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Who Is Greater, J.S Bach Or G.F Handel

1280 words - 5 pages

According to my research on both the great Baroque composers, I feel that Johann Sebastian Bach has contributed more to the Baroque period then George Frederic Handel. Johann Sebastian Bach may not be well known to the public until the Baroque Revival by Mendelssohn in the Romantic period, but his works now are a lot more famous then Handel's works as his works are generally more influential to composers and it is far more interesting then George Frederic Handel's oratorios. (Example: Johann Sebastian Bach and use his name for the motif of this last fugue.) (From an unofficial survey by, I see that about 18.30% preferred Bach Then Handel as a more favourable composer. Refer to figure 1)1. BEETHOVEN 18.42%2. J.S BACH 18.38%3. MOZART 17.20%4. CHOPIN 9.86%5. RACHMANINOV 1.99%6. TCHAIKOVSKY 1.95%7. STRAVINSKY 1.85%8. VIVALDI 1.50%9. OCKEGHEM 1.16%10. LISZT 1.04%11. BRAHMS 1.01%12. HANDEL 0.95%Figure 1. Popularity of the composers' top 12Although not as great as Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederic Handel (otherwise known as Georg Frederich Handël) has also contributed very massively to the Baroque period. His Oratorios is as famous as Bach's Preludes and Fugues, Concertos etc. George Frederic Handel mostly concentrate on entertainment of the public, thus more well known to the people of the middle classes unlike Johann Sebastian Bach where he works in either the courts of the royalties or in the churches. As his duty is to entertain the public, therefore George Frederic Handel does not necessary need such a rich harmonious and complex chords like Johann Sebastian Bach. He has contributed to mostly of the opera part of the Baroque period but not really in the orchestral side. As reference from, I can see that Handel uses Pictorial and effective musical symbolism in his choral music, like word painting, descriptive music and a certain key to a certain mood of the pieces. He also could create enormous effects just by using simple harmonies. His oratorios are based on ancient Greek and Roman mythology or history, therefore his target audience are middle classes, these oratorios or operas are the arias, which are connected by long passages of recitative in which the plot develops and these arias had shown George Frederic Handel's ability to evoke a certain emotion or mood while watching the opera or oratorios. George Frederic Handel also never hesitated to even interrupting the polyphonic flow of the music to bring out the idea of his text, he also changes texture more frequently then Johann Sebastian Bach.Johann Sebastian Bach has clearly shown more contribution to the Baroque Period then George Frederic Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach had more flow in his music and he should have...

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