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Amelia Hannert-10/26/14

Classical and Baroque Music

Following the Renaissance Era, the Baroque Era began around 1600 and lasted until
1750. During this time period, it can be shown that the preferred style throughout art and
architecture was extremely detailed, precise, and ornate. The characteristics of the time
period visually can be also applied to the characteristics musically. The end of the
Baroque Era marks the beginning of the Classical Era in 1750. This time period lasted
until about 1830. Similar to the Baroque Era, the Classical Era can be characterized by its
visual nuances in art and architecture. The buildings were very simplistic and decreased
in the amount of intricate detailing.
The Baroque and Classical styles are not so clearly defined as completely separate
styles during the 18th century. There is no specific point in which music shifted from one
style to the other. The music blended and evolved slowly. There is an obvious difference
between early baroque and late classical, although it is very hard to distinguish clearly
and specifically each eras styling in late baroque and early classical.
The instrumentation of the Baroque Era laid out a template for music for around 300
years. From the turn to Baroque from Renaissance advancements in many instruments
were made. From the softer viol strings there were now bolder viola, violins, and cellos.
These would be continually used for many years, including the classical era. The
harpsichord would be invented during this time. Its popularity during the Baroque Era
would slowly be replaced by the piano in the Classical Era. The average size of a
Baroque orchestra would range from 12 to 20 people. The foundations of the modern
orchestra began to take place in the Baroque era.

There were many forms of music during both eras. The Baroque Era included concertos
and suites. There is the concerto grosso written for a group of solo instruments and a
larger ensemble or there is the solo concerto written for a solo instrument plus orchestra.
The solo concerto usually has an intricate and technically challenging solo part. The
concerto is usually written in three movements; fast, slow, fast. An orchestral suite is a
collection of dances. Bach wrote four orchestral suites. The first movement of each is the
overture of opening. The overture is followed by dances usually including a courante, a
gavotte, a minuet, and a gigue. Most of the movements were in something called binary
form, meaning they had an A part and a B part. At the end of the A part the key would
usually change, then at B it would return to the tonic (original key). During the rise of the
Classical Era the concerto grosso grew more unpopular while the solo concerto became
extremely popular. The solo concerto adopted the same three-movement form that the
Baroque Era popularized. In classical music the most popular music is the sonata form.
Beethoven wrote many sonatas. Although the idea of the sonata stretched back into the
baroque period, it is the classical era that truly defined the form of a sonata. The sonata
starts with an introduction that is usually slow and sets the tone for a piece. Then there is
an exposition in binary form (originating from the Baroque Era). Then there is a
development in which theme A and B fight each other. Then there is a Recapitulation in
which theme A and then theme B are both in the tonic. This is the main form of Classical

Characteristics of Baroque music most definitively contrast those of classical music.

Baroque typically is characterized by its polyphonic texture. This meaning that is has

multiple independent voices. This is much different in the Classical Era in which music
focused on a single melody with accompaniment. This had less texture than Baroque and
it was more clearly defined. Again, back to the architectural nuances of the time periods:
classical being simplistic, baroque being complex. Another baroque characteristic would
be that it remains in a single mood an entire piece. Brandenburg No. 4 is a baroque piece,
it remains happy the entire song. Classical music can evolve into different emotions
throughout the piece. Symphony 5 by Beethoven has aggressive parts and soft parts.
Symphony no.5 expresses a large range of emotion.

In conclusion, Classical and Baroque have quite a different shape in music, although
they have undeniable similarities. Baroque set up the development into classical.
Classical shows many examples of how it is derivative from baroque music. The
information we learn about each style will continually help us learn how to become better
Part II
I have learned that there is a range of techniques you must use to express a certain style
of music. I have learned that a given symbol in one piece can mean something completely
different in another piece. A staccato in Mozart will be considerably less harsh than one
of a baroque style. A classical staccato will be more modest and not as short as one of
baroque. I have learned that vibrato will also change depending on the mood and style of
a piece. If it is a sad, slow song, then a wider and slower vibrato should be used. If it is an
aggressive or faster piece then a fast or shorter vibrato is needed. I will be sure to apply
my knowledge of the different eras of music into how I compose and play.

"History: Baroque Art for Kids." Ducksters. Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI), Oct.
2014. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <http://www.ducksters.com/history/art/baroque_art.php>.