Monday, September 30, 2019
Influence of Baroque Music to Classical Music Essay
Music of any period reflects, in its own way, some of the same influences, tendencies, and generative impulses that are found in the other arts of that time (Donna, 2005). Thus the word Ã¢â¬Å"baroque,Ã¢â¬ usually used despairingly by eighteenth-century art critics to describe the art and architecture of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, came to be applied also to the music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. After some years after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the ornate, formal and strict form of the High Baroque became Ã¢â¬Å"old-fashionÃ¢â¬ and lost its favor. Music slowly began to change form the style and forms of the High Baroque to a simpler yet tuneful form around 1750. The period following the Baroque is called the Classical period. The transition to the new styles and forms of Classical music was, like all transitions, rather complicated. The use of the baroque bass figure lost its taste and became obsolete. The preference of a simple structure rather than polyphonic constructions became dominant most especially in secular music. There was also a preference for one clear melodic line without melting with many others. Although baroque music differs greatly from classical music, they have striking similarities as evident in specific styles and forms. Though Classical composers tend to avoid the antiquated Baroque, one cannot fully abandon the styles and forms of the immediate predecessors. Instead, these styles were further developed to form a new meaning and use on the new musical structure. Forms like the opera and orchestra revolutionizedÃ¢â¬âthe former branching out from serious to variety, and the latter have a complete upheaval. Moreover, on the late Classical period, great composers such as Beethoven and Mozart studied the works of Baroque composers Bach and Handel. The later works of the classical composers were characterized of having innovative yet powerful polyphony inspired by BachÃ¢â¬â¢s masterpieces, and contrapuntal melodic lines imbued with the oratorios and suites of Handel. General characteristics of baroque music Baroque composers were united in a common goal: to express or represent a wide range of feelings vividly and vigorously. They sought musical means to express or arouse the affections.Ã Rather than they express their personal feelings, composers wanted to represent human emotions in a generic sense (Norton, 2010). The music is regarded for its distinct, formal compositional styles and forms. Style Various styles laid the foundation of baroque music. Expressive and expansive in melody yet deeply rooted in chordal harmonies, baroque music is typically highly rhythmical and quite easy to listen to. The comfortable regularity and lively rhythmic qualities of much of baroque music have made it appealing to many modern listeners. For more detailed listeners, one can interpret the music having poignant and stirring melodies, engaging conversation-like dialogues in sound, and rich harmonies and textures (Daniels & Wagner, 1975). Modality was replaced by tonality which gave a strong feeling of joy or lament. In 2008, Ferris explains that composers developed and theoreticians articulated the tonal system, in which every note of the major or minor scale bears a specific relationship to every other note, and all of the pitches are more or less similar to the tonic. Composers at that time recognized and utilized triad chords as an entity, which resulted to meaningful and consonant units of sound. The use of triads most especially the three principle chords (tonic, dominant, and subdominant) paved a stable and harmonic direction to tonal music (The Baroque Period). Thus, the tonal system of harmony was wholly adopted during the seventeenth century. In addition, the continuous use of the polyphonic texture during the Early Baroque was revolutionized to form a new textureÃ¢â¬âthe homophony. Imitative polyphony (more than one melodic line) was an extremely important factor in writing and playing music (The Baroque Era, Kamien, 2008). New forms of polyphonic music were developing because baroque composers felt that the art of counterpoint was essential to their artistry. On the other hand, the homophonic method (a musical technique that displays a vast separation amongst the melody line and the accompaniment) was gaining acceptance and use quite rapidly (The Baroque Era). The homophonic musical style played a significant role in opera and solo vocal music because it ocused the listenerÃ¢â¬â¢s concentration in the poetic melody of the singer. Most pieces in baroque music have the basso continuo which gave way to uniformity and unity. Basso continuo, or figured bass, is an accompaniment which consists of a bass part with numbers which specify the chords to be played above it. Musical works containing a continuo part helped to convey harmonic support of chords under the melodic line (The Baroque Era). Kamien (2008) states that basso continuo is usually played by at least two instruments: an organ or harpsichord and low melodic instrument like the cello or bassoon. Kamien (2008) also adds that Ã¢â¬Å"the organist of harpsichordist plays the bass part with the left hand which is also played by the cellist or bassoonist. With the right hand, the keyboard player improvises chords or melodic line by following the numbers. Because the numbers only indicate a basic chord, the performer has a wide field of freedom. Ã¢â¬ With continuity of rhythm and melody, baroque music also features continuity of dynamic level. This means that the volume stays the same for a period of time, and then there is a sudden shift to a different dynamic level. There are no gradual changes in dynamics (such as a crescendo or decrescendo). Terraced dynamics were used as the main keyboard instrument was the harpsichord, which could only be played in two modes, either forte (loud) or piano (soft), precluding the ability to accomplish crescendos or decrescendos (Kamien, 2008). Moreover, baroque composers fashion their work with different kinds of ornamentation. For Baroque musicians, ornamentation is not merely decoration that has no intrinsic value but rather the chief way of moving affections. One should, therefore, try in his ornamentation, as in all other aspects of his interpretation, to effectively communicate the sense of the music. In a lyrical movement, baroque performers intensify the expressiveness through the use of smooth melodic ornaments and appoggiaturas, in a brilliant movement, incorporate virtuosic ornaments, and in a movement that seems complete, add almost nothing besides essential cadential trills (www. musebaroque. fr). Eventually, both vocalists and instrumentalists recognized the principal ways of ornamenting a melodic line. First, brief formulas called ornamentsÃ¢â¬âsuch as trills, turns, appoggiaturas, and mordentsÃ¢â¬âwere added to certain notes to emphasize accents, cadences, and other significant points in the melody (Norton, 2010). Second, more extended embellishmentsÃ¢â¬âsuch as scale and arpeggio passages, and other types of flourishesÃ¢â¬âwere added to create a free and elaborate paraphrase of the written line (Norton, 2010). Forms In 1573, a group of musicians and intellectuals came together to discuss various subjects, especially the desire to revive Greek drama. This group of individuals is known as the Florentine Camerata, they wanted lines to be sung instead of simply being spoken (Styles of the Baroque Period). The group developed a new vocal style based on the music of the ancient Greek tragedy. This new style followed the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech. It was sung by a soloist with only a simple chordal accompaniment and was, thus, homophonic; the Camerata rejected polyphony because it would obscure the all-important text (Kamien, 2008). Together with the opera, the oratorio stands as a major development in baroque vocal music. Like opera, the oratorio is a large-scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra usually performed during the Lenten season in the oratory, from which its name was derived; it is usually set to a narrative text. Oratorio differs from opera in that it has no acting, scenery, or costumes. Most oratorios are based on biblical stories, but usually they are not intended for religious services (Tovey, 1956) The genre reached its heights in the late baroque period in the works of George Frederic Handel such as the Messiah with its well-known chorus of continuous praise of Hallelujah. Likewise, the baroque mass is an instrumentally accompanied vocal music tended to be a conservative musical form. As the seventeenth century progressed, masses began to incorporate concertato style and to have instrumental accompaniments. These developments led to the five masses of J. S. Bach, whose B Minor Mass is one of the towering monuments of Western music (Daniels & Wagner, 1975). One of the most significant aspects of the Baroque period was the emergence of independent instrumental music. Its development was not entirely what the Florentine composers had intended; Ã¢â¬Å"the new formsÃ¢â¬ , Kitson (1966) stated, Ã¢â¬Å"were by-products of reformÃ¢â¬ . The use of the modal system was broken down, and establishment of the major-minor tonality were considered. But, the old contrapuntal style was not abolished entirely. The known form of during the Baroque is the fugue. According to Kamien (2008), a fugue, written for a group of instruments or voices, or for a single instrument, is a polyphonic composition which is based on one theme called subject. Composers wrote fugues both as independent pieces and as sections within preludes or toccatas (Norton 2010). Throughout a fugue, different melodic lines, or Ã¢â¬Å"voicesÃ¢â¬ , imitate the subject. Fugue subjects usually have a clearly defined character and a lively rhythm. Music that had become associated with various social dances began to separate itself and became a type of independent instrumental music. The baroque suite is a set of dance-inspired movements, all in the same key but different in tempo, meter and character. It is performed by a solo instrument, a small group of instruments, or an orchestra (Wright, 2008). The movements of a suite are usually in AABB form. The section A, which starts from the tonic key then shifts to the dominant, is balanced by the section B, which starts from dominant then shifts to the tonic (Kamien, 2008, p. 103). Moreover, the orchestra during the baroque period was a performing group on instruments of the violin family. The baroque orchestra was consisted of ten to thirty or forty players. At its core were the basso continuo and upper strings. The use of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments are variable depending on the demand of the piece to be played. An aria (in English works sometimes called an Ã¢â¬Å"airÃ¢â¬ ) signifies a melody apart from the harmony, but especially a musical composition for single voice or instrument, with an accompaniment of other voices or instruments. The aria in BachÃ¢â¬â¢s suites is a short binary movement in a flowing rhythm in not very slow common or duple meter (Tovey, 1956). Influence of baroque music to classical music In the middle of the 18th century, Europe began to move toward a new style in architecture, literature, and the arts, generally known as Classicism, which sought to emulate the ideals of Classical antiquity and especially those of Classical Greece. Changes in musical perception on style and form are likely caused by a sum of economic, religious, sociological and political factors. It is interesting to examine the music created within the hazy boundaries between the periods. Style Norton (2010) believes that Ã¢â¬Å"at its best, Classical music reached a consistently high standard and possessed the qualities of a noble simplicity, balance, perfection of form, diversity within unity, seriousness of purpose, and use of ornamentation. Ã¢â¬ The transition to the new style was rather complicated. There was a general relaxation of formality, and for a while nothing much to take its place (Daniels & Wagner, 1975). The relaxation in the court life favored the Rococo (derived from the French word rocaille referring to the artificial rockwork), a reaction to the formalism, rigidity, and seriousness that had become characteristics of the Baroque, and a decorative style that was lighter, smaller in scale, and wittier than the Baroque (Daniels & Wagner, 1975, Kitson, 1966). The melody most typically consisted of a series of a series of short motives, repeated several times and cast in four or eight measure phrases. The melody is also generously supplied with a variety of trills, mordents, and the like. Classical music is basically homophonic. It seemed a proper alternative to the heavy polyphonic textures of the High Baroque. However, texture is treated as flexibly as rhythm. Pieces shift smoothly or suddenly from one texture to another. A work may begin homophonically with a melody and simple accompaniment but then change to a more complex polyphonic texture that features two simultaneous melodies or melodic fragments imitated among the various instruments. In addition, polyphony was piously maintained when it came to church music. It was used for intensification, contrast, and development in the late works of Haydn and Beethoven The most far-reaching event of Rococo music was the development of the simple two-part dance form of the Baroque, through a gradual enlargement and refinement, to the sonata-form of the Classical period. The end result was a form that remained in a dominant position in the field of instrumental music for almost two hundred years (Kitson, 1966). Indeed, it is a marvel of structural flexibility, capable of the greatest conceivable variety of expressive content. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, it was generally cast in a form consisting of three movements arranged in fast-slow-fast sequence. In sonatas and other pieces for violin, gradual increases and decreases of dynamics had long been employed; a theorist addressed the problem of crescendo and decrescendo receiving considerable attention. The Italian opera orchestra, too, had been familiar with swelling of tone. The solution is the borrowing a baroque style. Terraced dynamics had provided composers with one means of achieving contrast. Operas employing this device were widely performed throughout Europe. Form The practice of the baroque era was the standard against which new forms was measured, and there came to be a division between sacred works, which held more closely to the Baroque style from secular works, which were in the new style. A new orchestra developed during the classical period. It was a standard group of four sections: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion unlike the baroque which could vary from piece to piece. The number of musicians in a classical orchestra was greater than in a baroque group. Classical composers exploited timbres of each instruments. Unlike baroque composers, they did not treat instruments interchangeably. The Classical composers were the first to orchestrate for instruments like clarinet, trombone, and piccolo (Daniels, Wagner, et al, 1975). According to Kamien (2008), Ã¢â¬Å"the classical orchestra had developed into a flexible and colorful instrument to which composers could entrust their most powerful and dramatic musical conceptions. The mass continued to be an important form for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. During the Classical period, masses involved orchestra, soloists, and choir in a fully integrated work, using organizational principles derived from instrumental forms (The Classical Period). The majority of MozartÃ¢â¬â¢s masses were in Missa brevis type, the simultaneous setting of several lines of text, or the omission of certain sections of the mass, becau se the Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg had no patience with long Masses. Effects of the influences of baroque music Long after the Baroque era ended, and their music was all but forgotten, both Handel and Bach were rediscovered in the Classical era. All great Classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven, after Bach and Handel, studied their works and learned from them in grasping and further developing BachÃ¢â¬â¢s and HandelÃ¢â¬â¢s science of baroque composition in such a way, that something entirely new emerged, pointing into the future. Proficient Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The works of Bach, such as the B-minor Mass and the six motets, and Handel, for example, the Messiah had deeply influenced the works of Mozart in his last years of writing music. Mozart was thoroughly familiar with the music of Handel. During his childhood trip to England, he became well acquainted with HandelÃ¢â¬â¢s music and he never lost his taste for it. One can hear HandelÃ¢â¬â¢s influence in some of MozartÃ¢â¬â¢s early works, such as The Solemn Vespers, and in later works such as the Great Mass and the Requiem Mass in D minor. In fact, the opening page of MozartÃ¢â¬â¢s Requiem, beautiful as it is, is merely a reworking of the opening choral movement of HandelÃ¢â¬â¢s funeral music for Queen Caroline (Langlois, 2008). At the age of thirty, Mozart, visiting the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, upon hearing a Bach motet for the first time, exclaimed Ã¢â¬Å"Now there is music from which a man can learn something. Ã¢â¬ Then, the choirmaster at Leipzig gave Mozart a copy of the score to all six of the Bach motets. They were a profound influence on his late style. In the last two years of his life, MozartÃ¢â¬â¢s counterpoint became even more exquisite and complex than before (Langlois, 2008). Moreover, Mozart was attracted to the main genres in which Bach excelledÃ¢â¬âkeyboard sonatas, keyboard concertos, symphonies and operas. BachÃ¢â¬â¢s singing-style themes, tasteful use of expressive motives, suspenseful harmonic ambiguities, and consistent thematic contrasts became permanent features of MozartÃ¢â¬â¢s writing (Portowitz). Ludwig van Beethoven Having Mozart as his model for his compositional styles, Beethoven had been familiar to the styles of the works of Bach and Handel. He continuously borrowed ideas, techniques and texture of the music of the baroque in his latter musical career. In his later years, wanting to compose certain pieces in a more contrapuntal style, Beethoven worked hard at mastering counterpoint. He studied the music of Bach, Handel, and even of Palestrina. In his late music, he developed a style of counterpoint that is more reminiscent of Handel than Bach. His fugues in his late period are very rhythmic in nature and quite unique in the history of music (Langlois, 2008). Beethoven showed his constant concern with the work of J. S. Bach. He constantly requested copies of newly published editions, for example, a copy of the B-minor Mass, from the well-known publishers in Leipzig and Zuurich. In BeethovenÃ¢â¬â¢s sketchbooks, interspersed among work on his own compositions, there are numerous entries of short or long passages from BachÃ¢â¬â¢s works, among them, the Chromatic Fantasy, and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier and The Art of the Fugue (Cramer, 2001). For Beethoven, the sense and aim of the study of his predecessors, was indeed his own further development, toward new ideas. Beethoven described this very clearly in a letter to the Archbishop Rudolph, in which he clearly names Bach and Handel as the only true geniuses, among his predecessors: Ã¢â¬Å"The aim of the world of art, as indeed in the whole creation, is freedom, progress; if we moderns have not the same firmness as our ancestors, yet the refinement of our manners has in many ways enlarged our sphere of action. Ã¢â¬Å"