Ensemble Music During the Baroque Period

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Baroque Period (1600-1750) Ensemble Music During the Baroque period, instrumental music was written for every conceivable size of ensemble. On the smaller side, the Baroque sonata offers one of the finest examples of chamber music. Two types of sonata are found during this period: the sonata da chiesa (church sonata), and the sonata da camera (chamber sonata). The sonata da chiesa was more somber, while the sonata da camera was, much like the suite, usually comprised of dance forms. The gigue from Corelli's Sonata for 2 violins and lute is a fine example of the sonata da camera The term sonata was used during the Early Baroque to denote musical works to be played instead of sung (cantata). Sonatas were usually played by a small number of instruments, anywhere from three to a small group of maybe six or eight. These groups were called chamber groups because they usually performed in small spaces, typically rooms in aristocratic homes or palaces. This example illustrates a chamber group playing Bach's Air on the G String from the Suite No. 3 in D. August Wilhelmj (1845-19...

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