Baroque and Romantic Music

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Over the years and in the course of societal development a couple of factors have been prominent in each society based on the role they placed and how members of the community viewed them. Based on the above notion, it is important to note that art and music are one of the prominent factors that shape societal orientation and receives an overwhelming response from members of the society. It is important to mention at this junction that this study is therefore developed to carry out an efficient critical analysis of the music composition performed by two different performers with the aim of understanding the uniqueness of their piece and their relevance to the world of music today. For this study, we shall take a focus on analyzing baroque and romantic music. Baroque music is considered as a western art music style which was composed form approximately 1600-1750. Based on the importance of the concept provided by this form of music at the time of inception, it formed a major part of classical music and was widely studied, listened to, and performed. It is important to point out the baroque music was welcomed large part of the society. The Romantic music, on the other hand, featured prominently in the period of western classical music which is said to have originated in the late 18th century or early 19th. The romantic music was of great importance to the society at the time of inception, and it is necessary to note also that this form of music has a significant dominance on the then movement which took place in Germany. During the romantic period, music became more expressive artistic, it was famous among early composers and also possessed enormous philosophical themes. Hence, romance music is a form of art and expression that was welcome and celebrated during inception.

 Having provided a precise background of this study, It is important to note that both Baroque and Romantic music produced unique pieces of art that are still relevant today. The above notion is based on the fact that such music is still studied in the field of art, enormous knowledge and inferences are still been derived from them. Compositions like the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi and Ave Maria by Josquin Des Prez listen and p across the world, yet in between, there is a sharp contrast that sets them apart. The two music period appeared consecutively, with the baroque following romantic era. The romantic period indicated the development of expression and structure of the European classical music. As a result, both Four Seasons and Ave Maria share a considerable number of styles. Antonio’s Four Seasons shows that use of dynamic instruments timbre effectiveness and was more developed in Baroque than in the preceding music period.

The motet by Josquin des Prez is characterized by high pitches that correspond to certain texts on the phrases being recited. This characteristic is typical with renaissance style, which is commonly referred to as syntactic imitation. It is so called because the text is repeated throughout the song in the same way. Syntactic repetition is seen in the forts four verses, which are balanced in the light of length, melody, and intensity. This structure heard in Joaquin’s music corresponds to the text articulately. It aligns to the 20th-century theorists who used the term syntactic repetition to identify the characteristic of music structure of renaissance. Each music structure not only corresponds to a particular text but also indicated the imitation that is frequently exposed in phrases. Structure articulation arrives when two or more voices rest at perfect intervals.

As if in a litany, each phrase is clearly and unobstructed imitated and occurs from the highest voice trot e lowest. While the phrases are balanced in length, counterpoint tends to increase in density, leading to the creation of a strong climax where all the four voices sing together. Joaquin further treats each strophe, throughout of line forming a section of the music, as if it were a syntactic unit unto itself. Each strophe is comparable and well balanced regarding length with others.

Similarly, Antonio Vivaldi Four season employs harmonic creativity to drive the message home. A sequence follows a sequence after a sequence. Patterns repeat themselves continually while moving from key to the next. As was the ritual with baroque musicians, countless harmonic have been employed by Vivaldi, which do not dominate the entire movements but gives a feeling of emotional attachment to listeners. The 3rd movement of spring in the four seasons demonstrated this point. The sequences have a unique rhythmic that ensures repetition is not dull.

Both Baroque and Romantic music relied on emotional appeal to communicate with their listeners. Musicians expressed both anger and joy and passed this feeling sot their audience using specific styles and forms. The philosophical position of baroque was influenced by Greek and Roman music that held the belief that music can communicate with listeners using emotional appeal. As a result, composers like Antonio Vivaldi mastered the style and technique arousing emotions to their audience. They borrowed the belief that by using similar effects employed by the Greek and Roman artists, they could also elicit emotions.

To generate the desired emotions, baroque musicians incorporated dramatic styles. The exciting element of borrowed music was passed on to the Romantic Movement. Producers gave a lot of emphasis on different instruments by specifying unique instruments that should be used for a particular piece.

In contrast to the romantic music, Baroque style emphasized ornamentation. There were no pianos; s musician relied on harps chord. The two music periods heavily relied on instrumentation like singers, woodwind, and string. Most of the commonly used instruments in both baroque and romantic era were violin, piano, bassoon, and oboe. However, instrumentation in Romantic music was more on expressing feelings and emotions than in Baroque. Solo instruments and orchestra were fully established, and the harmonies were far more complicated in sounding. Baroque composers, on the other hand, played their compositions on harps chord, bassoon, and organ. Instrumentation became a defining characteristic of baroque. The viol replaced the four stringed-guitar used by Romantic composers. Their music was based on the three styles of fast, slow and dance. Vivaldi demonstrates a flawless movement between the orchestra and the soloist. He made music dynamics that are apparent interpretations.

In conclusion, the importance of the contribution of the art to societal development cannot be overemphasized based in the fact that it creates a valid avenue by which people can express themselves and a significant way by which such expression is  made possible is through the world of music.

October 05, 2023

Art Music

Subject area:

Classical Music

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