The baroque period can be delved into three parts: early (1600-1640), middle (1640-1680), and late (1680-1750). Although today most people recognize the latest part as the baroque music, the earliest part was one of the most revolutionary phases in music history. The early baroque composers rejected the polyphony texture of the late Renaissance music and favored homophobic texture. They also focused on harmony rather than the complexity of melodic lines. The growth of figured bass and counterpoint represents the placement of harmony.
However, by the late baroque period, polyphonic texture returned to favor. Famous Baroque composers: – Johann Sebastian Bach Popular work: Air on a G String – George Frederic Handel Popular work: The Messiah – Antonio Vivaldi Popular work: The Four Seasons It is difficult to define Jazz music, as there are many different styles and movements. A brief definition of Jazz would be: American music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic
Idiom ranging from simple dilatation’s through chromatics to atonality. 1 But this does not tell everything about Jazz. Jazz developed from Ragtime around 1 900 and about 20 different styles were born since then. 2 Examples are swing, bebop, boost nova, free jazz and soul Jazz. Famous Jazz musicians: – Luis Armstrong – Chuck Imagine – Charles Minus ; John Chlorate – Mary Lou Williams – Miles Davis – Nat King Cole The main characteristic of this piece is unity of melody. This piece begins with Joyful melody, which contains arpeggio and arch shape melody. Pl] Its mood of joyfulness remains throughout the piece. Base chords are mostly based on chords l, IV and V. At bar 9, a melody changes a little but the mood doesn’t change. The rhythmic patterns of the beginning of this piece are repeated throughout. There are frequent uses of imitation in the melody. For example, from bar 9 after the perfect cadence, Imitation begins as descending 4th. [Pl] sequences contained. Melodic phrases are repeated one tone higher pitches. Another main characteristic of this piece is polyphonic texture, as more than 3 independent melodic lines are sounded together consistently.
From bar 14, there is imitation again. The harmony is based on a circle of fifths. Each motive figure is decorated with triplet. In the melody line, the first figure starts with F, the next one starts with B and the next one starts with E and so on. Similarly, the chords of bass line go through cycle of fifth. Therefore, both melody line (flute and violin) and base line (cymbals) are in circle of fifth. This makes the melodic like sound beautiful and natural. This movement is in Retooling form: one short section keeping returning, often creating “tutu-solo-tutu-solo” pattern.
This movement opens with the retooling, which consists of 1/16th notes. After the retooling, there is short solo section, where the flute and violin imitate each other. This piece is performed in 12-bar structure in 4/4 time. This piece begins with piano solo in E major. [pick] In the beginning of this piece, we can see the chords progression: I – I I – V – V – l. This chords progression is repeated throughout this piece with a constant rhythmic pulse. Call and response is frequently used in this piece. We can see the example of call and response between voice and other instruments at 0:46.
There is also call and response between main vocal and female chorus in 2:29. Swing rhythm is also remarkable in this piece. After 12 bars of short piano solo, drum joins and plays swing rhythm. There are also frequent uses of syncopation in the rhythm. For example, in the first part where the vocal Joins, after he sings one phrase “Hey, ma-ma don’t treat me wrong”, there is “space” in melody between the first phrase and the second phrase syncopation. The beginning of this piece is mainly homophobic in texture as there is always one independent melody.
When vocal sings the main melody, other instruments such as drum and piano play the bass lines. However, as the song gets close to the end, its texture becomes more like polyphonic. Melody six times, there is call and response between trumpets and vocal. The vocal asks, “Tell me what’d I say’ and trumpets answer. The same idea is repeated several times with different lyrics. After the part, there is call and response between the main vocal and chorus again. Melody in baroque music creates a feeling of continuity. The opening melody will be repeated throughout a baroque piece.
Although the melody is often repeated in an altered form using variation technique, its idea remains in a piece. Also, baroque melodies often sound elaborate and ornamental in baroque pieces. Baroque music also tends to have one basic mood. If a piece begins with Joyful mood, it will remain throughout the piece. The baroque composers often created mood by using a descriptive musical language. They favored word painting, which music enhances the meaning and emotion of the text. For example, they used dark and slow music in lyrics about death.
This made music more expressive and powerful. The rhythm in baroque music is often constant. The rhythmic patterns in the opening of baroque pieces are repeated throughout. This contributes to creating a unity of mood. For example, as we can see from Concerto V by Bach, there are 1/16th notes constantly throughout. Texture in baroque music is mostly polyphonic: two or more voices or melodic lines playing independently to express complexity. Baroque composers tried to expand the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance. Imitation is very common in baroque music. All you have do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself” This is a famous quote by Bach. Baroque musicians try to play what is written on the music score. There is mainly three common baroque forms; three-part from (A B A), two-part form (A B A), and continuous or undivided form. A lot of concerto movements including concerto V by Bach are in Retooling form. The word, “Retooling”, means “return” in Italian. After Tutu section, solo section begins and Tutu section come back again after The Same rhythmic patterns are repeated in Jazz, yet often syncopated; unexpected accents.
The rhythm patterns heard in the begging of Jazz pieces will be repeated throughout. Swing rhythm is also main characteristic of Jazz. Jazz originally developed from estimate music, whose main characteristic is “ragged” or syncopated rhythm. Improvisation is an important aspect of Jazz music. Jazz musicians improvise in melody, rhythm and bass lines. A Jazz musician plays what he wants to play. Therefore, they have a great deal of freedom when performing and the audience also can feel it. Melody in Jazz is often improvised and more complex than other music.
There are frequent uses of blue notes. Here is an example of a blues scale: This is one of the aspects that make Jazz very distinguishable from other music. Although style, period and musical culture are widely different, there are some molarities between Baroque music and Jazz. The first similarity between the two is continuity of rhythm. In both pieces, the same rhythmic pattern is repeated from the beginning to the end. Another obvious similarity is the frequent use of call and response. In both pieces, call and response is used many times.
In concerto v, for example, there is call and response between flute and violin from 1:15. There are call and response between vocal and other instruments, and between the main vocal and female chorus in What’d I say. For example, we can see call and response between the main vocal and there instruments from 0:46 and between the main vocal and female chorus from 2:20. Both baroque music and Jazz use improvisation, although the style is different. In Baroque music, the composers write numbers above the bass part (figured bass) so that the keyboard player can improvise chords.
This gives the performers a feeling of freedom while playing. In Jazz, improvisation is more important than in baroque music and is more abound. Not only the bass line, but also melody and rhythm can be improvised. Many baroque and Jazz composers repeat the same melodic or rhythmic idea in one piece. In Bach’s concerto v, for example, there are 1/16th notes constantly throughout and the same melodic ideas are repeated. This is same for Jazz music. For example, in a Jazz piece “What’d I say’, there are frequent uses of swing rhythm and the same Unity of mood describes both baroque music and Jazz.
If a piece of music opens with dark and slow melody its darkness remains throughout the piece. The unity of mood is created by continuous rhythm and melody. The chords of a lot of baroque and Jazz songs are mostly based on l, IV and V. For example, the chords structure of the first 8 bars in Bach’s concerto v is I – I V- I – l. The twelve notes progression, which many Jazz musicians use, is I – I-I IV IV- I – I – V- V- I and is very similar to the one used in concerto. Difference in time and culture also makes difference in music.
We can find several differences between baroque music and Jazz. First, we can see that their styles are very distinguishable. Jazz musicians have more feeling of freedom while performing as they can improvise in many ways while baroque musicians can only improvise in bass lines and they mostly play what is written on the score sheet. There is also difference in musical form and structure. The baroque composers tend to follow the certain forms such as retooling form while Jazz composers favor minimum forms that allow maximum flexibility.
In addition, the main concept or purpose of Baroque music and Jazz are different. Jazz’s primary purpose was to entertain the people in bars, while baroque composers primarily worked to provide music for dance and church services. Early baroque composers rejected the complex polyphony of the late Renaissance and favored homophobic texture that maximizes harmony. But Jazz composers favored the complexity of melody. Melody in Jazz is often complicated and usually official to sing or play while melody in early baroque music is less complicated and easy to remember.
In addition, the uses of instruments in the two periods are different. Despite that baroque music is mostly based on string groups, Jazz music is based upon brass and woodwind instruments. Although style, time, and history are different, there are some similarities between baroque music and Jazz. There are similarities in rhythm, melody, and texture. Music from the two different periods sound different, however, when we look at the two closely we see that they share musical technical similarities.