• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With the evolution of man has come the inevitable evolution of the arts.

Extracts from this document...


With the evolution of man has come the inevitable evolution of the arts. Whether decorative, visual, or musical, the arts have seen several distinct periods of development through the course of history and as one of the definitive artistic media, music is no exception. During the 17th through middle 18th centuries, music progressed through a period that historians labeled "Baroque." New musical forms and a style of music that was unheard of at the end of the renaissance characterized this period. These new styles and forms saw the emergence of several composers who, rather than break new ground in the musical world, took the existing forms and developed them into robust, mature works that fully exhibited their virtuosic command of the "rules" of composition. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) were two composers that historians and musicians alike use to describe the essence of the baroque period. Neither composer generated groundbreaking reforms in the core of the music they composed, but rather they took that which was defined and increased the breadth, scope, and complexity of existing genres to suit their purposes as working musicians and/or composers. ...read more.


Although not a dramatic medium, the cantata was organized religion's answer to the use of aria and recitative. Cantata in the Baroque era made use of alternating aria and recitative sections to set a religious text to a specific story. J.S. Bach's Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, sets the story of Philip Nicolai's telling of angels come down from heaven to wake the virgins in anticipation of the bridegroom's arrival. The entire cantata makes distinctive use of ritornello reminiscent of Antonio Vivaldi's (1678-1741) Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op. 3, No. 2, RV 578. The ritornello is divided into four-bar phrases that are based on several distinct melodic motives (Palisca 547). Bach also makes extensive use of text painting and subtle musical paintings that are clearly throwbacks to composers such as Josquin Des Prez (~1450-1521) and Carlo Gesualdo (~1561-1613) that wrote in the "musica reservata" style in the renaissance and ars nova periods. J.S. Bach lived and worked in Germany all of his life. His work was, almost exclusively, with the Lutheran church, which is not surprising since it is known that Bach was a devout Lutheran. ...read more.


His Oratorio, Saul (1739), was, for all intents and purposes, an opera set to the story of Saul's conversion into Christianity. Although Oratorios make extended use of accepted operatic forms, aria, recitative, etc., no physical drama takes place in the setting of the stories. Handel makes use of contrapuntal passages and fugue, typical baroque compositional elements, to tell his story of Saul, while Heinrich Sch�tz (1585-1672) used more of a concerto grosso form to tell of Saul's revelation. Sch�tz set the story of Saul for six voices and orchestra and made extended use of harmonic dissonance rather than play with rhythms or melodic structures to tell the story. The relatively thick-textured nature of Sch�tz's setting makes for a dramatic interpretation of Christ's words to Saul. Handel, however, takes his experience with recitative and aria to paint a no-less striking story of Saul. The "masters" of any historically defined era or period are usually those that came into the scene "en medias rex" (in the middle of things). We see that both J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel took the existing artistic forms and artistic media available to them codified at the beginning of their period and expanded them into what would become the defining elements of music of the Baroque period. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. Compare and contrast ‘Ghost Dances’ and ‘Rooster’ by Christopher Bruce.

    other as in 'As Tears Go By' or, alternatively one dancer performs a sequence, then is joined by others. This has a very powerful and mesmeric effect when used by the ghosts in 'Ghost Dances', thus emphasising the fluidity of the movement.

  2. Performance Investigation: Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio: Baroque and Blue

    and the old style piano sound that has been successfully achieved by this recording. On a different level the recording techniques and sound are different in both recordings. The recording technology in use in the 1970s means the quality of recording is not as high as the one in 2004.

  1. Essay on Minuet in G by J.S. Bach.

    Bach uses notes from both G major and D major. At the end of bar 24, the key changes back to G major, the tonic where there is a C right at the last minute. Additionally in bars 25 and 26, a new feature is introduced and that this 2 part playing in the left hand.

  2. Baroque Period

    phrases and well-spaced cadences * Unchanging affekt * Fast harmonic rhythm * Series of first inversion chords, series of suspensions, seventh chords on any degree of the scale, Phrygian cadence, hemiola, circle-of-fifths, sequence, tierce de Picardie, lack of dynamic markings and performance directions, only rarely distant modulations (usually to one degree flat or sharp)

  1. The Evolution of The Classical Guitar

    See fig. 1 (p. 4 Tosone) There is a definite distinction between the two guitars. The Moors are likely responsible for the guitarra morisca, and the origin of its name. Its sound box was oval and had several holes on its soundboard. It is possible that the Arabs could have influenced the design of this instrument through the influence of instrument makers in Western Europe.

  2. The stimulus we were given for our drama piece was a painting by Paula ...

    We experimented after choosing melody and harmony from one of the music starting points (a chord sequence) with percussion from another starting point entitled 'The Rite Of Spring'. This piece was slightly revolutionary as although it had the basic feature of an 8-bar rhythm, it defied the expected by placing

  1. How does Jacques Loussier’s interpretation of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor differ from ...

    Background Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is a piece written by Johann Sebastian Bach for organ during his seven year tenure as court organist in Weimar sometime between 1703 and 1717. Because the earliest surviving copy of the piece is by a pupil of one of Bach's pupils, the exact date of composition is unclear.

  2. How did Baroque composers convey the meaning of the text in their music?

    However, there is also a sense of anxiety and anticipation which is shown to be valid when the forte chorus section begins. This section is extremely contrapuntal which reflects God?s anger and power in the independence of the melodic lines.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work