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The Baroque Era - Term Paper Example

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The essay discovers "The Baroque Era". “The art and architecture of the Baroque period reflects an often bizarre style characterized by ornamental decorations. Especially noted in churches, palaces and other buildings of the period is the profusion of worldly splendour apparent"…
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The Baroque Era
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13 November The Baroque Era The Baroque era marks the period of one and a half century between 1600 and 1750. Baroque is a word from the Portuguese language which means an irregular shaped pearl. Originally, this word was used to refer to the abnormality, profligacy and strangeness of both art and music. The Baroque era is particularly important in the history of European music. “The art and architecture of the Baroque period reflects an often bizarre style characterized by ornamental decorations. Especially noted in churches, palaces and other buildings of the period is the profusion of worldly splendour apparent in grandiose designs and elaborate decorations” (Miller). It was not until the 20th century that the term Baroque was started to mark an era in the history of European music.
In comparison to the forms of music preceding the Baroque music, the Baroque music is more intense, ornate and texturized in a lavish manner. The melodic line of the Baroque music is immensely decorated and has a rich counterpoint. A myriad of traits define the music of the Baroque era that include but are not limited to the basso continuo’s use and a faith in the affections’ doctrine which enable the composers to incorporate their feelings and emotions into their work. One of the most distinguishing features of music in the Baroque era is the emphasis it places upon the pace, volume and texture of the music. These features were altogether non-existent in the conventional music from the late Renaissance. Moreover, the Baroque music replaced the austerity of the early Renaissance and the Medieval style with the color of the instrument and the use of voice. In the Baroque era, there was an abundance of the secular forms of music and their use was just as much as that of the liturgical styles of music. Imitative polyphony was one characteristic that reflected in most of the preceding music eras as well as in the Baroque era. It was used in the musical lyrics. On the contrary, the homophonic style was gaining increased attention and use in the music of the Baroque era, unlike the preceding music eras. Along with the employment of the homophonic music in the Baroque era, several innovative types of polyphonic music were surfacing in this era as well. Composers in the Baroque era were of the opinion that the counterpoint’s art was compulsory for their artistry. Two of the most important types of the imitative polyphony that were frequently used in the music of the Baroque era were the fugues and the cannons. Composers of the Baroque era proved their exceptional skills in music by improvising the complex fugues within moments.
The Baroque era also conceived the orchestra and the opera. The Italian intellectuals of the 17th century intended to reproduce the ancient Greek drama in the same spirit and music happened to be a primary element of that. Most of the keyboard music produced in the Baroque era was composed in suites that were based on distinct pieces of dance that altered in meter and tempo but sustained a unity throughout.
Works Cited:
Miller, Carole B. “The Baroque Period (1600 - 1750).” 21 July 2011. Web. 13 Nov.
2011. . Read More
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