The Blog

THE BAROQUE ERA (CA 1600- 1750)


• “concerto” comes from the Latin concertare means to collaborate or to debate; in Italian concertare means to agree or get together
• The original use of the word concerto in music was in reference to mixed vocal and instrumental ensembles (to differentiate from a capella singing)
• Developed in 17th in Italy
• Originally a work for instruments and/ or voices based on the principal of contrast

• Multi-movement work for soloist /soloists and orchestra
• Generally in 3 movements fast slow fast
• Outer movements usually used ritornellos form
• There were 2 types of concertos in the Baroques period – solo concerto (with a single soloist) and concerto grosso (group of soloists)


• In the Renaissance era dances were often paired to emphasize contrast as in the Pavane and Galliard combination
• In the Baroque era the grouping of contrasting dances pieces was taken a step further with the establishment of the formal dance suite
• The practice of grouping dances together began in the 17th in France where the term Ordre was used in reference to collections of dances in the same key
• In Germany a standard order for the dances was established by Johann Jacob Froberger in the 17th.

• Dances are generally in binary form
• Contrasting dances in the same key are grouped together in suites.


• A cosmopolitan figure, he absorbed the international styles of his time: German, French and Italian
• Use of very basic elements (chordal passages, scale figures) makes his style accessible and appealing
• Frequent alternation of homorhythmic passages (homophonic) with contrapuntal textures (polyphonic)
• Conveys a sense of pageantry and dramatic theatrical style through grandiose gestures such as full SATB choral sound, bold contrasts of dynamics.
• An important contributor to the development of Italian opera seria composed over 40 works in this genre
• His da capo arias were a showcase for vocal virtuosity
• Created the English oratorio emphasizing the role of the chorus
• Used both recitative secco and recitative accompagnato in operas and oratorios
• Used vivid word painting
• Virtuosic, idiomatic keyboard style, inverted the organ concerto
• Contributed to the development of orchestral and keyboard suites

• Operas: Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, Serse, Orlando
• Oratorios : messiah, Judas Maccabeus, Israel in Egypt
• Sacred vocal work: Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day, Te Deum
• Keyboard works for organ and harpsichord
• Orchestral works: suites-Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks; concerti grossi, organ concertos.

April 16, 2014 0 Comments