Term given to the period between 1600 and 1750. Literally means abnormal, bizarre, exaggerated or in bad taste. The term was used first by mid eighteenth century  critics who preferred a newer simpler style. The older music was deemed by one critic to be dissonant and unmelodious with capricious and extravagant changes of key and meter. By the nineteenth century art critics began to appreciate the ornate dramatic and expressive tendencies of the 17th century painting and architecture and the term took on a more positive meaning.
Most composers of the Baroque period sought musical means to express or arouse the emotions such as sadness, joy anger, love, fear excitement or wonder. These were thought of as relatively stable states of the soul , each caused by a certain combination of spirits or humors in the body. It was thoguht that experiencing a range of emotions through music could bring the humors into better balance, promoting physical and psychological health so that both vocal and instrumental works typically offered a succession of contrasting moods. Composers refrained from expressing their personal feelings, rather in instrumental music they sought to portray the fellings in a generic sense, using specific conventional techniaues and in vocal music they sought to convey the emotions of the text character or dramatic situation.
basso continuo
Also termed thoroughbass. In this system the composer wrote out the melody or melodies and the bass line but left it to the performers to fill in the appropriate chords or inner parts. the bass and chords were played on one or more continuo instruments, typically harpsichord, organ, lute or theorbo (a large lute with extra bass strings). By the later seventeenth century the bass line was frequently reinforced bya melody instrument such as a viola da gamba, cello or bassoon. Whe the chords to be played were other than common triads in root position, or if nonchord tones such as suspensions or accidentals were needed the composer usually add figures – numbers or flat or sharp signs above or below the bass notes to indicate the precise notes required. Such a technique is called figured bass.
The actual playing of a basso continuo part. The actual interpretation.
concertato medium
The result in the seventeenth century of combined voices with instruments that played different parts. In a musical concerto, contrasting forces are brought together in a harmonious ensemble. Today we think of concerto as pieces for soloist and orchestra but the meaning was broader in the seventeenth century embracing such geres as concerted madrigal and sacred concerto.
concerted madrigal
A concertato medium. For one or more voices and continuo.
sacred concerto
A concertato medium. A sacred vocal work with instruments.
Mean-tone and equal temperaments
Just intonation was preferred by singers and violinists becuase it allowed the adjustments needed to keep harmoni intervals perfectly in tune. Keyboard players could not adjust pitch while performig so they gererally used mean tone temperament which allowed most diatonic triads to sound good but moved out of tune as the number of flats or sharps increased. Fretted instruments such as lutes and viols needed to use equal temperament to aoid out of tune octaves. The combination of these three tunings systems provoked some of Artusis most bitter complaints against modern music. As composers explored a wider range of chords and keys, more nearly equal temperaments gradually becam accepted.
pastoral drama
Renaissance antecedent to opera. A play in  verse with music and songs interspered. In a tradition derived from ancient Greek and Roman pastoral poems told of idyllic love in rural settings peopled by rustic youths and maidens, as well as mythological figures. Became increasingly popular at Italian courts and academics during the 16th century. Their subject, mythological character types and use of music and dance were all adopted by the eiarliest opera composers.
madrigals of late 16th and early 17th centuries
Became miniature drams,using contrasting groups of voices to suggest dialoque between charaters. Composers’ experience in expressing emotion and dramatizating text through music laid the foundation for opera.
madrigal comedy/cycle
Occassionally composers grouped madrigals in a series to represent a succession of scenes or a simple plot.
The most direct source for opera. A musical interlude on a pastoral, allegorica, or mythological subject performed between acts of a play. Genre arose from a preactical need for the lack of curtains that could close between acts and these marked the divisons and suggest the passage of time. Usually there were six that performed before, during and after a play. These were elaborate productions that combined dialogue with choral, solo and instrumental music, dances, costumes, scenery, and stage effects: in sum, almost all the ingredients of opera except a plot and the new style of dramatic singing.
The 1589 intermedi
The most spectacular intermedi perfomred for the comic play La pellegrina (The Pilgrim Woman) at a wedding in Florence. Several artists who were later involved in the earliest operas worked on these intermedi, including their producer, composer and choreographer Emilio de Cavalieri, poet Ottavio Rinuccini and singer-composer Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini. The unifyig theme, conceived by Florentine count Giovanni de Bardi was the power of acient Greek music, a consuming interest of his circle.
Girolamo Mei
Florentine scholar who edited several Greek dramas of late 16th Century. After reading in Greek almost every ancient work on music that servived he concluded that Greek music consisted of a single melody, sung by a soloist or chorus, with or without instruments. This melody could evoke powerfu emotional effects in the listener through natural expressiveness of vocal register, rising and falling pitch, and changing rhythms and tempo. (Thus contradicting Gabrieli’s practice of a homophonic declamatory style that emphasised the rhythm of the spoken word.) Communicated his ideas to colleagues in Florence who were members of the Florentine Camerata.
Florentine Camerata
Group of scholars hosted by Bardi. med in the early 1570’s to discuss literature, science and the arts and musicians performed new music. Galilei and Caccini and possibly Peri were part of this group. .

Term used by modern day historians to discribe all the styles of accompanied solo singing practiced in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.Various styles including recitative, aria and madrigal quickly made their way into all kinds of music, both secular and sacred. Made musical theater possible because it could convey in music everything from narration to dialogue to soliloquy with the immediacy and flexibility needed for truy dramatic expression.

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Le nuove musiche
Songs for solo vice and continuo int he 1590’s written and published by Caccini in 1602. Those with strophic texts he called arias, which at this time could mean any setting of strophic poetry. The others he  called madrigals, showing that he considered thses works to be the sme type of piece as polyphonic madrigals, through-composed settings of nonstrophic poems, sung for ones own entertainment or for an audience. Today we use the term solo madrigal to distinguish the new type from the madrigal for serveral voices.
Ottavio Rinccini
Participant in the 1589 intermedi. Poet and wrote the pastoral pem Dafne which was the setting for Peri’s opera by that name. considered to be the first opera.
Jacopo Peri
Possibly one of the participants in the Camerata. Wrote the first opera Daphe based on poem by Rinuccini. Set out to recreate the acient genre in modern form.
Emilio de’ Cavalieri
In charge of theater, art and music at he Florentine ducal court. In 1600 he produced in Rome his musical morality play Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo (Representation of the Soul and the Body), at that time the longest entirely musical stage work.
Recitative style
First developed and used by Peri. IN his works the basso continuo would hold thenotes while the voice moved feely through both consonances and dissonances. He liberated the voice fromt heharmony enough so that it simulated fee, pitchless declamation of poetry. When a syllable arrived that would be stressed in speaking he fomred a consonance with the bass which he called – intoned. Later there were two types secco and accompanied.
ritornello style (opera)
An instrumental refrain that separates the strophes of the aria. First used by Peri in the Prologue or L’Eurodice
Claudio Monteverdi
Madrigal composer of late 16th century and wrote the first large scale opera in 1607, L’Orfeo. Was in five acts each centered around a song by Orfea and ending with a vocal ensemble that comments on the situation. Later works include L’Arianna and L’incoronaqion di Poppea
stile concitato
Style devised by Monteverdi meaning excited style Characterized by rapid reiteration on a single note, whether on quickly spoken syllables or in a measured string tremolo. Other composers imitated this device, and it became a widely used convention.
recitativo arioso
Passages that lie somewhere between recitative and aria style.

Becuase women were not allowed to perform on stage, women parts were sung by men who were castated before puberty to preserve their high vocal range. In Italy, women were not allowed to sing in church and from the mid-sixteenth century these males sang the high parts in church music. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries, males also sang in operas outside Rome, but almost always in mal rather than female roles.

By the late seventeeth century, the leading male roles in operas were almost always written for castrati, whoes increasing lung capacity made them ideal soloists and whose powerfu, agile voices were much prized.

Francesco Cavalli
Pupil of Monteverdi and leading composer of Venitian opera and organist at St. Marks.
Antonio Cesti

Excelled in lyrical arias and duets musch like Cavalli but was one of Cavalli’s biggest competetors. Wrote one of the most performed operas of the `7th centruy, Orantea.


Three main features developed in Opera

concentration on solo singing, rather than ensembles and instrumental music


The separation of recitative and aria


The use of varied stles such as aria, recitative and arioso.

conserted madrigals
madrigals with instrumental accompaniment as seen in Monteverdi’s fifth through eighth books on madrigals.
basso ostinato
(persistent bass) or grounded bass. A pttern in the bass that repets while the melody abouve it changes. Style begun in the early 17th century. One good example is found in Monteverdi’s Lamento della ninfa with a descending tetrachord. Another is Dido’s Lament by Percell.
A vivacious dance-song imprted from Latin America into Spain and then into Italy.

Means to be sung. The term was applied before 1620 to a published collection of arias in strophic variation form. By midcentury, it meant a secular compostion with continuo, usually for solo voice, on a lyrical or quasi-dramatic text, consisting of several sections that included both recitatives and arias. Among the leaders of this genre of the midcentury were Luigi Rossi and Antonio Cesti, Carissimi and Strozzi. Became the leading form of vocal chamber music in the late 17th century.

In 1700, Lutheran theologian and poet Erdmann Neumeister in troduced this as a sacred genre for musical setting. Throughout the seventeenth century, Lutheran composers had ste biblical, liturgical and chorale texts. Neumeister added petic texts, intended to be set as recitatives, arias and ariosos. that brought home the meaning of the day’s Gospel readings. The new church genre found widespread acceptance amoung Lutherans.

Air de cour
A homophonic stropnic song for four to five voices or for solo voice with lute accompaniment, sung as independent vocal music or as part of a court ballet.
sacred concertos
Setting religious texts that incorporate baso continuo, the concertato medium, monody, and operatic styles from recitative to aria.
Stile antico
(old style) the old contrapuntal style of the Renaissance.
stile moderno

Modern style. This was a style in contrast to stile antico where there was avoidance of the contrapuntal old style and replaece with basso continuo, regularized rhythms and mahor-minor tonality. Johann Joseph Fux codified both styles with a quasi-Palestrinian counterpaoint in a more modern setting.


Large Scale Sacred Concerto
Used in the large wealthy churches for major feast days. Gabrieli was leading sacred concerto composer of polychoral motets that included two or more choirs, vocal soloists, an instrumental ensemble and one or more organist playing the continuo.
Snall Scale Sacred Concertos
polychoral work for one or more soloist with organ continuo and one or two violins.

Resmbles the opera without acting, costumes and scenery. Italy had a long tradition of religious performances outside the church such as the laude. Differs from opera in that its subject matter is religious. In the oratorio there was a narrator.

Leading oratorio composer was Giacomo Carissimi.

Heinrich Schutz
Master at applying the new Italian styles to church music. Studied in Venice with Garieli and Monteverdi. Brought approaches back to Germany.
Prominent genre in the Lutheran tradition. A musical setting based on a biblical narative. One type of these would be a Passion. Mastered by Schutz.
The most common type of historia, a musical setting of the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Composer example: Schutz.
Girolamo Frescobaldi
One of the most important compers of toccatas. Organist at St Peters in Rome. The role of this genre as service music is illustrated by those in  Frescobaldis Fiori musicali, a set of three organ masses each containing all the music an organist would play at Masses. All three indicate a toccata before Mass and another at the Elevation of the Host before Communion, and two add another toccata before a ricercare.
Fiori musicali
The role of this genre as service music is illustrated by those in this book by Frescobaldis which includes a set of three organ masses each containing all the music an organist would play at Masses. All three indicate a toccata before Mass and another at the Elevation of the Host before Communion, and two add another toccata before a ricercare.
Predicessor to the fugue. A contrapuntal piece for organ or harpsichord in which one subject or theme is continously developed in imitation.
Term formally used for the technique of imitation itself, a the name of a genre of serious pieces that treat one theme in continous imitation. Later in the century, became increasigly important.
an imitative work on a larger scale than the ricercare, had a more complex formal organization. The eading composers in this period were the Dutch organist Jan Pieterszoon Sweenlinck and Samuel Scheidt his pupil. This was usually a fugal exposition usually leading to successive sections with different conter-subjects, sometimes treating the subject in rhythmic augmentaion or diminution.
English consort fantasias
music for viol consort was a mainstay of social music making in the home. This was the leading genre of imitative fantasia, usually called fancy which treated one or more subjects.
Animitative piece forkeyboard or ensemble in several contrasting sections, played either as chamber music or in church. Featured markedly rhythmic themes and a more lively character than ricercares.
Often used early in the sevnteenth century to refer broadly to any piece for instruments. It gradually came to designate a composition that resembled a conzona in form but had special characteristics. Often scored for one or two melody instruments, usually violins with basso continuo, while the ensemble conzona was written in four or more parts and could be played without continuo. Often exploited the idiomatic possibilities offered by a particular instrument and imitated the modern expresive vocal style while the typical conzona displayed more of the formal, abstract quality of Renaissance polyphony.
chorale preludes
As in the sixteenth century, organists improvised or composed settings of liturgical melodies for use in church services. These works include organ verses on Gregorian chant, like the kyrie and Christe settings in Frescobaldi’s orgna masses and various kinds of choral settings know collectively as this term or organ chorales. Composers in middle and norther Germany produced chorale settings in large numbers and in a great variety of forms after midcentury. IN the middle of the seventeenth century, was a short piece in which the entire melody is presented just once in readily recognizable form.
variations or partite

keyboard and lute composers wrote sets of these on borrowed or newly composed themes. The most common techniques for variations were:

1. contus-firmus variations

2. Melody with the top most voice, recieving different embellishment in each variation while the underlying harmonies remained unchanged

3. The bass or harmonic progresion,;rather than the melody is held rather than the melody is held constant while the figuration changes.;

Cantus-firmus variation
The melody is repeated with little change but is surrounded by different contraputial meaterial in each variation and may wonder from one voice to another.
Type of variation technique whee the bass or harmonc progression, rather than the melody is helod constant while the figeration changes. Sometimes as the in the case of the romanesca, a melodic outline is associated with the bass but may be obscured in the variations. This is the most familiar form to modern listeners along with the passacaglia. Derived from the chacona. A retornello improvised over a simple cadential progression and played before and between strophes of a song.
A variation form or technique. The bass or harmonic progression, rather than the melody is held constant while the figuration changes. Sometimes, as in the case of the romanexca, a melodic outline is associted with the bass but may be obscured in the variations. The most familiar fomr to moder listeners along with the chaconne. Derived from the Spanish passacalle.

Dances were composed for social dancing, for theatrical spectacles and in stylized form for chamber music for lute, keyboard, or ensemble. Dance music was so central to musical life that dance rhythms permeated other instrumental and vocal music, secular and sacred alike. The idea of linking two or three dances together, such as pavone and galliard was extended to create this collection of several dances, used either for dancing or as chamber music. One;early 17th century;composer Johann Hermann Schein wrote the Musical Banquet which contains twenty suites for five instruments with continuo, each having the sequence pavane, galliard, courante, allemande and tripla.

Many begin with a prelude in the style of a taccata or other abstact work.

A dance variation of the allemande in triple meter.
Court Ballet
French genre. A substantial musical dramatic work, staged with costumes and scenery that featured members of the court alongside professional dancers. Typically it comprised several acts, each including solo songs, choruses and instrumental dances n styles appropriate to the characters partraed by the dancers. Flourished at court since the Ballet comique de la reine (The Queen’s Dramatic Ballet 1581), Louis XIII (1610-43) regularly took part in music and dance at court. Louis XIV won a reputation as a brilliant dancer, performing in ballets from the ag of thirteen.
early orchestra
Although the French often preformed the viol for chamber and solo music, they created the first large ensembles of the violin family. These became the model. An ensemble whose core consists of strings with more than one player performing ech part. Louis XIII established the Vingt-quartre Violons du boi (Twenty-Four Violins of the King) which typically played music in a five part texture, six soprano violins, tuned lie the modern violin, on the melody, twelve alto and tenor violins, tuned like the modern viola, divided among tree inner parts and six bss violins, tuned a whole tone lower than the modern cello on the bass line.
A genre created by Lully which were a combination of ballet and opera
Academie Rayale de Musique
Established by Lully after he purchased a royal priviege granting him the exclusive right to produce sung drama in Fance.
tragedie en musique
Created by Lully. Was  a French form of opera including drama, music and ballet later named tragedie lyrique.
tragedie lyrique
Created by Lully as French opera. Was originally called tragedie in musique which reconciled drama, music and ballet.
Long interludes of dancing and choral singing in French opera, usually appearing at the center or end of every act.
French meaning opening. Marked the entry of the king when he was present and welcoming him and the audience to the performance. Was played before the opera began. Had two sections the first ishomophonic and mejestic marked by dotted rhythms and fiures rushing toward the downbeats. The second section is faster and begins with a semblance of fugal imitation, sometimes returning to the figuration of the beginning.
recitatif simple
Lully folowed the general contours of spoken French while shifting the metric notation between duple and triple to allow the most natural declamation of the words adapted from Italian recitative.
recitatif mesure
Had more deliberate motion in the accompaniment than recitatif simple. Created by Lully.
songs with a rhyming text and regular meter and prasing, often featuring the meter and form of a dance. Far less elaborate and effusive than arias in Italian operas, were typically syllabic or neearly so, with a tuneful melody, little text repetition and no vertuosic display.
notes inegales
In French music. Passages notated in eve, short durations, often rendered by alternation longer notes on the beat with shorter offbeats, producing liltlike triplets or dotted rhythms. Was considered a matter of expression and elagance.
French element in which a dotted note is held longer than its notated value-according to the performers taste while the following short note is shortened. These changes emphasizes the beats and sharpen the rhythmic profile.
In French music, performers were expected to use brief ornaments whether notated or not, to adorn cadences and other important notes. These ornaments are called by this term.
Lully’s infuence
Followers continued to write operas that imitated his style while introducing an occasional aria in italian style, expanding the divertissements, intensifying the harmony and increasing the complexity of the texture. Lully’s operas were performed well into the eighteenth century, in France and other countries and his style influenced opera and instrumental music in England, Germany and elsewhere. The French overture, which he didnot invent but helped to popularize, was used across Europe through the mid eighteenth century to introduce ballets, operas, oratorios and instrumental works such as suites and sonatas.
petit motet
a sacred concerto fo. r few voices with continuo
grand motet
For soloists, double chorus, and orchestra, corresponding to the large-scale concerto of Gabrieli and Schutz. Featured serveral sections in different meters and tempos, encompassing preludes, vocal solos, ensembles and choruses. Lully and Charpentier wrote these as well as Michel-Richard de Lalande.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier
A pupil of Carissimi. Uhed French style embellishments and borrowed from the Italian lyric aria style to creat hilghly melodic pieces. Adapted cantata to French styles and tastes. Introduced the ltin oratorio into France, drawing on the model of Carissimi but combining Italian and French styles of recitative and air.
French for harpsichord. Displaced the lute as the main solo instrument obsorbed many characteristics of lute style.
Harpsichord composers. Included Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres, Jean Henry D’ Anglebert, Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre and Francois Couperin.
style luthe

sometimes called by the modern term style brise (broken style)

Lute style influenced the texture of harpsichord music. Since the lutenist often struck only one note at a time, they sketched tin the melody, bass and harmony by sounding the appropriate tones now in one register, inow in another and relying on the listener’s imagination to supply the continuity of the various lines.

binary form
Most seventeenth century dances were this form. Two roughly equal sections, each repeated, the first leading harmonically from the tonic to close on the dominant, the second returning to the tonic. Was widlely used for dance music and other instrumental genres over the next two centuries.
unmeasured prelude
A distinctively French genre whose nonmetric notation allows great rhythmic freedom, as if improvising as in toccata form.
French for “German” no longer danced in the seventeenth century and thus highly stylized, was usually in a moderately fast quaduple meter beginning with an upbeat.
French for “running” or “flowing” begins with an upbeat but is in moderate triple or compound meter or shifts between the two. The steps were dignified, with a bend of the knees on the upbeat and a rise on the beat, often followed by a glide or step.
origianlly a quick, lascivious dance-song from Latin America. When it came to France through Spain and Italy, it was transformed into a slow, dignified dance in triple meter with an emphasis on the second beat.
French for “jig” originated in the British Isles as a fast solo dance with rapid footwork. In France it became stylized as a movement in fast compound meter with wide melodic leaps and continuous lively triplets. Sections often begin with fugal or quassifugal imitation.
Dance form in which a refrain alternates with a series of contrasint periods called couplets, then returns to close the movement.
A French dance in duple time with a half measure upbeat. Active with downbeatsmarked by a hop or jump, preceded by bending the knoee and followed by one or two steps.
A dance in the Louis XIV court. An elegant couple dance in moderate triple meter. the dance used various paterns of four steps within each two measure unit.
German order of French Suite
Allemade, courante, sarabande and gigue, often preceded bya prelude and augmented with optional dances.
England did not accept the opera and perferred native genres of dramatic music. This genre was the favorite court entertainment since Henry XIII. Shared many aspects of opera, including instrumental music, dancing, songs choruses, costumes, scenery and stage machinery but were long collaborative spectacles akin to French court ballets rather than unified dramas with music by a single composer.
Venus and Adonis
John Blow, organist of Westminister Abbey and orgaist and composer in the Chapel Royal. Wrote this to entertain Charles II and it fetured Chales mistress and daughter. Called a masque but it is really an unpretentious pastoral opera.
Dido and Aeneas
Composed by Percell the year of William and Mary’s cornation. The firstknown performance took place at an exclusive girls boarding schol in Chelsea but the work may previously have been staged at court. Incorporates elements of masque and opera.
a predominant gere of musical theater in Spain for several centuries, which was a light,m mythological play in a pastoral setting that alternates between sung and spoken dialogue and various types of ensemble and solo song.
La Purpura de la rosa
The first opera produced in the New World. it was staged in 1704 at the court of the viceroy of Peru in Lima to celebrate the accession; to the Spanish throne of Philip V grandson to Louis XIV. Written by Hidalgo and libretto by Calderon.
an improvisatory style piece that often featured imitaion, akin to the sixteenth Century fantasia.
da capo aria
(from the head). One of the most common form of aria in Scarlatti’s operas and cantatas. This word is place at the close of the second sectin, instructing the performers to return to the beginning of the aria and repeat the first section, producing an ABA form. The A sectio is itself a small two part form with two different settings of the same text, each introduced by a brief instrumental retornello.
a genre somewhere midway between cantata and opera. A semidramatic piece for several singers and small orchestra usually written for a special occasion.

In the first half of seveteenth century  cinsisted of a number of small sections differentialed by musical material, texture, mood, character , and sometimes meter and tempo. As composers developed the genre, these sections gradually became longer and more self-contained. Finally, composers separated the section s into distinct movements, so that in time it became a multimovement work with contrast between movements. Theses contrasts were i sympathy with the theory of the affections, which held that music stimulated the bodily humors and could keep them in balance by offering a diversity of moods. Some composers maintained thematic similarities between movements, as in the older variation canzona, but thematic independence of movements was much more common. By about 1660 the most common types were the sonata da camera and sonata da chiesa.

Also common were the solo sonatas and sonatas for large ensembles.

sonata da camera
chamber sonata. featured a series of stylized dances, often beginning with a prelude.
sonata da chiesa
church sonata, contained mostly abstract movements, often including ne or more that used dance rhythms or binary form but were  not usually titled as dances. These church sonatas could be used in church services, substituting for certain items of the Mass Proper or the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers. Was also played as entertainment for private concerts.
trio sonata
Most common instrumentation for both church and chamber sonatas  after 1670. Was Two treble instruments, usually violins with basso continuo. While the work is for three textures it could consist of four or more players if more than one instrument is used for the continuo such as cello and harpsichord.
Solo sonatas
For violin or other instrument with continuo were first less numerous than trio sonatas until after 1700.
walking bass
Technique used by Carelli which was a steadkily moving pattern of eighth notes, under free imitation between the violins.
Arcangelo Corelli
The trio and solo sonatas of this composer represent the crowning achievement in Italian chamber music of the late seventeenth century. His sonatas served as models that compsers followed for the next half century. The motivic techniques and principles of tonal architecture he helped to develop were extented by Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, and other composers of the next generation. He has been called the first major composer whose reputation rests exclusively on instrumental music and the first to create instrumental works that became classics, continuing to be played and reprinted long after his death.

Toward the end of the seventeenth century, musicians began to distinguish between music for chamber ensemble, with only one instrument for each melodic line, and music for orchestra, in which each string part was performed bytwo or more players.Louis XIII of France stablished a string ensemble, essentially the first orchesta, with four to six players per part. By the 1670’s similar ensembles were formed in Rome and Bologna, followed by others in Venice, Milan, and elsewhere.;Corelli often led a pick-up orchestra of forty or more, gathered from players employed by patrons throughout the city. While some pieces like the overtures, dances, and interludes of Lully’s operas, were clearly intended for orchestra, and others, like corellis solo violin sonatas could be played only as chamber music, a good deal of seventeenth and early eighteenth century music could be performed either way.

In the 1680’s and 1690’s composers created a new kind orchestral compositon that soon became the most important type of Baroque instrumental music andhelped to establish the orchestra as thte leading instrumental ensemble. In the long-standing tradition of adapting old terms to new uses, this genre was developed. Like the vocal version, it united two contrasting forces into a harmonious whole, n an instrumental version of the concertato medium. It combined this texture with other traits favored at the time: florid melody over a firm bass; musical organization based on tonality and mutiple movements with contrasting tempos, moods and figuration. Closely related to sonatas and served many of the same roles that were palyed at public ceremonies entertainments and privat musical gatherings and they could substitue for elements of the Mass. Three types were developed:



and solo

orchestral concerto
Was a work in several movements that emphasized the first violin part and the bass, distinguishing the concerto from the more contrapuntal texture characteristic of the sonata.
concerto grosso
a small ensemble (concertino) of solo instruments against a large ensemble. The concertino was usually the same type of instrumentation normally comprised of two violins, accompianied by cello and continuo, the same forces needed to play a trio sonata.
solo concerto
a single instrument most often a violin, contrasted with the large ensemble. The large group (tutti or ripieno) was almost always a string orchestra, usually divided into first and second violns, violas, cellos, with basso continuo and bass viol either doubling the cellos or separate.
Term used in both concerto grosso and solo concerto meaning (full). Used to designate the full orchestra. Another term and most common is tutti.
In seventeenth century Germany and Vienna, most cites employed town musicians called by this name who had the exclusive right to perovide music in the city. They performed at public ceremonies, parades, weddings, and other festivities and supervised the training of aprrentices. These performers were a jacks of all trades., proficient at numerous wind and string instruments, and typically won their posts through auditiona or family connections. The system encouraged whole families to make music their trade among them the Bach family, already prominent in the seventeenth century and about to reach new heights in the eighteenth.
In some places of Germany and Vienna, chorales or sonatas were played daily on wind instruments from the tower of the town hall or church. In Lutheran areas, church musicians wee often directed employed by the town. Some Lutheran churches sponsored concerts and recitals, as well as having music during services.
collegium musicum
an association of ameteurs in most German towns from theeducated middle class who gathered to play and sing together for their onw pleasure or to hear professionals in privte performances. Also organized in schools and some drew their members primarily from university students. In the 18th century some of these groups gave public concerts.
Baroque Organ
German builders such as Schnitger and Silbermann dreww on elements of French and Duch organs much as German composers blended Italian, French and northern styles. These builders emulated the colorful stops used in France to play solos and contrapuntal lines. They also adopted Dutch practice and dividing the pipes into a main group and character and function. The main goup, the Hauptwerk, or great organ sits high abouve the player. The other groups may include a Brustwerk, in fron of the player and Oberwerk, high above the great, and the pedal organ, usually arranged symmetrically on the sides of the great.
Dieterich Buxtehude
One of the best known Lutheran compsers of the late seventeenth century. His toccatas typified those of seventeenth century German compsers in presenting a series of short sections in free style that alternate with longer ones in imitative counterpoint.
Johann Kuhnau
Seventeenth Century sonatas were stictly ensemble music until this composer trensferred the genre to the kyboard in 1692. His collection: Frisch Clavier Fruchte (Fresh Keyboard Fruits, 1696) consists of seven multimovement sonatas.
orchestral suite
Germany musicians sought to introduce Lully’s orchestra standards and French musical style he cultived into German music. One result of this effor was a fashion in Germany between 1690 and 1740. These were dances patterned after those of Lully’s ballets and operas and did not appear in an standard number or order.
Homes for orphaned and poor boys that specialiezed in teching music. Naples had four. Over the years musical instruction gradually became as important as the original charitable purpose, and these took on paying students as well. Their pupils made musical careers all over Europe, helping to spread Italian opera and Italian instrumental music across the Continent. Most students were singers, many of them castrati.
Antonio Vivaldi (il prete rosso)

the red priest for his red hair. One of the best known Italian composers of the early eighteenth century who was born and spent most of his career in Venice. A virtuoso violinist, mate teacher and poplular composer of opera, cantoatas, and sacred msuic. He is know today primarily for his concertos which number around five hundred.

Worked as a teacher, composer, conductor and superintendent of musical instruments at the Pio Ospedale della Pieta. This was one of four hospitals in Venice, homes for orphaned illegitimate or poor boys and girls which were run like restrictive boarding schools and provided excellent instruction in music to girls who showed talent.

His influence on instrumental music equaled that of Corelli a generation earlier. His codification of ritornello form provided a model for later concerto composers.

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Spent two decades as an organist in the provinces, winning recognition as a music theorist around the age of forty and achieving fame as a composer in hsi fifties. Attached then as a radical, he was assaled twenty years later as a reactionary.

Inspired by the works of Descartes and newton, Rameau approached music as a source of empirical data that could be expained on rational principles. Wrote Treatis on Harmony: Traite’ de I’harmonie, one of the most influential theoretical works ever written.

His first operas stirred up a storm of critical controversy. The Paris inteligentsia divided into two noisy camps, one supporting Rameau and the other attacking him as a subverter of the good old French opera traditio of Lully. The Lullistes found Rameau’s music difficult, forced, grotesque, thick, mechanical and unnatural. Rameau protested in a forward to his opera ballet that he had sought to imitate Lully, not as a servile copyist but in taking, like him, nature herself, so beautiful and so simple as a mode. As the quarrel of the Lullistes and Ramistes raged, Rameaus increasing popularity sparked many parodies of his operas, lighthanded imitations or adaptations fo the originals. By the 1750’s during the battle between critics on the relative merits of French and Italian music known as the war of the Buffoons, Rameau had become the most eminent living French composer, exalted as the champion of French music by the very faction that twenty ears earlier had castigated him for not writing like Lully.

Georg Philipp Telemann
Was one of the most prolific composers of his time early to mid 1700’s. Wrote in a mix style from German to Polish to French and italian. Was credited with creating the German style of his time a synthesis of German counterpoint with traits from other nations. His works exceeded 3000 works. Wrote in every genre including thirty operas, forty-six Passions, over a thousand church cantatas and hundreds of overtures, concertos and chamber works.
Johann Sebastian Bach

Has been raised to the pinnacle of composers of all time. He was renouned in Protestant Germany as an Organ vertuoso and writer of learned countrapuntal works, but comparatively little of his music was published or circulated in manuscript. He embraced all the major styles, forms and genres of his time except opera blended them in new ways and developed them further. Bach learned composition; primarily from copying or arranging the music of Torelli, Vivaldi, Teleman and numerous others.

His posts included church organist at a church at Arnstadt then at Muhlhausen. Then was court msuician for the duke of Weimar, first as organist and later as concertmaster. Then He was appointed Kapellmeister (music director) at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt in Cathen in 1717. Bach moved to Leipzig to become cantor of the St. Thomas School and civic music director of the most prestigious positions in Germany.

Bach’s Preludes and Fugues
Buxtehude had written freestanding fugues as well as preludes that alternated sections of free fantasia with fugues. By 100 some composers were prefacing fugues with separate preludes (or taccatas or fantasias), a practice that became standard for Bach. His well known Taccata in D Minor marks a middle ground, it has only one fugue but begins and ends with taccata sections and interpolates toccata-like fiuration within the fugue.
Vivaldi’s influence on Bach
While at Weimar, Bach became facinated by the music of Vivaldi. He arranged serveral Vavaldi concertos for organ or harpsichord solo, writing out the ornaments and occasionally reinforcing the counterpoint or adding inner voices. As a consequence, Bach’s own style began to change. From Vivaldi, he learned to write concise themes, to clarify the harmonic scheme and to develop subjects into grandly proportioned formal structiones based on the reternello idea.
Title given to Bach meaning music director  at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt in Cathen where he served for six years.
(Little Organ Book). At Weimar Bach compiled a manuscript collection containing fity-five short chorale preludes. These served in church as introductions before the congregational singing of chorales. But Buch aslo had a pedagogical aim, as is true for several of his other collections. He states on the title page that the book, in which a beginning organist is given guidance in all sorts of ways of developing a chorale, as well as improving his pedal technique, since in these chrales the pedal is treated as completely obbligato (essential no optional).
Well Tempered Clavier
The best known of Bach’s keyboard works are the two books with this title. Each book consists of twenty-four prelude and fugue pairs, one in each of the major and minor keys arranged in rising chromatic order from C to B. Both sets were designed to demonstrate the possibilities of playing in all keys on an instrument tuned in near-equal temperament, then still novel for keyboards. Bach adapted several pieces in both books from existing works, sometimes trasposing them in order to cover unusual keys.
Goldberg Variations
Rased the genre of keyboard variations to a new level of artfulness. All thirty variations preseved the bass and harmonic structure of the theme, a sarabande. Every third variation is a canon, The first at the interval of a unison, the second at ta second and so on through the ninth. The last variation is a quoblibet, combining two popular song melodies in counterpoint above the bass of the theme. The non canonic variations take many forms, including fugue, French overture, slow aria, and bravura pieces for two manuals.
Brandenburg Concertos
Bach’s best known orchestral works. Dedicated in 1721 to the Margrave of Brandenburg who had requested some pieces but composed during the previous ten or so years. For all but the first, Bach adoped the three movement, fast, slow, fast order of the italian concerto as well as its triadic themes, steady driving rhythms, retornello forms and overall style. The Third and Sixth are orchestral concertos without fetured soloists, and the others pit solo instruments in various combinations against the body of strings and continuo.
Origin of Concerto

In the 1680’s and 90’s , composers created a new kind of orchestral composition that soon became the most important type of Baroque instrumental music and helped to establish the orchestra as the leading instrumental ensemble. In the long’ standing tradition of adapting old terms to new uses, the new genre was called concerto. Like the vocal concerto it united tow contrasting forces into a hamonious whole, in an instrumental version of the concertato medium. It combined this texture with other traits favored at the time: florid melody over a firm bass; musical organization based on tonality; and multiple movements with contrasting tempos, moods and figuration. Concertos were closely related to sonatas and served many of the same roles: they were played at public ceremonies, entertainments, and private musical gatherings, and they could substitue for elements of the Mass.

by 1700, composers were writing three kinds of concertos. The orchestral concerto was a work in several movements that emphasized the first violin part and the bass, distinguishing the concerto from the more contrapuntal texture characteristic of the sonata. The other two types were more numerous and, in retrospect more important. Both systematically played on the contrast in sonority between many instruments and one or only a few. The concerto grosso set a small ensemble (concertino) of solo instruments against a large ensemble (concerto grosso). In the solo concerto a single instrument, most often a violin, contrasted with the large ensemble. The large group was almost always a string orchestra, usually divided into first and second violins , violas and cellos with basso continuo and bass viol either doubling the cellos or separate. In a concerto grosso, the conertino normally comprised two violins, accompanied by cello and continuo, the same forces needed to play a trio sonata, although other solo string or wind instruments might be added or substituted. In both solo concerto and conerto grosso, the full orchestra was designated tutti (all) or ripieno (full).

This practice of contrasting solo instruments against a full orchestra goes back to Lully operas, where some of the dances included episodies for solo wind trio; to ortorio and opera arias by Stradella; and the sonatas for solo trumpets with string orchestra, opular in
Bologna and Venice. The melodic style idiomatic to the natural trumpet, marked by triads, scales and repeated notes was imitated by the strings and became characteristic of concertos.

Since Roman orchestras were typically divided between coertino and ripieno, Roman composers favored the certo grosso. Correlli’s Concerti grossi, Op. 6 written int he 1680

s and published in revised form in 1714, are essential trio sonatas, divided between soli and tutti. The larger group echoes the smaller, fortifies cadential passages, or otherwise punctuates the structure through doublings. Corelli’s approach was widely imitated by later composers in Italy, England and Germany. Indeed, one of the best discriptions of the Corellian concerto grosso is by a German, the compser Georg Muffat, introducing a collection of his own pieces that can be played either s trio sonatas or as concerti grossi.

While Roman practice treted the orchestra as an expansion of the concertino, in northern Italy the soloiest were adjucts to the orchestra. Composers there focused first on the orchestral; concerto, then on the solo concerto and concerto grosso. Giuseppe Torelli, a leading figure in Bologna school, composed all three types, including the first concertos ever published. In his concertos we can see a new notion of the concerto develp. He wrote trumpet convcertos for services in San Petronio and his Op 6 includes two solo violin concertos, perhaps the first by any composer. Six more violin concertos and six concerti grossi appeared as his Op. 8. Most of these works follow a three movement plan in the order fast slow fast, taken over from the Italian opera overture. This schema, introduced the concerto by Venetian composer Tomaso Albinoni in his Op. 2 became the standard pattern for concertos.

Torelli often used a form that resembles and may have been modeld on the structure of the A section of a da capo aria. There are two extened passages for the solosist, framed bya ritornello that appears a the beginning and end of the movement and recurs, in abbreviated form and in a different key, between the two solo passages. The solos present entirely new material, often exploiting the virtuosity of the solosist, and modulate to closely related keys, providng contrasti and variety. The return of the ritornello then offers stability and rsolution. Torelli’s approach was developed by Vivaldi into ritornello form, the standard for eighteenth century concertos.

Vivaldi followed the three-movement plan introduced by Albinoni; an opening fast movement; a slow movement in the smae or closely related key (relative minor, dominant, or subdominant); and a final fast movement in the tonic, often shorter and sprightlier thant he first. By using this format so consistently, Vivaldi helped to establish it as the standard for concertos over the next three centuries. (Grout 397-400, 425)

Ritornello form

Torelli’s structured the firast movements of his concertos lke the A section of a da capo aria, with a ritornello at the beginning, middle and end framing two long episodes for the soloist. Vivaldi’s concertos expand on this pattern, producing what isnow known as ritornello form. This is less a formal mold than it is an approach, or set of gudelines, that llows a gret deal of variety.

  1. Ritornellos for the ful orchestra alternate with episodes for the soloist or soloists.
  2. The opening ritornello is composed of several small units, typically two to four measures in length, some of which may be repeted or varied. These segments can be separated from each other or combined in new ways without losing their identity as the ritornello.
  3. Lter statements of the ritornello are usually partial, comprising only one or some of the units, sometimes varied
  4. The ritornellos are guideposts to the tonal structure of the music, confirming the keys to which the music modulates. The first and last statments are in the onic; at least one (usually the first to be in a new key) is in the dominant; and others may be in closely related keys.
  5. the solo episodes are characterized by virtuosic, idiomatic playing, somtimes repeating or varying elements from the ritornello, but often presenting scales, arpeggiations, or other fiuration. Many episodes modulate to a new key, which is then confirmed by the following ritornello. Sometimes the soloist interupts or plays some part of the closing ritornello.



The Pieta
The orphanage school where Vivaldi taught.