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Baroque Period

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Baroque Period

The Baroque period of music existed from 1600 to 1750. The word Baroque means "highly decorated" which was a suitable description for music of this time. This was a time at which we today, consider to be a fairytale, full of kings, queens, and castles. Music at this time was very ornate and predominantly enjoyed by the Royal courts. Its patrons included Kings Queens, and Dukes. Musicians also received support from the Catholic Church, whom at the time, had more authority and influence than the kings themselves, but in this era played less of a role in music than that of previous eras. Academies, private associations that sponsored musical activities, supported music in many cities. Much music written toward the end of the Baroque period was written for amateur performers in the households of the aristocracy and wealthy class. Most of this music was instrumental, but vocal music was often included. There was no institutional organization for teaching musical arts, so students were taught by their own musical fathers or relatives who were attached to the household of a composer/performer. Baroque music saw the beginning of operas, the slow dominance of the church over sacred music, and the beginning of our major-minor system or tonality. This new style of music was a vehicle of spontaneous expression. One of the most important creations of Baroque was the concept of contrast as in Baroque art like loud and soft, solo and tutti, high and low, fast and slow. The term Baroque denotes the inner stylistic unity of the period. The most important and groundbreaking composers at the time included such household names as Hayden, Handel, and Bach.

Johan Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, in 1685. He was a German organist and composer of the baroque era, one of the greatest and most productive geniuses in the history of Western music. In his early years, Bach played various parts of the musical culture in Germany. This included a chorister at the Church of Saint Michael in Lьneburg, a chapel master and director of chamber music at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kцthen, and as an organist and violinist at the court of Duke Wilhelm Ernst. In 1723, Bach moved to Leipzig, where he spent the rest of his life. In the latter portion of his life spent in Leipzig he wrote 295 cantatas, 202 of which have survived to this day, and are still very much played.

The Bach piece



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