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23

Tuning forks, invented in 1711, standardised tuning. (A student of mine used to call them pitchforks...) Trouble was, there was no standardised pitch for the note,that came much later. So various forks ranged from 400 - 450Hz, depending where they were made/used. I guess musicians didn't travel too far for engagements, so discrepancies in 'concert pitch' ...


19

I assume it's french "si l'on veut" - "at one's pleasure" - "ad libitum". It means that the performer may decide freely playing the triples as written or to octavate them (as IMHO it isn't a slur but a 8va bracket).


17

The X's are sharp signs, which means this piece is in D. Note, an X can also mean a double sharp, but in this context (throughout the whole piece), it clearly refers to a sharp. The t.'s mean trill (this is confirmed by many recordings that I've listened to). The W's at the end of the line tell where the first note on the next line is. For example, the ...


17

I hope no one minds that I got curious, and did a bit of digging into this on my own. I discovered what appears to be an excellent resource answering this very question. The book is entitled Between Modes and Keys: German Theory, 1592-1802 by Joel Lester (1989). I do not have access to a copy of the book, but I've been able to see several relevant portions ...


16

The short answer is yes (and I have occasionally written such music myself). Musical styles never really die, they just fall out of general fashion. It should be noted that there are a couple categories of music that might be considered in an answer. First off, and perhaps least authentic, are what might be termed "fusion" styles -- mixtures of baroque (or ...


15

It's actually a suspension, which is to say that the actual chord is F Minor (F, A-flat, C, in first inversion) but the G and B-flat are held over from the previous chord before moving to F and A-flat. Dissonant suspensions resolving to consonant chords are very common in Baroque music. In jazz, 9th chords are treated as normal chords, so a G#maj9 might ...


14

Baroque music was all about expressiveness, and the rhythm was not necessarily meant to be held as strictly as the Renaissance tactus. Wheat Williams has mentioned historically informed performance, and as he says, these things are debated academically. But there is some good indication that Baroque composers did think of slowing down at the end of pieces. ...


13

Couple of ideas... Harmony: Baroque music was the period when harmonic progression (instead of just counter point) started to become a fundamental part of composition (See Functional Tonality). Dissonance is resolved to consonance throughout a phase. Minimalism tends to focus more on a stable harmony, but in both case the Harmony tends to be a very ...


12

Well, the thing to remember is that the harpsichord and organ have no touch sensitivity like piano, and the piano wasn't invented yet. So any kind of keyboard music was written to be played all at the same volume, and composers made the sound fuller or emptier by managing the voicing. If you play a Bach fugue on a piano, you can add dynamics but it won't ...


11

The point of counterpoint is to make voices have harmonic dependence while having rhythmic and contour independence. i.e. The voices are independent, but all function harmonically. There are parallel 5ths between the bass and the first violin, but the bass and the violin are very dependent on each other at this point so they move together as one unit instead ...


10

Wheat Williams covered the basics of historically-informed-performance quite well. I want to add that unmeasured preludes (not uncommon in Baroque music) indicate that Baroque composers did have a concept of give-and-take in regards to tempo. (You can look at examples of preludes here or here to see what the music looked like.) So, while the purists may ...


9

Yes, dynamic changes are predominantly achieved by choosing different stops. No, baroque music virtually never specifies which precise stops to pull. The most you can expect is something general such as "Sur les flûtes", or "organo pleno" - and even this doesn't mean what you might think (almost never "all existing stops", usually something more like "stops ...


9

Or you can always buy the book. Quantz did in fact write what many consider the definitive book on playing the baroque flute and since you are playing a piece written by him I don't see how you can go wrong following his advice. Google 'Quantz on playing the flute.' I quick note I do not have the quote handy but to paraphrase Quantz, "repeated passages ...


9

Compare the YouTube video to authentic phonorecords of the same recording, such as pressed CDs or on MP3 files purchased from Amazon. If the transposition appears on YouTube but not on the CD, you're looking at Content ID evasion. Though BWV 1050 and all other published musical works of J. S. Bach are old enough that no copyright subsists, the author of a ...


8

Some of the music was written quickly in a kind of shorthand. If you as a harpsichordist were expected to write a new piece for flute and harpsichord to be performed tonight, you would probably just write a lead sheet for the harpsichord part and wing it from that. The Baroque equivalent is "figured bass": just the bass notes with numbers indicating the ...


8

Age: Here's the download page. This pdf is the first one (#20529), and there it says it's from ~1733. Locatelli was still alive then so it could very well be the first print. With the red, green, and blue markings I agree with the others; we have sharps, trills, and continuation indicators (showing the first note of the next line) The purple markings also ...


8

My music history professor stated flat out that Handel's English text setting was just plain bad because of his poor understanding of the language, and this was his Exhibit A. There is also the Golf Song: "FORE! Unto us a child is born!" I think he could have done better: "All WE, like SHEEP, like SHEEP have gone astray" but that's just my opinion. ...


8

There have been several standards for concert pitch over the years. I would guess that the performers chose one that they thought appropriate for the piece. https://www.piano-tuners.org/history/pitch.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_pitch


8

Other responses have suggested this, but none seems to have made it explicitly clear. Based on the best historical evidence we have - historical organs, historical woodwind instruments, historical writings about performance and instrument making, and so on - musicologists generally believe that an A was around 415 Hz in the mid 18th century (though it ...


8

If you look at the scores for Corelli's concerti grossi, for example, you can see that the concertino (soloists) and the tutti (full orchestra) each have their own basso continuo parts. These continuo parts mostly coincide, but sometimes differ. The reason for this arrangement is not known for certain, but it could have something to do with fullness of sound ...


7

There might be a second question here, which regards the internal tuning of the cello strings, relative to itself. Cellos are typically tuned in fifths (C-G-D-A) of course, but there are pieces that require a different tuning (a technique called scordatura). In this case, wikipedia mentions that Bach's 5th Cello Suite was written for a scordatura in which ...


7

I want to correct some misinformation contained in the top voted answer. The claim that this is a result of Handel poorly understanding English is pure nonsense; with regard to the (valid) complaint about the placement of stress in "For unto us a child is born," the music was almost directly lifted from an earlier duet of Handel: "Nò, di voi non vo' fidarmi."...


7

If you take a look at music like the two-part inventions and three-part symphonies by Bach, they make a lot of musical sense, and while they are intended as practice pieces, the prevalent problem (and increase of diffuculty when going from inventions to symphonies) is not one of hitting particular combinations of notes at the same time but rather of ...


7

This is a custos (from latin, plural custodes), see lilypond documentation. No match in English Wikipedia, however. The German Wikipedia has it and adds the following translations (as its usage mostly dating from the 18th century): Guidon (French) Direct (English) Mostra (Italian) and Kustos, Weiser (German). A German Encyclopedia of Church Composition (...


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