Mar 18 – Prelude to the Baroque Era
Age of Absolutism
– Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715) – the age of Absolutism in France/Continental
– Absolutism: royalty (king or queen) claims complete dominance over the
state. The people accept this due to The Divine Right of Kings – God
approves of the kingship, and the people must accept this – the person was
meant to be in the role.
– Versailles is a testament to his power
– Absolutism and the arts: kings have a lot of money, so they can pay artists,
musicians, architects etc. To create the absolute best art to impress the
people, diplomats from other countries, and to display wealth.
The Thirty Years' War
– 1618-1648. Mostly on Germanic lands – France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark,
Holland, and H.R.E. States (Germanic)
– Begun – Catholic and Protestant conflict
– Sustained: territory (Hapsburg vs Bourbon)
– Effect: famine, disease, broken economy – the worst for Germany.
Revoking the Edict of Nantes
– France was 'ahead' after Thirty Years' war
– Edict of Nantes (1598): a peace deal b/w Catholics and Protestants in France
– 1685: France revokes this edict
– Many Protestants (Huguenots) flee France for Protestant countries (Holland
and N America)
– Absolutism never takes hold
– Parliament works with Monarchy
– Struggle b/w the two: English Civil War (1642-1649) until Charles I died
– England ruled by Oliver Cromwell for almost 10 years
– Cromwell died, monarchy reintroduced/restored.
– “Glorious Revolution” (1688-9) pro-Catholic, absolutist-leaning James II
(leans towards Louis XIV's ideas) replaced by his daughter Mary and
husband, William of Orange – they reign together.
Public Support of the Arts
– In places where Absolutism doesn't work (England, Venice, Hamburg)
– Art now written for the public and paid for by the public. Not solely paid for
by the king anymore – art is now not just what the king does to make
himself and his kingdom look good.
– Music written for church or court or the public on the street.
Colonization – European countries develop holdings in the colonies. N America, S America,
– A “global economy”
– Disadvantage for Native American peoples and Africans.
The Scientific Revolution
– Mid 16 century - 18 century. Astronomers lead – Tycho Brahe (1546-
1601), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
– Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) confirms the idea (originally Copernicus') that
the earth is not the centre of the universe.
– Francis Bacon (1561-1626): The Scientific Method
– Rene Descartes (1590-1626): Philosopher
– G.W. Leibniz (1646-1716): mathematician
– I. Newton (1642-1727): physicist
Baroque – Portuguese word 'barroco' – 'misshapen pearl' – an insult, meaning
'distorted'/'grotesque' by 19th-century historians
– 'Baroque' covers many styles, and these develop throughout the period
– Time period is difficult to define
Baroque Affect: certain kinds of music inspire specific emotional responses
– Developed from chromaticism of late Renaissance
– Emotions achieved through these performer's imitation of those emotions in
– Baroque Affect may be traced back to the extreme word-painting by
A New Audience and its Demands
– The Public: new addition to the church and the court
– Music printing and selling increases in importance
– New technology: engraving on large sheets of metal for repeatable prints
Baroque Era Focused on Newness
– Fast-paced compositional world – composers and compositions went in and
out of style quickly
– Even great composers did not look to the past for inspiration and technique.
Mar 20 – The New Practice
Recreating Ancient Greek Music
– Ancient Greeks: music is “heightened speech.” Therefore, text in vocal
music always determines musical setting – rhythm, emotional content.
Coming thom the interpretation of Greek music happening in Florence in