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As a hobbyist composer who composes in "almost" traditional music styles (baroque-like, classical-like etc.), I am at a stage where I would like to compose authentic music in a specific style.

I have studied harmony and voice leading from both Aldwell & Schachter's and Walter Piston's books, and counterpoint from Fux's book (at least some revised version of it) and am at a level that allows me to understand the language spoken in these books. The books, justifiably, don't teach how to write "like" a composer.

I would like to know how to write in the style of mid to late Italian baroque composers, anywhere from Corelli, through Vivaldi, to Pergolesi. I am aware that in theory I should be able to take 30 concertos of aforementioned composers and slice them with a musical scalpel left to right and top to bottom, and learn from what I find. In practice, however, this is not the way to go for many reasons.

I am looking for a serious textbook, or other source, that teaches/explains/helps how to write in this style (I'm sure there is no book exactly on this topic). I have started to do my own research into this and into compositional techniques such as durezze e ligature, but one needs a real guide for it to be done correctly. Can anyone suggest such textbook?

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I misread your title as "I want to set texts to baroque music, which poems would be a good choice?" It might be better to say you seek literature about this variety of baroque style. –  Kilian Foth Jul 22 at 9:38
    
@KilianFoth Alright, if it causes such confusion. –  user1803551 Jul 22 at 9:51
    
I don't think that a text will get you farther than listening and score study will, frankly, but you might be able to find some dissertations on a stylistic analysis of these specific composers. Searching academic databases would be my recommendation if reading and listening to the composer's pieces that you'd like to emulate doesn't work for you. –  MunchyWilly Jul 23 at 7:52
    
@MunchyWilly Dissertations are a good idea. Do you know of good places to start looking? –  user1803551 Jul 24 at 4:29
    
@user1803551 RILM Abstracts of Music Literature will be your go-to database. You can use EBSCOHost to access it if you have access to a library that subscribes, or The American Musicological Society also hosts an index (ams-net.org/ddm). For journal articles, use JSTOR's database (again, a subscription is required). –  MunchyWilly Jul 24 at 7:47

2 Answers 2

Have I got a treat for you. Learn this stuff the way the actual composers did @

http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/partimenti/index.htm

The other references given in this thread, while excellent, are counterpoint manuals, and unless you really want to write fugues and inventions, go for this "hands on" historically accurate teaching method. Plus it's free and online.

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Huh, this project is pretty exciting. Great fined! –  user1803551 Sep 11 at 2:55

Try using "Tonal counterpoint in the style of 18th Century - Ernst Krenek (1953)" along with your surgical explorations of the Italian masters and write variations on their themes

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Is it this one? –  user1803551 Jul 23 at 12:20
1  
I also found now "Counterpoint, based on eighteenth century practice / Kent Kennan". –  user1803551 Jul 23 at 13:11

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