Friday, October 12, 2012

What Were Your Early Experiences With Baroque Music?

As young musicians, we learn quite a bit about music history, theory, as well as style and taste from our teachers. We read as well, of course, but I would say that the majority of my musical knowledge has been imparted to me orally, rather than through writing.

What I am curious to know is what sort of general impression you were given early on about baroque music.

For example:
Though I had listened to Bach's organ works as a child (one of the CDs the family would listen to on the road), I had not had that much exposure to baroque music. Before entering university I may have been able to name five composers of the period - certainly Bach, Telemann, and Handel were three of them.

Given that most of the examples of chorales that I was given to analyze by my composition teacher were by Bach, it became quite clear to me that his works were very well crafted.

In terms of musical performance, I had been given a few sonatas in high school to work on. In these pieces I learned that I should always begin a trill with the top note, and that I should always be a little quieter when resolving a dissonance (obviously there was more to it than that, but these rules seem to sit the clearest in my mind as I look back). I remember being told that there was a relationship between dance and music during the baroque era. I also remember being told that there were elements of improvisation in the music, though it was never explicitly outlined what those were.

What do you remember about your early experience with baroque music?

Let us know below

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I'm really the first one to post in this thread...
    Well, briefly: my first baroque music experience was a CD of Italian trio sonatas, as a child. Awful. Dull. Boring. All around nothing that could ever convince me. Actually it was baroque music, but it wasn't historically informed performance or whatever might match the character of that music. I later discovered CDs of Il giardino armonico and Emma Kirkby and that's how I eventually got the early music virus. But this experience of "boring" baroque music never let me go, even today as a musicologist working on performance studies (and I still have this dreadful CD). It made me realize the impact of performance practice. And the importance of - let' say - "informed" performance.
    The medium is the message.


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