Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 Analysis

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THE KNOWN PIECE
The known piece is Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, I. This piece was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the late Baroque era (1720-1721). (1) This work is the fifth of six concertos that Bach composed for Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg. Bach presented the concerto as a gesture of kindness, but also as a form of potential employment. (1) It is not known whether Margrave responded to the offering, regardless, they were known as some of Bach’s most well known and most enjoyed pieces. Normally Bach primarily used violins in his pieces; however, the harpsichord was main instrument of this piece. (1) Bach was influenced by many Italian composers. The concerto form, ritornello, sonata, oratorio, opera, cantata, recitative,
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The ritornello form is used for this piece. The episodes which fall between statements of the ritornello are performed by the concertino or one instrument solo. They are very virtuosic and sound like they could be improvised, even though they are written out. (1) This form creates contrasts in texture, dynamics, and sometimes melody. The entire ensemble is used together for certain sections of the piece, other parts change key and tempo and return back to the home key at the end. (2) The tempo constantly changes throughout the Concerto no. 5. There is a lot of build up throughout the beginning which ultimately leads to the harpsichord solo towards the end. The harpsichord adds a unique timbre to the piece, which is different from the rest of the concerto. Bach was known for his improvisation and daring combinations of …show more content…
The time period for the piece is likely during the medieval era. It has one vocal line that is sung primarily by males in free form and free rhythm. The melody of the unknown piece is simple and rather easy to sing because it is not very dynamic. The known piece would have been composed and performed much later than the unknown piece. The unknown piece has a homophonic texture as opposed to the known piece which is polyphonic and much more complicated. The Gregorian chant was generally used during mass or spiritual worship and would be sung in church. The known piece would be performed for an audience and was written as concert music. (2) The timbre of the piece is unique because there are no instruments and the entire piece is performed vocally. During this time there were very few instruments used, especially for Gregorian chants. Sometimes there would be drums used to sustain the tempo and melody of the piece. The mood of the unknown piece is relaxing and mellow. The unknown piece is an entirely different listening experience from that of the known piece. The unknown piece is much shorter and simplistic than the known

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