The Baroque Period

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Music from the past has had a tremendous effect on what modern music is today. This is shown through the use of word painting and dynamics in the Renaissance period, instruments and Operas in the Baroque Period, primary triads and homophonic compositions in the Classical Period and finally, the utilisation of tone poems and heartfelt passion in the Romantic Period. If it wasn’t for these periods, music would not have evolved in such a immense and progressive way.

The Renaissance Period which occurred between roughly between 1400-1600 has influenced the modern world’s music through Renaissance composers such as Giovanni Gabrieli whose use of dynamics has helped shape music theory taught today. The Renaissance was a time of dramatic development
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The word Baroque originally meaning ‘oddly shaped pearl’ or ‘imperfect pearl’ came to be the period of dramatic, exaggerated and intense compositions. The contrast of dynamics continued to grow and a focus began on single melody and bass lines. This was called basso continuo. Opera also became popular during this time period including works such as Jacopo Peri’s Dafne and Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Although a little faded, opera is still used and well loved today like the hits by Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘Cats’. One composer, whose music shaped an era and today, is Johann Sebastian Bach. Heavily inspired by the church in earlier life, Bach created a movement of powerful organ centred compositions. One magnificent chorale of Bach’s from his ‘St Matthew Passion’ later had its melody reworked by the famous Paul Simon under the name ‘American Tune’ released in 1973. This displays the timeless effect of Bach’s music by rearranging it to fit another generation’s ever-changing taste in music. Other influenced artists include Paul McCartney of The Beatles who watched a group perform Bach 's ‘Brandenburg Concerto #2’ on television and was inspired to add trumpets to his song ‘Penny …show more content…
A time of emotion driven and self expressing music, the Romantic period utilised instruments like the contrabassoon, xylophone, drum, celeste and piccolo. As mentioned previously, Beethoven’s music paved the way for composers of the Romantic Period such as Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Previous rules were thrown out the window in order to create new sounds filled with passion. Operas like Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata became very popular showcasing the evolution of opera from the Baroque Period, all the way to modern day musicals like the previously mentioned ones. Franz Liszt composed the first ‘tone poem’ or ’symphonic poem’, an orchestral composition that is based off of a non-musical piece of work. This is shown in pieces such as Liszt’s Les préludes. To this day, tone poems are used by composers to convey particular themes. For example, Osmo Tapio Räihälä’s Barlinnie Nine is based around and a tribute to the Scottish football player Duncan Ferguson. Current protest music can also be perceived as a loose take on tone poems. For instance, protest songs like ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ by U2 which protested for peace after the killing of 13 Irish citizens at a civil rights protest in Derry in 1972 and ‘Meat is Murder’ by The Smiths

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