Baroque Music!
(Approximately 1600-1750)
Early Baroque
Emphasis on classical Greek ideals was abandoned.
Composers used flowery tonal embellishment to ornament
This went along with the new artistic traditions
Name “Baroque” comes from the Italian word for “pearl”
Continued to explore emotions
Terraced Dynamics
Layered dynamic levels within a composition
Compositions still remained one single mood throughout.
Beginnings of Opera
First art form to recognize the potential of the solo voice for
communicating a text’s meaning.
Assigned the melody to one voice rather than keeping all the
voices equally busy.
Use of continuo
An accompaniment consisting of a harpsichord sounding the
chords and the viola da gamba reinforcing the bass line.
First appeared around 1600
Opera (cont.)
Opera dramatized a story though music.
The presence of a solo voice supported by accompaniment
was essential.
Music within Opera
Speaking musically
A combination of singing and speaking through which events
of an opera’s story are told.
More songlike
Marks a pause in the storytelling while a character reacts to
the events.
Orfeo (1607)
Written by Claudio Monteverdi
One of the earliest operas on record
Scored for soloists, chorus and orchestra
Uses recitatives, arias, madrigals and orchestral music.
Madrigals use word painting.
Tu se’ morta (You are Dead)
Conveys grief with a melody
and rhythm that follow the
natural inflection of the text.
High notes convey excitement
and grief
Low notes convey despair and
Tu se’ Morta
You are Dead
Tu se’ morta se’ morta, mia vita,
You are dead, dead my darling
Ed io respiro; Tu se’ da me partita,
And I live; You have left me,
Se’ da me partita per mai piu,
You have left me forever,
Mai piu non tornare, ed io rimango
Never to return and I remain –
No, no che se I versi alcuna cosa ponno
No, no if verses have any power,
N’andro sicuro a’ piu profondi abissi,
I shall go boldly to the deepest abysses,
E intenerito il cor del re dell’ombre,
And have melted the heart of the queen of
Meco trarotti a riverder le stelle,
Se cio negherammi empio destino,
Rimarro teco in compagnia di morta!
Addio terra, addio cielo, e sole, addieu
Will bring you with me to see the stars,
Or if cruel fate will deny me this,
I will remain with you in the company of
Farewell earth, farewell sky, and sun,

Early Baroque