Questions tagged [baroque-period]

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

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41
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5answers
8k 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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4answers
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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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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 ...
16
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2answers
675 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

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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228 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 ...
15
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3answers
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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 ...
15
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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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1answer
883 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
575 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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In “All we like sheep have gone astray,” are we laughing with Handel or at him?

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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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, ...
12
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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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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 ...
11
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
9
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1answer
575 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
178 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 ...
8
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3answers
821 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 ...
8
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1answer
209 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 ...
8
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3answers
220 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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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5answers
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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 ...
7
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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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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 ...
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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
90 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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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1answer
447 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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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 ...
6
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4answers
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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 ...
6
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2answers
655 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 ...
6
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2answers
683 views

What musical instruments JS Bach owned and had purchased during his career? [closed]

What musical instruments JS Bach owned and had purchased during his career? Is there any historical information on Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Scarlatti, Corelli, Tartini?
6
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2answers
142 views

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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
446 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
172 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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2answers
321 views

Functional analysis of chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' BWV 244/46

I did some analysis of the chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' (from Matthew Passion BWV 244 no.46), see below. But how would I analyse the first chord in measure 2? Obviously, it's an E ...
6
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1answer
67 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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3answers
478 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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3answers
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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 ...
5
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2answers
897 views

Deciding how to articulate Baroque semiquavers

I'm playing a movement (from a Quantz flute concerto) in 2/4 time. There are reasonably lengthy passages of semiquavers with no slurs marked. I appreciate I want to vary my articulation to make it ...
5
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3answers
193 views

Which source for Scarlatti K208? Can I mix and match versions?

I'm working on Scarlatti's K208. The Dover edition includes variants from the Codice Veneziano (C.V.), Codice Santini (C.S.) and from the London original edition (E.O.). The first picture shows a ...
5
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2answers
446 views

Should you play baroque pieces a semitone lower?

I haven't really been able to find an answer to this question. I've only noticed that most instruments during the baroque period were tuned a semitone lower (A=415 Hz I believe). So shouldn't it make ...
5
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2answers
600 views

What does the plus (+) ornament mean?

I am learning a baroque piece on the recorder. Some notes have an unusual ornamentation symbol. How is a note with a plus sign over it played? It was suggested to play it as a mordent. Is that correct?...
5
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2answers
327 views

Suggested text material about Italian baroque composition

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 ...
5
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3answers
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Why did composers of the Baroque sometimes write two of the same dance in a suite?

In Jacquet de la Guerre's Suite No. 3 in A Minor, there are two Courantes. Later on, in Bach's English Suite no. 1, there are two Courantes, two Doubles, and two Bourées. In fact, all of Bach'...
5
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1answer
231 views

Playing Haydn on the modern piano, reading list?

A typical modern score for Haydn has a boatload of editorial suggestions for dynamics, staccato, tenuto, etc. I'm sure these editors know more than I do (that's not hard), but I'd like to know more ...
5
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3answers
784 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 ...