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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Figured Bass, Minuet, Program Music

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Mar 22 – The New Practice: Music in the Baroque Era – a Stylistic Overview
Diff b/w Renaissance and Baroque
Emergence of Basso Continuo
Major compositional technique influencing from the early Baroque era til
Basso Continuo – paradigm shift in music
Co-existence of old and new styles
Must differentiate b/w prima and seconda prattica
Modal (Renaissance) vs. Tonal writing (Baroque)
Use of eight church modes – how tones and semitones are distributed over
an octave
Going from this method to either being in major or minor tonality – from
this, we manipulate the music
Controversy – Monteverdi doesn't want modal language go.
Handel (early 18th century) -A good composer should know the modes, but
he doesn't see what use they have in today's music.” - major/minor by
Handel's time.
Intervallic to Chordal Harmony
Going to the idea of chords – functions of chords.
Until now: harmony is a result of good counterpoint – not thinking in chords
and what function they serve
Rhythmic Regularity vs. Rhythmic freedom
Renaissance – beat is regulated, and the harmony is on top
Rhythmic freedom – no barlines – sense of “tactus” - pulse rather than text-
declamation-driven freedom of the Renaissance
Differences b/w Renaissance and Baroque Style
Uniformity vs. Individual Virtuosity
Renaissance: Equality of roles – uniformity of parts. Baroque era –
accompaniment, bass line – all for the melody. Melody is in itself.
Baroque – virtuosity permitted: freedom to improvise.
Specific compositions for voices or instruments
Composers now, for the first time, have to decided if they write for a voice
or instrument.
Parts are written to demonstrate the skills of the performer's
Importance of Instruments and Instrumental Groups
Able to write for instruments and the ensemble of them.
Standardization, key area development.
Absolute Music vs. Program Music
Program music – about something else – a story beyond the music.
1700s – people begin to know about it, hear stories in compositions
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