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The Baroque Period Essay

1147 words - 5 pages

Music reached its peak of success between the 17th and 18th century. This time period is known as the Baroque period. Countless composers achieved immense success during this point in history, two of the most famous being, Johann Bach and George Frideric Handel. The first opera, oratorio, and cantata occurred during the Baroque period. Amazingly, most of the instruments used during the period, remain in use today. The Baroque period in music obviously played a tremendous role in the growth of music through its numerous successful composers and various types of instruments.
The Baroque period in music began 1600 and ended around 1750. The unique instruments and styles defined the Baroque period as composers began to withdraw new and unknown sounds by tweaking different instruments. The name Baroque came from the Portuguese barroco, which means oddly shaped pearl. The first opera made its appearance during the Baroque period. A myriad of young outgoing composers also became well known during this point in history. Included in these are: Bach, Caccini, Corelli, Froberger, Geminiami, Handel, Lully, Metastasio, Monteverdi, Pachelbel, Peri, Scarlatti, Telemann, Vivaldi and Zachau. As the Baroque Period concluded around 1750, it was evident that many composers had prospered greatly during the time era.
Johann Bach lived from 1685 – 1750 throughout Europe, but he originally resided in Germany. Although his father was an accomplished organist, Bach became orphaned at age ten and found himself in the care of his older brother, who despised music. Having a secret passion for music, Bach strived to learn and master the art of music. As he aged, Bach primarily played the organ, developing a strong love for the instrument. Although he also became an extremely successful composer, Bach is remembered today for his numerous skills and most of all for playing the organ.
Much like Johann Bach, George Frideric Handel was born in 1685 in Germany, but died in 1759. His father made his living by being a barber-surgeon. Although he opposed music, George’s father allowed him to take music lessons. After years of lessons, Handel attended Halle University. Simultaneous to his father’s death, Handel became a full time musician. Contributing significantly to the musical world, he is considered to this day as one of the best organists of all time. Over the course of his life, George Frideric Handel participated in over 50 operas, dramatic oratorios, and orchestras.
The myriad of instruments used during the Baroque period are divided into four groups: brass, keyboards, strings, and winds. Included in the brass group are trumpets, horns, and sackbuts. The trumpet, originally made of bamboo or wood, was replaced by a shorter version in 1300 and later fashioned into the shape of an S in 1400. Continuing to evolve rapidly, the trumpet became formed, coiled into an elongated loop in 1500 and could be constructed in both brass and silver. In 1820, valves were added along the body...

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