How can you best describe baroque music

Baroque music

Straight to the heart

But it was precisely the exaggerated splendor and splendor that fascinated people about the Baroque at that time. The musicians soaked up the zeitgeist and satisfied their audience with pompous operas and emotional sonnets - as if it was a matter of showing how much emotion you can squeeze onto a sheet of music.

With all musical means, the composers and musicians tried to express so-called "affects" ("con affecto"), that is, human feelings and moods. Melodies, rhythms and timbres were subordinated to this goal.

The string and wind instruments of the time were not designed for a loud and room-filling sound, but rather to be able to play as broad a spectrum of sounds as possible. The sound of the instruments should be reminiscent of the human voice with all its nuances.

Figured bass age

In the early baroque period - around 1590 to 1620 - opera emerged as a new art form that was then part of popular entertainment. The so-called figured bass - basso continuo - was the point of reference for the soloists not only for opera, but also for many forms of musical interplay in the Baroque era.

The conductor had to determine which instrument should play this central part. The other musicians were free to make their part more emotional through improvisation within the framework of the harmonic framework of the figured bass.

Music played such an important role in the baroque that the early baroque is also known as the "thoroughbass period".

Power and music

But not only the musical style changed, the performance of the music also corresponded to the zeitgeist: royal houses had large orchestras, choirs and their own band masters. Especially at court, the music should not only entertain, but also underline the power of its financier, the king, through its imposing performance.

To make the music more bombastic and the sound more spatial, the orchestra was distributed over the entire hall. The voices of the choirs were also positioned separately in the room.

Music was not only used at court as a representation of power and wealth. The clergy also set up large choirs, perfected the organ music into a musical experience and committed top-class organists.

Kapellmeister at the court were hired for a lot of money to lead an orchestra and to compose the music for it.

Talent factory Italy

But such universal talents were rare. The most talented musicians were found in Italy in the early and sometimes even in the high baroque period (1620-1680). Italian musicians became stars, for whose favor the royal families of all of Europe vied.

Young musicians were sent to Italian music schools. They spread the music in the high baroque all over Europe, especially in France it experienced a heyday at this time.

The tragic adventurers of the baroque music wave were the castrati. Through castration, they kept their boys' voices even in old age and, thanks to their "supernatural" voices, they were much sought-after singers with church choirs and opera composers.