The Role Of Music In The Baroque Era

The Baroque Music Era

The Baroque period is the era which started during 1600 and which comprised of composers like Handel, Bach, and Vivaldi, and whom pioneered styles like the Sonata and the Concerto. The period saw new music styles explosion ushering styles like the opera , Sonata and the Concerto. With the fall of the political control in the European church, and which meant that non-religious music would now thrive, in particular instrumental music. Ideas that instruments can be combined together in a standardized way brought the initial versions of the today’s orchestra; the Concerto, being a significant method of instrumental music in the era where two of its supreme composers were Vivaldi and Corelli (Bukofzer & Manfred, 2013).

During Baroque era, composers were treated like servants and by the aristocrats and were supposed to cater for the music whims, particularly at a moment’s notice. The music directors received a huge pay, and which came with a price. The price was the huge responsibility which comprised of not only composing the music but also maintaining the music library and instruments, disciplining performers and overseeing performances. Court musicians had a better pay than church musicians, many of them used their creativity to earn their living.

Music played a significant role during the Baroque period and to the society. It served as the musical expressions for the brilliant composers, a way of life for the musicians, a source of entertainment for the aristocratic and a temporary escape from the daily routines of life for the entire community.

The music texture during this period was homophonic and/or polyphonic, where the composers used melodic patterns in order to evoke various moods or affections. The usage of the word painting went on and on. The melodic and rhythmic patterns were repeated throughout the composition. The inclusion of more instruments and the development of particular musical techniques, the music itself became more intriguing and its composers became more open to experimentation.

The sound contrast which was either loud or soft, and improvisation. Minor and major scales and chords were applied during this era. The Baroque music had mood unity throughout its composition. The rhythm was also more constant. The melodic and rhythmic patterns tend to be repeated, the beats more pronounced and the pitch kept on changing with its composition. The dynamics also tend to stay the same in the most of the piece, although sometimes, the dynamics kept alternating.

Music during the Baroque era was different from the previous era in that, the previous era music was more unnatural, comprised of more regular smooth rhythm flow, the tone was developed from formal principles and tonal architecture, where the previous music based a lot in imitating the Cantus Firmus and systematic point structures.

The cultural significance of Baroque music was it became about through insertion of different historical factors. Protestant Reformation being the one of the most important factors, it led to the early on solidification of Germanic Society, hungry for new bodies of civic and sacred music. The decline of the feudal community and the development of mercantile trade also led to the development of distinct national schools of musical thought, of which, being different, could participate in a dialogue influencing one another. In a sense, the Baroque was also the real golden age of Opera, where opera venues were proliferating and becoming more viable and sustainable outlet for the composers, mainly in France and Italy (Thomas & Alfred, 2014).


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