The Baroque Period Essay

761 Words Apr 27th, 2016 4 Pages
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 as it seems. Therefore it is significant to re-analyze the emergence of such musical innovation in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. 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?…

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