The Baroque Period In Music

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The baroque period in music is often defined as the period of time from 1600 to 1750 due to its symbolic characteristic in music of that time (Frank 451). However, such classification has been surrounded by controversy. Many scholars debated on whether it is appropriate to assign a unified period concept to such time frame (451). Today, music composed during the baroque period is generally termed as the baroque music. Such generalized impression misled people into thinking that such unifying notion of music pre-existed at that time. This becomes a problem of “presentism”. As we learned in Lynn Hunt’s article “Is Time Historical?”, history is usually not homogeneous (23). That being said, the rise of baroque music may not be as straight-forward …show more content…
It is observed that many famous baroque composers came from countries with high degree of political fragmentation and diversity such as Italy and Germany in 1600 (Vaubel 29: 280). These composers usually had different geographical, religious and political positions. Yet, the music they had written seems to share a common characteristic, the basso continuo as recognized by Hugo Riemann, the German musicologist (Frank 451). So how did political fragmentation and diversity in the sixteenth and seventeenth century encourage an advancement and unification in musical style leading into the baroque era? Scholars such as Roland Vaubel mention the competition between the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic church during the Thirty Years’ War forced an introduction of major changes in the use of tonality and instrumentation in music such as the adaptation of polyphonic and organ music (29: 290-291). Therefore it is possible to argue that competition between various churches forced the composers to adopt each other’s style, leading to convergence in a single …show more content…
This forced musicians to leave the courts to find alternative sources of income. Again, Hoffer mentions in his article that members of the musician Heinrich Schutz’s church ensemble left one by one due to the worsening of economical conditions (qtd. in Price 166). Yet most musicians remained in their courts due to their passions for music and their devotion to their faith (Hoffer 2). Therefore even a worsening in economical situation could not thwart the development of music in that

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