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Music

Baroque orchestral music

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The Baroque period in music is roughly 1600-1750. Monteverdi composed at the beginning of the period and Bach and Handel composed towards the end of the period.

Baroque orchestral music

Baroque music is characterised by:

  • long flowing melodic lines often using ornamentation (decorative notes such as trills and turns)
  • contrast between loud and soft, solo and ensemble
  • a contrapuntal texture where two or more melodic lines are combined
  • terraced dynamics - sudden changes in the volume level, sometimes creating an echo effect
  • the use of harpsichord continuo.

Listen to the second movement from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. Notice the solo group of violin and two flutes and the ripieno (accompanying) strings.

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