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Baroque vs. Classical Music Essay Essay

When many people listen to music from earlier periods, they classify it all as classical music, when although there were many periods of music. Although the two may sound similar to the untrained ear, the Baroque style and the Classical styles of music have many differences.

The Baroque Period (1600-1750) was a revolutionary period for music. Preceded by the renaissance, the Baroque Period offered new and different things to music. Common tools were used such as counterpoint and fugue that transformed music. There was a growth in the uses of new instruments such as the trumpet, French horn, and piano. Composers, such as Johan Sebastian Bach, concentrated on what the music notes lead to and what sounded good to listen to. Bach, who composed over 1200 pieces, was the “gold standard” for Baroque music, helping to regulate harmony in music. Baroque music was all about emotion. Composers used these tools to weave and blend different sounds together to create unison. Counterpoint was a popular tool used, where two separate lines were played together to make harmony. A lot went on in Baroque music.

The Classical Period (1750-1825), on the other hand was a lot simpler. Instead of having many instruments playing lines at once in harmony, many instruments would play softly in the background while a solo instrument would play. Classical music consisted of a single melody. Baroque music was very complex, and demonstrated polyphony, where many different sounds went on at the same time, whereas Classical music demonstrated homophony, where the same sounds were played. Form was also a big factor in Classical music. Baroque composers were more concerned about evoking emotion than the form of their piece; Classical composers were the opposite Classical composers demonstrated clear cut form, whereas Baroque composers blended everything together. Classical music was also very repetitive. Composers would not change much, it was the same melody played over and over.

I prefer Baroque music over Classical music. I chose Baroque music because it is a lot more interesting. Classical music is too simple compared to Baroque music. With Baroque music, more emotion is evoked. A great example of this is Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” where you could actually tell which season is portrayed by which piece by listening carefully. To me, Classical music is too boring and repetitive. Baroque music always keeps me on my toes, keeping me guessing at what is coming next. I care more about what a piece means than the form it is written in. Although I prefer Baroque music, I do not discredit Classical music at all. A lot of brilliant pieces came from both periods of music.

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