Leaders Of The Baroque Age: Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach, And George Frideric Handel

1045 words - 4 pages

During the Baroque Age, many changes took place in the instrumental music area. This type of music became very popular and just as important as vocal music, with many new mechanical and technological developments taking place. The keyboard, strings, winds, and percussion were used to produce instrumental music. Among these instruments, the keyboard was a major one used for solo music and “basso continuo” (a musical notation used to signal chords, non-chords, and intervals in connection to bass notes) parts. The keyboard also was involved in an abundance of instrumental literature during this time. The three types of keyboards that existed were the organ (mainly used with church music and solo accompaniment), the clavichord (produces sound by the striking of a medal wedge against a string when a key is pressed), and the harpsichord (contains two keyboards and a sound that produces “quills” when the strings are plucked due to a key being pressed). G.F. Telemann, J.S. Bach, and G.F. Handel were three men that had a major impact on the development of keyboard music in the Baroque Age. With their superior musician skills, they left behind many pieces of music that we play and listen to today.
In 1681, Georg Philipp Telemann was born into a family connected to the Lutheran Church. He had exceptional musical abilities, mastering the keyboard, violin, zither, and flute by the age of ten. He composed an opera “Sigismundus” at the age of twelve as well. Telemann was determined to excel in music especially with the disapproval from his parents. After finishing grade school at Hildesheim Gymnasium, he began college at Leipzig University studying language and science. That eventually changed when he created the student Collegium Musicum where he gave public concerts, wrote operatic works, and became the music director of the Leipzig opera. In 1709 Telemann became the chapel master at the court of Eisenach and in Frankfurt. In 1721 he then became the cantor of the Johann and music director in Hamburg, holding these jobs for the remainder of his life. During his career Telemann traveled to Berlin often, which caused the French musical ideas and styles to influence his musical pieces. Telemann was able to write church musical pieces for eight different instruments with ease. By the time Georg Philipp Telemann died, he had composed twelve complete cantata cycles (a vocal piece with a instrumental accompaniment), 44 Passions (relates to biblical settings that are sung), funeral and wedding music pieces, chamber music, almost forty operas, and over six hundred overtures (dramatic instrumental introduction) in the French style.
Johann Sebastian Bach was known throughout his life as a great organist and composer. His journey began in Germany during March of 1685 where he was born into a family of musicians. Bach’s father taught him how to play the violin and harpsichord, while his uncle taught him to play the organ. He was also fortunate to have...

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