Free «Comparing/Contrasting a Single Baroque Concerto » Essay Sample

At the initial glance, the brogue music era and classical music eras appeared to be very much similar. It is true that they numerous similarities for example, both periods used similar basic orchestral and chamber ensembles from baroque. Nevertheless, by analyzing each era carefully there are also distinct differences. The word baroque originates from the Italian word barocco, which factually translates to bizarre; nonetheless some feels that enthusiastic is closer to the objective of the translation, and the exuberant if the word that fits this type of music perfectly when dealing with the arts. Baroque started quickly to be used to describe a similarly complex music era even though it was used initially to describe buildings that were decorated ornately in Germany and Australia (Abraham, 1988).

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Giulio Cesare Monteverdi of Italy also referred to as the Godfather of baroque music, coined the term secunda prattica in the preamble of Scherzi musicali, Claudio of his brother, of 1607, issuing within baroque era. This prolific era would be in existence for the following one hundred and fifty years. The secunda practtica also known as second practice in English referred to the development of compositional practice from the renaissance era (Abraham, 1988). Composers did their best to attain balance in a piece between consonance and dissonance during the renaissance period. The harmonious and disharmonious combinations didn't place similar emphasis on this wish like the previous renaissance period or the following period even though baroque also wished that both the harmonious and disharmonious combination should be balanced.

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Caplin (1988) states that depending heavily on an essential baseline and investigating deeply into the portraying of actions, baroque took music further. Composers of this period used basso continuo in their work as a foundation. For instance, Smith asserts that the score of a continuo part, referred to as figured bass, comprised of a baseline connected with numbers/figures of standing for each chord's remaining pitches. While the figures were realized by chording instruments like the harpsichord, lute or organ, the baseline was played by a sustaining low-pitch instrument classically bassoon or cello. In each piece, ornamentation and improvisation was expected and encouraged. For example, basso continuo is exemplified gloriously with the harpsichord reinforcing the bass line Brandenburg Concerto number four of Johann Sebastian Bach.

According to Caplin (1988), Doctrine of Affections was developed in an attempt by the Florentine Camarata, 16thC composers and teachers from Florence, Italy to restore what they recognized to be the untainted word-to-music association advocated by classical Greek philosophers like Plato. In later centuries, this doctrine was used as the basis for the conviction that a composition was the actual tangible embodiment of emotions a language of feelings for composers to talk with, and not a mere piece of music. For instance, in was believed in 1996 that a lament bass was the blatant expression of sadness while a rapidly increasing sequence of thirds was the opposite- euphoria. One can feel that this idea is utilized in Brandenburg number five of Johann Sebastian Bach. A listener feels clearly Bach's conveyance of emotion in the piece.

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The concerto and sonata saw the growth during the baroque era, which coupled with the development of new musical instruments particularly wind, made this era to be very interesting. Composers experimented with their newly developed tools, and these instruments found their way to center sage usually substituting vocals, or at least sharing equally the spotlight. During this era, the violin was the string instrument of choice.  

Sonata is a form of musical composition based on development, recapitulation and exposition. The term is also used to other senses. The term sonata initially symbolized a composition played on instruments as opposed to cantata or sung by voices when originating from the past participle of sonare, the Italian verb to sound. It was used initially in 1561, when it was used to a suite of dances for lute. Since then, the term has acquired other meanings that can result to confusion easily. It can refers to a composition in two or more movements, or separate sections, served by a small groups of instruments that don't have more than three independent sections. In most cases, it refers to such a piece of one or two instruments (Woodstra, et al., 2005). Sonata can also refer to a composition for a larger instrumental group that has more than two or three sections including a string quarter or an orchestra, provided that the composition is in regard to the standards of musical form that were used for small instrumental in sonata. The term has been used more loosely to 20thC works regardless of whether they rely on 18thC standards or not.

According to Woodstra et al. (2005), the use of the term in sonata form is the very different from all of the preceding. This symbolizes a certain form or method of musical organization usually applied within instrumental sonatas, string quartets, in addition to other chamber music, and symphonies written since the starting of the classical era- the era of Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn- in the mid 18th C. Sonata form symbolizes a mainly fertile manner of arranging the musical structure of a single movement. It takes place commonly in the larger contexts of a multi-movement scheme. It offered instrumental vehicles for much of the most deep musical thought until nearly half of the nineteenth century and has went on to figure largely in the techniques of composers down to currently since its maturing in the eighteenth century.

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Exposition, development and recapitulation through which the musical subject matter is stated, restated and explored or expanded are the basic elements of sonata form. There might also be an introduction, normally in a slow tempo, and a coda, or tailpiece even though these elective sections do not impact the basic structure (Hoffman & National Public Radio (U.S.), 1997). The initial movement of multi-movement works are not usually in sonata form nor does the form takes place in the first movement alone even though sonata form is also referred to first-movement form at times. Similarly, sonata-allegro form is its other name although it is misleading since it is not supposed to be in a quick tempo like allegro.

Caplin (1988) asserts that the exposition form corresponds to the initial part of binary form, recapitulation to the second and the development in sonata form. The exposition shifts from the original key to a new key; the developments pass via numerous keys and recapitulation returns to the initial key. This resonances the motion in a binary form, away from and back to the initial key. Sonata form is complex in relation to binary form. In the exposition, it provides contrasting musical statements. These are treated dialectically in the development this means that they are restated in the new light. This organic association between parts mark the sonata form as a higher, more complex, type compared to the ternary form (Hoffman & National Public Radio (U.S.), 1997). The occasional designation of sonata form as compound binary form is helpful in that it stresses its foundations in the earlier form although complexity is added by notes.        

On the other hand, concerto grosso also known as the big concert is a form of baroque music through which the musical materials are passed between a small group of soloists and full orchestra. This form developed in the late 17thC but the name was not used initially. Alessandro Stradella appears to have written the initial music in which two groups of varying sizes are incorporated in the characteristic manner. Arcangelo Corelli was the first major composer to use the term concerto grosso (Caplin, 1988). A collection of twelve of his concerti grossi was published following Corelli's death, short time after composers like Francesco Geminiani and Giuseppe Torelli wrote concertos in Corelli's style. He also had a powerful influence on Antonio Vivaldi.

The concerto da chiesa/church concert and concerto da camera/ chamber concert are the two different forms of concerto grosso that exist. The slow and fast movements were alternated by the concerto da chiesa while the concerto da camera had a suite character, being introduced by an overture and combining popular forms of dance. These differentiations blurred over time. Concertino group of Corelli was inevitably two violins and a cello, with a string section as ripieno group. Both were associated by a basso continuo with some incorporation of harpsichord theorbo, lute or organ. Several collections of concerti grossi were written by Handel and quite a number of Brandenburg Concertos by Bach also follow the concerto gross loosely (Abraham, 1988).

The emphasis on contrast, even disagreement, is the element that differentiates the exposition of sonata-form movements from the initial section of the earlier binary form. Even though the first section of binary movement in a baroque suite or instrumental sonata, for instance, it can be made up of two clearly differentiated themes although the stress is on continuity and on consistency of musical texture other than on contrast (Abraham, 1988). This is due to the fact that in sonata form, more emphasis is on dynamic in that there is powerful sense of contrast in the movement. First subject or second subjects, or principal group/subsidiary group are the terms that are given the contrasting areas. However, these are misleading terms due to the fact that they mean a simple contrast of themes.

Hence to be general, although Baroque concerto with a classical era concerto seems to be the same, they are different with the means through which they are formed and present information. Thus there is an increased need for the composer to select and use carefully these genres so as to come up with an interesting song that will allow him/her to pass out his information as he/she wants.

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