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Johann Sebastian Bach: The Four Musical Periods Of Classical Music

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A huge misconception with classical music is that it is all categorized into one big group. There are actually four main musical periods of classical music. They are the Baroque, classical, romantic, and the modern eras. The first major era of classical music is the Baroque era. This period started around 1600 and ended around 1750. The Baroque time period was particularly important as it was a foundation for classical music to develop and grow. Many musical forms were created and developed as well. Some examples are the sonata, the concerto, and the fugue. There were many well know composers who lived in this time period as well, including Vivaldi, Handel, Telemann, Lully, Corelli, and the arguably most important Johann Sebastian Bach. J.S.…show more content…
He is known for his mastery of different forms of music. One of the ways that Bach structured his music was through the use of counterpoints. Having a counterpoint in your music is when multiple melodies come together forming the piece. Counterpoints were important at the time since composers did not think about harmony and a result of a counterpoint was a harmony. They would not think about the harmony at all is it just appeared as a result of the counterpoint. Bach mastered the counterpoint and had many works containing them. Michael Hammer from Piano Noise wrote about Bach’s mastery with the counterpoint and said, “It is, then, a bit ironic, that the universally acknowledged master of counterpoint lived during the Baroque period. His name, of course, was J. S. Bach” (Hammer). This quote from Mister Hammer shows that in classical music and composition Bach is considered the master of the counterpoint. A prime example of his counterpoint is Air on the G String. Bach wrote this piece for a chamber orchestra and there are multiple melodies flowing within the piece. The first violin, second violin, and the contrabass, all get the melody. Not all of them are heard equally, but they are still prominent in the piece. Bach mastered the use of these counterpoints allowing his music to move freely with more complexity. These counterpoints influenced other composers of his time and composers of later centuries. According…show more content…
One of the groups under the counterpoint is the fugue. A fugue is a musical form and when it is made is consists of multiple melodies. The melodies are each played at a different starting point, but at some point come together forming a mix of songs. The melodies would be close in rhythm and there would be the main melody the other melodies followed. According to an article about the fugue in Piano Noise, the fugue is the hardest type of piece to write (Hammer). It is difficult to make the fugue sound musically acceptable because of all the similar melodies playing at the same time. Bach mastered one of the hardest musical forms to compose. He wrote many fugues during his lifetime showing his mastery in each and every piece that incorporated the fugue. Listenlearnanddo’s also wrote on his blog, “Bach was particularly good at writing a special case of imitative counterpoint: the fugue” (Listenlearnanddo). This shows that Bach really was proficient at composing fugues. Bach had hundreds of pieces in the form of a fugue. Some of the most famous are Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Fugue in G minor, Well Tempered Clavier, and The Art of Fugue. What shows his mastery is the how musically all his fugues are. People who are familiar with classical music can tell how magnificent they are. In the world of classical music, Bach is considered the king of the fugue because of his mastery. Listenlearnanddo also wrote, “The Art of Fugue is basically
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