Timeline

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Georg Philipp Telemann was unquestionably the most prolific composer of his generation. He wrote over 3,000 individual works ranging from chamber music to opera, from oratorios to cantatas.  

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Antonio Vivaldi is a name that has become synonymous with the Baroque concerto. His style and massive output has influenced composers for almost 300 years.

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The 17th Century, also known as the Age of Reason, saw the birth of the scientific method. The music and writings of French composer Jean Phillippe Rameau sought to understand music, and specifically harmony, in scientific terms.

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Though born the son of a humble miller in Florence, Italy, Jean Baptiste Lully was destined to become the “Father of French Opera.” His work and influence took this Italian art form and imbued it with French opulence and pageantry.

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The Baroque saw many influential musical families as the craft and career of composition and performing was passed from father to son and daughter for generations. One of the greatest dynasties in music was the French family, Couperin. The most influential member of this family was the composer Francois Couperin.

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During the Baroque, several families made their mark in the world of music. In Italy there were few families more influential than the Scarlattis.

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The British Isles were in turmoil in the mid-17th century, wracked by civil war, plague and a fire that devastated most of London. By the late 1660s, new hope was found in the reestablishment of the monarchy. It was thought that a new United Kingdom and a new City of London could arise from the ashes of war and fire. It is in this spirit of Restoration that we see the arrival of one of the most influential composers of the Baroque and, arguably, one of the greatest English composers of all time, Henry Purcell.

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The concerto is a popular genre of instrumental music that was developed during the Baroque.  It is characterized by one or more instruments (the concertino) acting as the soloist while other instruments (the ripieno) accompany the principle line. When it is one instrument accompanied by many we called it a “solo concerto." When there are multiple instruments sharing the spotlight we call this a “concerto grosso."

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The Latin word Cantata means “to sing”, the word Sonata means “to play.” That last title is vague enough to cover a multitude of instrumental genres. Vocal music comes with a built-in structure for the composer to follow.

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The word opera literally translates as the word “work;” it’s the plural of the noun opus. The dramatic form of opera has its roots deep within the aristocratic culture of early 16th Century Florence, Italy.

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The aesthetic basis of baroque music, from Monteverdi to J. S. Bach, was greatly influenced by a concept called the doctrine of affections.

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There are individuals in music history that stand as pillars, whose life and work help us delineate the various eras of musical practice. One such individual was the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, whose work marks the boundary between the renaissance and the baroque.

The Renaissance was a time of re-birth as science and the arts changed the face of culture. However, some old ideas persisted in the midst of this change; especially beliefs about the roles and intellectual capacity of the genders. Even though the Renaissance saw many female heads of state, it was still held as common knowledge that women were inferior to men, physically, mentally and artistically. As a result, we have very few examples of female composers during this period of music history. There is an exception though, the work of Maddalena Casulana.

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This week, we will explore the influence of the 16th century madrigal and discuss its place in the music leading up to the Baroque.

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In this week’s episode, we’ll explore the influence the reformation and counter-reformation had on the world of music including the work of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

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In this episode we will explore the development of imitation or canon as a tool of harmony and musical form, especially in the works of Josquin Deprez and Johannes Ockeghem.

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In 1450, Johannes Gutenburg made history in Europe with his moveable type printing press. Thanks to his process and his machine, the printed word was able to spread across the Western world.

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This week, we’ll discuss the music of the 15th century French composer Guillaume Dufay and how the lines that defined secular and sacred music began to blur in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

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There are moments in music history, like all history, that stand as dividing lines. Once they happened, nothing could ever be the same.

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Though the church was instrumental in the development of musical notation, it was not the sole arbiter of music in medieval times.  The high middle ages were also the time of the troubadours or trouveres; French composers and performers of secular lyric poetry and song beginning in the late 11th Century.

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