The Baroque Music Period

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Baroque music, which started around the 1600s, was the start of great growth in the composition timeline. In this period, composers like Bach and Purcell dominate and bring forth new forms like ritornello and fugue. Romantic music, starting in the 1800s, goes into a thematic transformation. Composers like Chopin and Schubert are popular during this time, and new forms such as cyclic and strophic arise. The Baroque music period focused mainly on the idea of tonality. Composers began to use new instrumentation techniques and established such genres as opera, oratorio, concerto and sonata. Polyphony was the most popular texture, and the chromatic scale was used. The harpsichord was the dominating instrument of the time, and basso continuo was …show more content…
He is most famous for his concertos, particularly the Four Seasons, but he has also worked on operas and choral pieces. His talent and mastery of the violin began at the Pio Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage in Venice. When he turned 25 he began to work at the orphanage, while also composing his works there. He found success in writing operas, and then moved on to writing the Four Seasons, which consisted of four violin concertos that each represented a different season. In his lifetime, Vivaldi wrote more than 500 concertos as well as 46 operas, and was an influencer of other composers such as …show more content…
The piece begins with an eerie atmosphere, where high notes are played into a diminished chord. Then the first part of the prelude begins, consisting of strange noises and what appear to sound like groans and laughter. Some high woodwinds play into the ideé fixe, as a soft drum roll plays with a trumpet joining it. The opening bars repeat, at a semi-higher tone than previously, as a diminishing chord follows. This sequence of music creates the view of a frightening underworld for the listener. As the piece continues, a version of the ideé fixe plays on the clarinet, sounding very mocking and leering. Abruptly, the tempo and dynamic of the piece changes, full of loud chords repeating, which is very hard to listen to. The ideé fixe returns but is shriller and continues to rise in pitch. Then swirling music appears, interrupted by a loud chord, followed by triples that create the sound of terror. Often in the piece, a flute plays in an almost hectic way, sounding much like a scream. This piece incorporates a fugue, representing the Witches’ Round Dance, which was often used in the Baroque era. Berlioz seems to incorporate triples often in this piece, perhaps since they sound the most chaotic and unnerving. Interestingly, Berlioz includes Dies Irae Gregorian chant to set another layer of creepiness. There is an extreme build up to the Witches’ Round Dance, where Dies Irae continues to be played

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