Baroque Orchestral Music

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  • Baroque 1600-1750
    • Features
      • long flowing melodic lines often using   ornamentation (decorative notes such as trills and  turns)
      • contrast  between loud and soft, solo and ensemble
      • a contrapuntal texture where two or more melodic lines are combined
      • terraced dynamics - sudden changes in the volume level, sometimes creating an echo effect
      • he use of harpsichord continuo.
    • Instruments
      • strings - violins, violas, cellos and double basses
      • woodwind - recorders or wooden flutes, oboes, and bassoon
      • brass - sometimes trumpets and/or horns (without valves)
      • timpani (kettledrums)
      • continuo
    • Forms
      • The concerto grosso:
        • is written for a group of solo instruments (the concertio) plus a larger ensemble (the ripieno)
        • Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos are well-known examples of the Baroque concerto grosso.
      • Solo concerto:
        • is written for one solo instrument plus orchestra
        • often has brilliant and technically demanding passages for the soloist to play
        • Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a well-known example of the Baroque solo violin concerto
      • Orchestral suites
        • courante - three in a bar, moderate speed
        • gavotte - 2/2 or 4/4 time, often with each phrase beginning halfway through the bar
        • minuet - 3/4 time, moderate speed
        • gigue - lively and in compound time (6/8, 9/8 or 12/8)
    • Notable Composers
      • Johann Sebastian Bach.
        • Air on a G String
        • Double Violin Concerto
        • Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
      • George Frideric Handel
        • Water Music
        • The Messiah
        • Music for the Royal Fireworks
      • Antonio Vivaldi
        • Gloria
        • Con Alla Rustica in G
        • The Four Seasons


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