Baroque art and music relationship

The Age of the Baroque in Music and the Arts :

baroque art and music relationship

In the arts, Baroque is a period as well as the style that used One of the defining aspects of music of the Baroque era was its connection to and In similar profusions of detail, art, music, architecture, and literature inspired. Geniuses like Rubens, Rembrandt, and Shakespeare offered unique perspectives through their art. European nations grew more and more involved with foreign. Here's a post about relating Baroque art to the music of the time which I'll be sharing with my students. To understand the visual art of the.

I'm not an expert here, but apparently these are well expounded in Descartes' Passions of the Soul Descartes was a dualist - the immaterial mind and material body were separate entities that nevertheless interacted to form a complete union. Thus he discusses passions as "perceptions… of the soul", but they also were given a grounding in physical causes i.

The key take away here is that they could explained in a rational, scientific manner, as a natural, physical process. External causes induced passions, and those passions in turn could produce actions. All passions were good in moderation, and potentially dangerous in excess or in misuse; but they could also be mastered by force of mental discipline.

Mattheson refers to Decartes' dualism when describing the relation between music and emotions: This doctrine teaches us to make a distinction between the minds of the listeners and the sounding forces that have an effect on them. However, he's content to leave the details to philosophers: What the passions are, how many there are, how they may be moved, whether they should be eliminated or admitted and cultivated, appear to be questions belonging to the field of the philosopher rather than the musician.

The latter must know, however, that the sentiments are the true material of virtue, and that virtue is nought but a well ordered and wisely moderate sentiment. According to Mattheson, it's important for music to invoke passions in order to be "virtuous", but one should not get carried away: Where there is no passion or affect, there is no virtue.

baroque art and music relationship

When our passions are ill they must be healed, not murdered. It is true, nevertheless, that those affects which are our strongest ones, are not the best and should be clipped or held by the reins.

Baroque - Wikipedia

This is an aspect of morality which the musician must master in order to represent virtue and evil with his music and to arouse in the listener love for the former and hatred for the latter.

For it is the true purpose of music to be, above all else, a moral lesson. Of course, even as early as the ancient Greeks, the power of music to influence emotion was well recognized. This brings us to the next topic: Rhetoric Strictly speaking, rhetoric is the art of discourse, oration, and public speaking. More generally, it is the art of persuasion. At first blush, it might seem odd that crafting debates and speeches should have anything to do with music, but they are actually closely related.

As far back as Aristotle, rhetoric has recognized different modes of persuasion that can be applied to an audience. On one hand is logos which is an appeal to reason, using arguments based on facts and logic. But an equally valid approach is to use pathos -- an appeal to emotion a third approach, ethos, is an appeal to the credibility of the speaker. Indeed, a well constructed oration should use pathos to appeal to the emotions, with the goal of moving the listener's passions, urging them to action.

The Latin orator Cicero claimed in De oratore 55 BC that rhetoric's "full power" was seen in "calming or kindling the feelings of the audience. During the end of the Rennaissance and the beginning of the Baroque, the application of rhetoric to music composition was sometimes known as musica poetica. The art of rhetoric has 5 basic practices known as canons that are employed in the construction of a oration, but the ones that apply the most to composition are: Inventio the selection of topic, and discovery of argumentsDispositio organization of argumentsand perhaps Elocutio style, including rhetorical figures.

The other two canons, Memoria memorization and Pronuntiatio deliveryhave more to do with performance rather than composition. Invention In oratory, Invention, is used to create a thesis and discover arguments. It can be thought of as somewhat analogous to a more methodical form of brainstorming. Musically speaking, invention is the creation and development of a theme. Themes can be created from combining figures, and from using topics of invention.

Baroque Music Overview

Figures Mattheson advocates building up a theme from a collection of smaller figures, which form a sort of vocabulary: This means that, by experience and attentive listening to good music, the composer must have collected 'moduli' [motifs], little turns, clever passages, and pleasant runs and jumps. He is rather against creating a catalog of these though: One must not use these devices in such a way that one has an index of them and that one treats them, in an academic manner, like a box of inventions.

Rather, they should be considered in the same way as the vocabulary and the expressions used in speaking. We do not put these on paper or in a book, but keep them in mind and by means of them we are able to express ourselves in the most comfortable way without constantly consulting a dictionary. If one desires and needs to do this, one may, of course, make oneself a collection of all the fine passages and moduli that one has ever come upon… However, lame and patchy things will result from this laborious and deliberate piecing together of such fragments… Topics of Invention Mattheson also admits that the loci topici "are occasionally very fine aids", and makes a big deal of applying the exact same loci that one might find in regular rhetoric to music.

He describes two specific loci as being the most important: Locus notationis notation he uses to refer to the technical aspects of the written notes themselves -- their durations, inversions, repetitions, etc… Locus descriptiones description is considered the "most essential guide to invention", and "contains the bottomless sea of the human sentiments which… are to be represented and described in music.

Mattheson writes that it is hard to categorize: Because of the manifold and mixed nature of the passions, however, one cannot list as many clear and particular rules for the locus descriptiones as for the preceding one.

Mattheson continues to briefly apply numerous other rhetorical loci of invention, which could lead to choices of musical texture, instrumentation, usage of consonance or dissonance, and even the effect of the performance venue church vs. Another important locus is using contrast of any sort: Bach viewed Invention as an important basis for composition, one need look no further than the title of his aptly-named keyboard Inventions, which, beyond teaching students to play 2 and 3 part keyboard music, also provided examples of: Disposition Disposition is the arrangement of this material, and thus has to do with the resulting structure of the composition.

This can be thought of as providing a generic rhetorical template, similar to today's "three act films". In speeches, the structure tends to follow a preset but somewhat flexible pattern including the following elements: Different authors give slightly different names or orders for these items. The ones I list here are the ones Mattheson uses, and he once again makes a point of applying the exact same rhetorical structures to music as one would to a speech "Musical disposition differs from rhetoric only in its medium, for it must observe the same six parts as does a speaker…".

He does admit that strictly and deliberately following this pattern can lead to pedanticism, and that most good musicians tend to more-or-less follow this subconsciously, the same way that people talking arrange what they are saying by "natural mental instinct". Thus disposition might be better seen as a tool for analysis; indeed Mattheson analyzes an Aria in such a fashion. Honestly, though, it's not completely clear to me from his writing how these rhetorical functions are applied to the structural form of the music.

For a similar analysis, I found this pagewhich is an analysis of a Bach cantata movement using the same rhetorical breakdown. The New Music One could credibly claim that using rhetoric in music to convey emotional texts was the primary motivation for the creation of the Baroque style.

About the Baroque Period - Music of the Baroque

At the end of the Rennaissance, in Florence, Italy, there was a group of poets, musicians, and intellectuals known as the Florentine Camerata who met under the patronage of the Italian Count de Bardi with the purpose of reviving the ancient Greek tradition of musical drama or at least their imagination of what Greek musical drama might have been.

Among others, this group included Vincenzo Galilei scientist, musician, and father of Galileo and the composer Giulio Cacciniwho published a collection of songs in called " Le nuove musiche " "The New Music".

In his introduction to this set, he explains with shameless self-promotion the development of this new style. I found a portion of an English translation in this pdfas well as a blog article that also contains an extensive translation and discussion.

To avoid link-rot, I'll summarize it here as well. Essentially, the Camerata recognized that the Polyphony of the day, as typified by the music of Palestrina youtubewas unsuitable to the emotional singing required for drama, because it prevents the words from being well understood and thus spoils the sense and the form of the poetry.

baroque art and music relationship

I refer to the kind of music that elongates a syllable here and shortens one there to accommodate the counterpoint, turning the poetry to shreds. He appeals to Plato and ancient Greeks who taught the purpose of music is to penetrate the minds of others and create the marvelous effects that writers admire. In modern music, these effects could not be achieved through counterpoint… not a word could be understood in the pervasive vocalises, whether on short or long syllables… It was evident, therefore, that such music and musicians could offer no delight other than that which harmony gave to [the sense of] hearing alone, for they could not move the intellect, lacking the understanding of the words.

For Caccini, extensive use of ornamentation was not expressive. It might tickle the ear, but by obscuring the text, it was only suitable for less expressive music.

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I believe that passagework brings a certain titillation to the ears of those who do not really understand what it means to sing with expression. For, if they knew, they would undoubtedly detest such passagework since nothing could be further from expression… lengthy runs in the voice are badly used. Nevertheless, I have allowed some passagework in… less expressive music. As an alternative, the Camerata pictured the ideal of a Greek bard, reciting poetry while strumming chords on a lyre.

As a result, the rules of polyphony were relaxed, and the bass line and inner voices were de-emphasized. The thought occurred to me to introduce a kind of music for which someone else would be able to make musical speech… This kind of music passes through dissonances sometimes while holding on to the bass note… The middle parts played by the instrument express [only] certain figures since these parts are not much good for anything else.

The new style of music that was created later referred to as Monodyand as typified by Le nuove musiche youtubeinvolved a single vocalist singing a melody line, with all the other parts of the music playing a subservient role of background accompaniment.

In fact, these parts weren't even written out in full, but were rather notated as interval numbers underneath a bass line, representing the harmonies to play. When were the terms "Major" and "Minor" applied to keys? This new melodic style was largely successful, and was used in the development of the entirely new genre of Opera which marks the beginning of the Baroque.

The first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers.

baroque art and music relationship

The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, and declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, and with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven.

Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were carefully created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real.

The interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, and focused around the altar, usually placed under the dome. Peter —34both by Gian Lorenzo Berniniin St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Baldequin of St. Peter is an example of the balance of opposites in Baroque art; the gigantic proportions of the piece, with the apparent lightness of the canopy; and the contrast between the solid twisted columns, bronze, gold and marble of the piece with the flowing draperies of the angels on the canopy.

It gives both a sense of motion and also a dramatic new way of reflecting light.

baroque art and music relationship

The cartouche was another characteristic feature of baroque decoration. These were large plaques carved of marble or stone, usually oval and with a rounded surface, which carried images or text in gilded letters, and were placed as interior decoration or above the doorways of buildings, delivering messages to those below. They showed a wide variety of invention, and were found in all types of buildings, from cathedrals and palaces to small chapels.

For the Palazzo Spada in Rome, Borromini used columns of diminishing size, a narrowing floor and a miniature statue in the garden beyond to create the illusion that a passageway was thirty meters long, when it was actually only seven meters long.

A statue at the end of the passage appears to be life-size, though it is only sixty centimeters high. Borromini designed the illusion with the assistance of a mathematician.