Questions tagged [baroque-period]

A time period in Western art music spanning between 1600-1760 CE, approximately.

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5answers
10k views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E (...
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Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D: Why do some recordings seem to be in C sharp?

There are at least two recordings on Youtube of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major which seem to be played a half-step lower, in the key of C sharp. I assume this is a artifact of the ...
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Did baroque composers think of ritardando on their compositions?

I've been always told that whenever I play any baroque piece on the piano, I should take special care when attending to, for example, the amount of right pedal I should use. It sounded perfectly ...
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Who was listening to Bach's compositions in his lifetime?

Who ever encountered his work? Was his music played somewhere else in Europe, or only where he lived? What strata of society had any chance of coming into contact with his music? What might be the ...
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3answers
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J. S. Bach's place in musical history

Was there any reason Bach didn't follow the trends of the times? He was surely very much in touch with contemporary composers, and knew of Handel's and Scarlatti's works specifically. Amazingly, he ...
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What are all these symbols in some old sheet music?

Looking at this sheet music of Pietro Antonio Locatelli's "L'arte del violino" Op. 3 we see that the sheet music is pretty old. I have no idea if this is perhaps the original one or not but it does ...
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In “All we like sheep have gone astray,” are we laughing with Handel or at him? [closed]

Nobody can ever sing — or practically even talk about — "All we like sheep have gone astray" from the Messiah without noticing that the words "We like sheep" are prominently accented, in a way that ...
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2answers
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What are the shared fundamental components of Baroque and Minimalist music that make them sound similar?

Baroque and minimalist music are two of my favorite genres. In particular, I like the repetitive note sequences with variations. J.-S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and Phillip Glass's Naqoyqatsi are ...
16
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281 views

What is the historically informed way of playing the 1/16 notes in Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 overture?

Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 starts with a slow overture with 1/16 notes at the middle and end of each measure: Some performances play it "as written" [Koopman], but some play the 1/16 notes ...
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3answers
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Baroque music composed in the 21st century

Which characteristically Baroque elements of music composition still have currency in the 21st century? Are there any 21st-century composers or songwriters who still compose primarily or largely in ...
15
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2answers
766 views

Did baroque composers expect you to “bring out” the voices in their pieces, the way today's critics seem to enjoy in players?

So, I recently had a, sadly, way too short conversation with a pianist on the train. According to the guy, in the 17th and 18th century polyphonic keyboard works were not played in such a way that ...
15
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1answer
901 views

What does “silonveut” mean?

I am typesetting a Cambini Quartet. In the score for the cello part I see the following phrase: What does it mean? It appears to say "silonveut". This is the context (I don't think the piece is ...
15
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3answers
845 views

Is the Baroque Schleifer, slide, or glissando symbol evolved from the Gregorian chant quilisma?

I posted this question on Wikipedia a year ago, with no answers. These two musical signs look eerily similar. The Baroque Schleifer or slide (see Wikipedia page): The quilisma in Gregorian chant (...
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4answers
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When editing/transcribing music of the Baroque period is it considered good practice to modernize key signatures and clefs?

As a hobby (and for my personal edification), it seems like a fun challenge to transcribe a few Baroque music manuscripts into a more readable form, and maybe post the results to imslp.org or ...
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Parallel Fifths in Pachelbel's Canon in D?

The other day, I was watching a scrolling score of Pachelbel's (in)famous Canon in D on Youtube, when I noticed something interesting. In the excerpt below, shouldn't the the circled notes in the 1st ...
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Training and Influences of J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach is undoubtedly among the most celebrated of Baroque composers, and to many the great composer in all history. The era of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in which he lived, ...
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A♭ major 9th chord in Bach is unexpectedly dissonant/jazzy

Measures 21-24 in Prelude VII from Bach's Well Tempered Clavier I I was looking at the Prelude VII by Bach and noticed that on the measure 23 Bach ended that phrase with a A♭ maj9 chord. I was ...
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Function of augmented-fifth in figured bass

What is the harmonic function of the 5+ in the figured bass in the following snippet? If I have interpreted the figuring correctly, a F♯ figured 5+ should realise the triad F♯ A C𝄪. I am confused ...
10
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1answer
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Are instructions on organ stop settings included in the notation of Baroque organ music?

I am currently listening to a collection of Bach's complete organ works for the organ. I love Baroque music and Bach in particular, but I am not very familiar with the organ from the performer's ...
10
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2answers
9k views

Why was basso continuo not widely used after the baroque period?

I'm studying a string quartet by Haydn. This (obviously) doesn't have a basso continuo. Why were basso continuos no longer used in the classical period? Was it something to do with the development of ...
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1answer
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What is this particular type of chord progression, common in classical music, called?

I don't know anything about music theory but I am a fanatic when it comes to listening to classical music. For a while I have been curious about a type of chord progression which is very common in ...
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1answer
214 views

Baroque notation question

Here's a snippet from a 1624 facsimile of Juan Arañés' "Libro Segundo de Tonos y Villancicos". This is a rather syncopated, lively song, with a time signature of C3. Note values seem to be ...
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3answers
362 views

Why did baroque music use percussion abundantly, but classical stopped?

Classical music evolved from baroque music, which in turn evolved from Renaissance music. Both baroque and even more so Renaissance make extensive use of percussion. It is certainly not new to ...
8
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1answer
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Musical “ellipsis mark” (name & usage of this symbol)

I've been seeing this mark for years, usually in historical (e.g. Baroque) manuscripts, and it's meaning is clear to me. It's a sort of W-shaped squiggle with a tail that (usually) comes at the end of ...
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872 views

Baroque Performance Tips

What are some recommendations for performing Baroque music? My studio professor seems to think that I can improvise in the Baroque style as easily as breathing -- which is sadly not true. The ...
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1answer
349 views

Why does the conductor also play harpsichord when there is already a harpsichordist in the orchestra?

When listening to Baroque chamber music, it is not uncommon to see the harpsichordist or the soloist being also the conductor. However, there were two harpsichords in this concert, one dual manual ...
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239 views

In which music should I add my own embellishments?

I know that music from the baroque era was composed with the assumption that performers would add their own embellishments (when viable, not for canons or fugues). I've also heard that Mozart didn't ...
8
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1answer
612 views

Is this entire movement by Bach really only a single measure with just two chords?

I'm spending a lot more time with early music, and as I was studying the score to J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto, I encountered something unexpected: an entire Adagio movement that's only one ...
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Why are the Goldberg Variations considered a demanding work?

In print, the Goldbergs (Goldberg Variations) have a quasi-legendary status, a hallmark of technical difficulty. I was perusing the score and it doesn't look terribly intricate for what's possibly a ...
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Clarinetist learning baroque recorder

I've seen other questions, such as "Resources for learning to play the recorder" and have done a decent amount of Google searches. Basically, I used to play clarinet rather well, but had to quit due ...
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5answers
347 views

Were the Goldbergs meant to be played in one go?

See, in this very interesting interview (http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/03/16/148769794/why-i-hate-the-goldberg-variations) Jeremy Denk has the following to say: The piece is eighty ...
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2answers
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Did Bach use the Partimento technique?

I was researching techniques used in classical improvisation. And I keep coming across two terms. One is "Partimento". Which is an Italian method of improvising on a bass line. Another is "The Rule of ...
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2answers
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Bach: How is this mordent to be realized? Why do people play it like a trill?

So, the old Invention No. 1 by JSB: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/7/72/IMSLP63611-PMLP03267-Bach_Oeves_Complets_Peters_Liv_7_BWV_772-786_2748.pdf The B on the 4th beat of the 1st bar ...
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1answer
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How much baroque music was derived from improvisation?

I've heard that much music we think of as "baroque" was actually improvised, and only later set in stone. Is this true? I'm currently playing baroque-style continuo/bass lines in a duo that riffs ...
7
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3answers
124 views

Placing the downbeats in this five-bar passage in Bach's Italian Concerto

I am asking about bars 13-19 in the first movement of J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto (BWV 971; sheet music). My ear always hears bar 13 plus the first crotchet of 14 as one extended bar of 3/4 and then ...
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3answers
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What led to the historical predominance of the four-part harmony in Western Music?

Introductory music theory heavily empasizes analysis and writing of music with four-part harmony, putatively the basis for music at the beginning of the common practice. Why did four-part voice ...
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3answers
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The Basso Continuo and the Jazz Rhythm Section

I've seen many musicologists compare the Basso Continuo of the Baroque Era to the Jazz Rhythm Section, an analogy which I think is valid and understandable. Here's one reference (of many) that I ...
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211 views

How did Baroque music come to be associated with Christmas?

I was introducing Baroque music to a friend, and trying to make it less intimidating, I jokingly said, "You've heard this before, Christmas shopping at Macy's." My friend laughed, but I started to ...
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What clef is this? (Baroque, Vivaldi)

What is this clef in Vivaldi RV281? This is the only source of the concerto is available ( at least without buying it, which is the manuscript). The piece did have a few weird clefs like an octave ...
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2answers
363 views

Is there a functional interpretation for VIIb in La Follia?

La Follia chord peogression is usually written as: i - V7 - i - VII - III - VII - i - V7 (first eight bars) i -V7 - VII - III - VII - i,V7 - i (second eight bars) I can understand how this progression ...
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5answers
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iii9 - I progression in Bach?

In the last of his 15 Sinfonias (aka Three-Part Inventions), Bach uses quite a daring approach to the tonic chord. Occurring in a sequential progression by downward thirds, it can be described most ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between a ciaccona (chaconne) and a passacaglia?

Wikipedia says that a ciaccona (chaconne) is a musical composition involving variations on a harmonic progression or melody (motif), similar to the passacaglia. Both originated from Spain in the ...
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2answers
861 views

What is this symbol?

This symbol from Les Baricades Mistérieuses, Couperin, 1717. From recordings I can only guess a mordent. I've checked various music dictionaries and done several reverse image searches, all without a ...
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1answer
493 views

What instrument is this and why is it held so strangely and played?

Looking at this orchestral performance of sinfonia from Bach's 29th Cantata (BWV 29), it is really curious to see the trombonists (?) holding the horn/trombone with one hand and the way they are ...
6
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1answer
638 views

What does an isolated horizontal dash mean in figured bass notation

Here you see a fragment from Francesco Geminiani's Guida Armonica (ca. 1752), a sort of 'dictionary' or catalogue of figured bass snippets. My question is, what do the isolated horizontal dashes mean ...
6
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3answers
944 views

What is the motif used in many chaconnes in the 17th century?

Wikipedia says that a chaconne is a musical composition involving variations on a harmonic progression or melody (motif), similar to the passacaglia. In essence, it is a musical form. The motif is ...
6
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1answer
82 views

Renaissance or Baroque pieces with no instrumentation

I found out today that Michael Praetorius's Terpsichore is written with no indication about what instruments to use. I knew that the Art of the Fugue doesn't have instrumentation either, but I'd ...
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769 views

What is this old time signature (2 with a vertical line through it)?

On the fourth line of page 5 of the score of Fasch's Ouverture-Suite in F major, one reads a time signature that is the number 2 with a vertical line through it: What does it mean? I know some '...
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1answer
207 views

In the partimento tradition, what strategies were used to harmonize non-bass melodies?

In my readings on partimento theory (mainly the books by Sanguinetti and IJzerman) I have so far only encountered rules for harmonizing a bass melody. This is to be expected of course, because ...
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What is the name of this notation in this example by Couperin?

Consider following excerpt from the beginning of the 2nd leçon of Couperin's Leçon des ténèbres pour le mercredi saint: As you see, it uses a rather strange notation where, for instance, a bar of 3/2 ...