Music 612

MUSC 612

Catalog Entry

MUSC 612. Baroque Music
Three hours lecture (3).

Pre- or corequisite: MUSC601

Developments in form and style of the Baroque period from Monteverdi through J. S. Bach. Offered every third year.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque

  • Renaissance Baroque
    • Stile antico-- Nuove musiche-- polyphonic elaboration Affective text representation obscuring the text (First the words--then the music) via homophony and basso continuo.
    • Equality of all voices Primacy of the outer voices in which the basso continuo was the foundation of the harmony.
  • Modality Tonality--i.e., the emerging dominance of major and minor.
  • Chords are intervallic by-products of part writing
  • Chords are independent entities.
  • No distinction between idioms
  • Emergence of vocal and vocal and instrumental instrumental idioms.
  • Emergence of recitative, opera, concerto, sonata.

2. Early baroque vocal music

a. Forerunners of New Music Dramas--the intermedium and the pastoral drama.
b. Monody: Camerata, Peri and Caccini. Stile rappresentativo. Basso continuo.
c. Monteverdi: Opera--Orfeo, 1607. Madrigal--transformation from renaissance polyphony to continuo-concertanto.
d. Roman opera: Conservative madrigalism.
e. Venetian opera: Monteverdi, 'Poppea' 1642 and the moving toward our conceptions of recitative, aria, and chorus.
f. Sacred music: Venice--Gabrieli and the progressive concertato style. Rome--Benevoli and the conservative "colossal baroque".

3. Vocal music of late 17th and early 18th centuries

a. Neapolitan opera: Scarlatti (A.), Porpora, Pergolesi.
b. Handel: Early days in Germany and Italy. England: Italian opera and English oratorio.
c. Bach: Weimar years. Leipzig years: cantatas, passions.
d. Other significant vocal composers: Vivaldi and Telemann.

4. Instrumental music of the 17th century

a. French overture: Lully
b. Dance suite: Scheidt, Schein
c. Ensemble canzona; Cavalli Solo, trio and quartet sonata: Legrenzi, Vitali
d. Keyboard: Frescobaldi and Sweelinck, Froberger, Buxtehude.

5. Late 17th and early 18th century instrumental music

a. Corelli: Sonatas da camera, concerti grossi
b. Vivaldi: The solo concerto
c. Handel: Concerti grossi using both strings and winds, organ concerti. Chamber sonatas, trio sonatas.
d. Bach: French and English Suites, Well-Tempered Clavier, Brandenburg Concerti, Orgelbuchlein.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Reading and listening assignments surveying the baroque from its Florentine beginnings through the achievements of Bach and Handel. Class time is spent summarizing and surveying trends, style movements, and individual creators. On a more active level is musical evaluation and analysis, both from scores and recordings. The material is divided into three units, each with a reading and a listening assignment, and an examination.

1. Early and middle Italian baroque
2. Early and middle baroque in the northern countries and in France
3. The late baroque


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student will acquire an overall scope of the history, trends and styles of the baroque era, and in addition, an acquaintanceship and knowledge of some of the most significant works.

Students who are teaching oriented will have their outlooks expanded and the stores of knowledge increased. Students who are performance oriented will have their knowledge of the repertory increased.


Assessment Measures

Examinations involve listening identification, analysis or discussion of specific compositions, and general questions of a stylistic nature.

A term paper explores one topic in greater depth, and each student is encouraged to select a topic that would be of interest or future benefit.


Other Course Information



Approval and Subsequent Reviews

March 2001 Reviewed E. Fellin, Chairman