As humans, we constantly wonder why. Why did this happen? Where did this come from? Music plays a central role in our society and our culture and so we must ask ourselves: where did it come from? The Baroque period has had a tremendous impact on modern day music. The Baroque period gave birth to dozens of musical inventions and innovations including an increased reliance on discordance and the institution of 7th chords and inversions. For these reasons and many more, we can agree that the Baroque period has been a strong influence on modern day music and even our lives. Clearly, the Baroque period is not alive back then but living right now.
Before beginning to delve into the innovations of the Baroque period, it is important to first gain a better understanding of the period as a whole. Some of the most influential composers of the time include: 1. Johann Sebastian Bach 2. George Frederic Handel 3. Antonio Vivaldi 4. George Philipp Telemann 5. Arcangelo Corelli 6. Henry Purcell 7. Domenico Scarlatti 8. Jean-Philippe Rameau 9. Johann Pachelbel 10. Giovanni Battista Sammartini (Green, 2014).
The Baroque Period can be broken up into three main sections: Early, Middle and Late. In the Early Baroque Period, rhythm was free and harmonies began to emerge. However, the harmony was experimental and pre-tonal – it was not governed by a specific key. The Middle Baroque Era brought with it a variety of characteristics including the creation of the bel-cantato style and solidification of major and minor keys. Chord progressions were now governed by major and minor keys, though the chord progressions were still rudimentary. During the final stage of the Baroque Era, tonality and instrumental compositions reached their peak. In this final stage...
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...yle originate from? the answer is clear. The Baroque period is not a question of back then, it is a story of right now.
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Bukofzer, M. F. (1947). Music in the Baroque Era: From Monteverdi to Bach. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.
CMS. (2002, December 12). MUSI 4350/4360: Music of the Baroque Era. Retrieved from AUG: http://www.aug.edu/~cshotwel/4350.Baroquetraits.html
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Gleason, H., & Becker, W. (1980). Music in the Baroque. Indiana: Frangipani Press.
Green, A. (2014). Top 10 Baroque Period Composers. Retrieved from About.com: http://classicalmusic.about.com/od/baroqueperiod/tp/baroquecomposer.htm
Metzinger, J. (2014). Baroque Sacred Music. Retrieved from Liturgica