Baroque Music


Baroque era is considered as  the golden age for classical music and for musicians. It was the time when western classical discipline flourished and  achieved dignified reputation within the society.

‘Baroque’ word represents the style of an art, architecture or music developed in Europe during the early seventeenth to mid-18th century. In other words, an era between 1600-1750 AD incorporates baroque era. It emphasizes on dramatic, often strained effect and typified by bold, curving forms, elaborated ornamentation and small balance of desperate parts.

 Baroque period in music exhibited the developments such as construction of fundamentals were firmly organized and put in place. Music became more systematic by conceptualizing the melody and harmony through the creation of music theory. For instance, composers like Claudio Monteverdi and Jean Philippe Rameau helped creating the harmonic logic, melodic expressiveness, and rhythmic vitality. More and more researches initiated by the then composers resulted in the refinement of polyphonic music and invented of newer, in fact more convenient methodology of singing. For example, an element of polyphonic music was introduced called ‘imitation‘. A method of having an independent line in a piece of music imitate, a few moments later, the melody of a previous line.

Baroque composers refined the possibilities in this imitative style of polyphony which later came to be known as ‘counterpoint’.

Then arrived fugue, which was the most elevated form of counterpoint. Fugue is the kind of complex musical argument worked out and brought to a clear resolution by multiple voices. Similarly, many musical form showed up which proved highly adaptable and engaging for instrumental music that was somehow meant for listening.  1700 AD can be considered as the golden age of western classical/baroque music when Handel’s water music demonstrated the versatility and expressive thoughts.

Baroque era also witnessed the rise of virtuoso performers who displayed their sterling technique and flair for embellishment (improvised ornamentation of melodic lines was a common occurrence). Several musical forms especially for the performing purpose such as concertos, sonatas, oratorios were developed for solo-instruments and singers. Handel was the preeminent oratorio composer of that period.

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