the economy, the content of books, the style of art, and even life and death - The model for absolute monarchy was set by Louis XIV, who raised the power of the king to unparalleled heights - He regarded himself as synonymous with the whole nation of France - “I am the state,” he said - In many parts of Europe, life was characterized by a strict social hierarchy, rigid laws, and elaborate codes of dress and manners - The political instability and wars that had dominated Europe for so many years gave way to a period of international peace and economic expansion - There may have been political repression, punitive taxation, and gross social inequities, but there were no major wars, and rulers supported the arts as a way of expressing their cultivation and learning - During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a radical change took place in philosophical and scientific thinking - Aided by new technological developments, scientists began to test their ideas by measurement and mathematical analysis rather than by relying on traditional ideas
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- The foremost scientist of the age was Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the principle of gravity, developed calculus, and determined that white light is made up of all the colors of the spectrum - The discoveries of Newton and other scientists had a profound effect on philosophers, who began to search for comparable principles to apply to human life and society - They began to apply the techniques of mathematical analysis to human thought - Order and organization were valued above all else in society and in the arts - Baroque artists thought that the emotions could be objectively classified and that art could be designed to arouse specific emotions in its audience - Indeed, Baroque art displays a fascination with states of emotion: grief, religious ecstasy, joy, passion, despair - Baroque artists studied these emotional states and strove to represent them - Baroque works of art and architecture evoke intense reactions - They involve the viewer immediately - Portraits stress the grandeur and personality of their subjects; sculptures depict fleeting moments of emotional intensity; buildings radiate opulence, strength, and rhythmic order - In all Baroque art, contrast and illusion are the dominant forces
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This note was uploaded on 01/01/2011 for the course MUSIC 100 taught by Professor J during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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MUSIC100 Chapter 6 - MUSIC100 Chapter 6 THE BAROQUE ERA:...

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