Instrumental music: The new craze?

By: Haley Floyd

Instrumental music in the Baroque era

The Baroque era was the first era where instrumental music was as important as vocal music. Many advancements in making instruments occurred during this time period.

Instruments in the Baroque era

A popular instrument in the Baroque era is the Organ. This is one of the most important keyboard instruments, along with the Clavichord, and Harpsichord. The Organ includes multiple keyboards which are called manuals, and pipes that allow the player to change the tone and color. Organ's were common instruments and could be found in churches and homes in the Baroque era.

Instruments in the Baroque era

Another popular instrument in the Baroque era is the Clavichord. The clavichord is one of the most important keyboard instruments, its along with the Harpsichord are predecessors of the Piano. The Clavichord was a common instrument found in homes. When played it had a softer tone than the Harpsichord. It was used to play solo instrumental music and accompany vocal music.

Composers in the Baroque era

George Frederic Handel was a composer between 1685 and 1759. He composed instrumental music, but was well known for his Italian Operas and English oratorios. He was born in Germany and went to an opera house orchestra in Hamburg to began his career. He went to Italy and spent 3 years studying and composing. Most of his career was actually spent in England. He was music director at The Royal Academy of Music, and wrote two opera styles called the Italian opera seria and the English ballad opera which were both common forms in the Baroque era.

Composition in the Baroque era

The Cantata was originally composed for one or more soloists accompanied by instruments. The term Cantata means "to sing". Cantata's were originally short secular compositions which included contrasting sections in aria or recitative style. There are 3 types of Cantata's based on poetic genres. The lyric style focused on music and emotion, The dramatic cantata was written for theatrical performances, and narrative Cantata's told a story.