• 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.

    Although in his two dances Bruce conveys very different themes ,there is a similarity of pattern and movement interpreted and demonstrated by the dancers to create the mood he intended.

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

    has an accident making it C#. This is the dominant of G major. By changing the key, this gives the piece variety and makes it more intriguing. We also see that the 3 bars before the key change takes place, J.S.

  1. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Concerto for Trombone, composed in 1878. The work is one that I ...

    Into the cadenza the use of rubato is continued. Lindberg actually cuts a descending pattern from the Cb down to the Db, compared to the original scripted cadenza. At the conclusion of the cadenza moving into the third movement, Lindberg's approach is a lot quicker on the acciacaturas, which works to great effect.

  2. White Man Sleeps

    There are many travelling movements incorporated into White Man Sleeps perhaps as a way of indicating the way in which Siobhan Davies travelled when she made her visit to America. At the beginning of section 1, the dancers join in one by one and move from stage left to stage right.

  1. Renaissance Music, music of Europe during the period known as the Renaissance. In musical ...

    Such variants become still more distinct moving north of the Alps. The recusant William Byrd in England was associated with at least one Italian, Alfonso Ferrabosco the elder, and Heinrich Sch�tz in Germany studied in Venice both with Giovanni Gabrieli and, later, with Claudio Monteverdi.

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

    Both artists are also very in tune with their respective ensembles and there are few if any occasions to state otherwise. Zucker has a very clear tone throughout the piece with no cracked notes at all - this is representative of the studio mix and the look for a perfect recording.

  1. Performing Arts

    around; and in drama it was I pretending to be a bitter old woman. A musical motif was used in the music piece and the dramatic motifs of flashbacks were used. Similar to music, musical motifs were identifiable within the dance piece in the accompanying music to the spring dance.

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

    However, ?Thou Shalt Break Them?, an aria from Handel?s Messiah uses the minor key to reflect God?s power. Rhythm is also used by composers to illustrate the meaning of the libretto and an example of this is ?Thou Shalt Break Them? from the Messiah.

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