Compare this Chaconne with the following Passacaglia and specify what the repeating ostinato theme is for each: a melody, or a chord progression?

Blackboard Course documents to read:

Structure in Music is Achieved by Repetition:
Repetition by contrapuntal treatment
Repetition by variation
Sectional repetition
– Binary A: II B: II form is often used in the Baroque era for dances in orchestral and keyboard suites; Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas also use this form. Note that two of the dances however are set to a ground bass form: the chaconne, and the passacaglia; both of these in triple meter and in a minor key.
– Ternary A B A form is occasionally used in dances such as
A-Gavotte I, B-Trio Gavotte II, A-Gavotte I.
In Baroque opera, the da capo aria follows an A B A ternary pattern.

Baroque Music: Instrumental Baroque Music

Listening goals in this assignment are to sharpen skills in hearing:
different Baroque tone colors in the orchestra
major and minor modes
different types of textures: homophonic and polyphonic (both imitative and non-imitative)
important Baroque forms

In addition to the textbook listening charts, the following pieces from cd’s on reserve in the library will serve as a basis for audio class workshops. Some of the works have several movements. Listen to the excerpts bold print; listening to the whole work is recommended for your pleasure, but optional. In your written comments, describe in a sentence or two the mood or “affect” of each piece and what musical elements or Baroque “affect” create the feeling for you. Give the texture of each piece, and answer the questions marked by an *. Specify if you can effectively follow the forms for all of the numbered examples in bold print.

1. Partita n°2, BWV 1004, suite in D minor for violin J.S. Bach
Form: basso ostinato- continuous variations on a basso ostinato or ground bass which repeats perpetually.

* Questions: What are the meter, mode, and texture. Describe in a sentence or two the mood or “affect” and what musical elements create the feeling for you. Compare this Chaconne with the following Passacaglia and specify what the repeating ostinato theme is for each: a melody, or a chord progression?

2. Passacaglia and fugue, BWV 582, C minor for organ, ground bass J.S. Bach
Form: Continuous variations on a basso ostinato

3. Canon in D major for 3 violins on a ground bass J. Pachelbel

*Questions: What are the meter and texture of this piece? Describe the mood or “affect” and what musical elements achieve the effect.

4. Fugue BWV 543, in A minor for organ, piano transcription J.S. Bach
PC-1 (Yvonne Lefébure joue Bach, n° 14, the fugue begins at 3’40”. If you have time, the Partita n°1, BWV 825 in Bb major on this cd is a beautiful example of the dance suite for keyboard). on YouTube the fugue begins at 3’05”

*Questions: How many voices are in the exposition of this fugue? Describe the mood or “affect” . What is the type of texture?
5. Chorale Prelude “Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ “, BWV 639 J.S. Bach
PC-1 (Yvonne Lefébure joue Bach)
“Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ “, BWV 639 , or

* Questions: How would you describe the mood or “affect”? What is the type of texture?

6. Brandenburg Concerto n°5 in D major, BWV 1050 J.S. Bach
Concerto Grosso, 1st movement: Allegro, Ritornello form, with an extensive harpsichord cadenza at the end of the first movement

* Questions: Is the tone color a basic or a festive Baroque orchestra? Describe the mood or “affect” and the type of texture. Finally, compare the two interpretations, and specify which you prefer and why.
7. Orchestral Suite n°3, BWV 1068, D major J.S. Bach

Ouverture on YouTube 0’00” to 7’36”
Air on YouTube 7’40” to 12’35”
Gavotte I, Gavotte II, Form: A: IITrio: IIA: II on YouTube 12’38” to 16’13”
* Questions: Is the tone color a basic or a festive Baroque orchestra? Is the overture in the French or Italian style?

NB: in Bach BWV stands for Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach (Thematic-Systematic List of the Musical works of J.S. Bach, established by ed. Wolfgang Schmieder, Leipzig, 1950)

8. Il Cimento dell’armonia e dell’invenzione, opus 8 A. Vivaldi
The Four Seasons, Solo Concerto,
1. Spring, E Major, R. 269
2. Summer, G Minor, R.315
3. Autumn, F Major, R.293
4. Winter, F Minor, R.297
784.2 V855
Four sonnets were written, apparently by Vivaldi, as inspiration for The Four Seasons, opus 8. Although they are not vocalized with the music, they are as much a part of these four concertos as the violins. The published concertos are marked to indicate which musical passages are representative of which verse of the sonnet. Translation from Italian by Avril Bardoni 1983.

*Critical thinking: Choose the first movement from one of the Seasons other than Spring, specify whether the tone color is a basic or festive Baroque orchestration, give the form of the first movement, and specify if it is a Concerto Grosso or a Solo Concerto. Isolate musical elements used to achieve the Baroque “affect” depicted in the poetic images of the sonnet (for example trills in the violins to imitate birds in the first movement of Spring).

Spring has arrived, and joyously the birds
now welcome her return with festive song,
and streamlets, by soft airs caressed, are heard
to murmur sweetly as they course along.
Casting their inky mantle over heaven,
thunderstorms, her chosen heralds, roar;
when they have died away to silence, then
the birds take up their charming songs once more.
And now, upon the flower-strewn grass subsiding,
with leafy branches rustling overhead,
the goatherd sleeps his faithful dog beside him.
By festive sound of rustic bagpipes led,
nymphs and shepherds dance beneath the shining
canopy of spring with sprightly tread.
Beneath the blazing sun’s relentless heat
men and flocks are sweltering, pines are seared;
the cuckoo’s voice is raised, and soon the sweet
songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air, but the contentious
north wind sweeps them suddenly aside;
the weeping shepherd trembles at the menace
of violent storm and what it may betide.
His limbs are now from restful ease unbound
by fear of lightning’s flash and thunder’s roar
and flies and bluebottles that buzz around.
Alas, right well has he read Nature’s lore:
that heavens growl and flash and hailstones pound
the ripened corn that proudly stood before.
With song and dance the peasant celebrates
the harvest safely gathered in his barns;
Bacchus’ flowing bowl intoxicates
and many a reveler sinks in Morpheus’ arms.
The singing and the dancing die away
as cooling breezes fan the balmy air;
the summons of the season all obey:
to yield to sweet repose without a care.
At dawn the hunters, ready for the chase,
emerge with horns and guns and dogs and cries;
the prey breaks cover, they now pursue apace.
The din of guns and dogs now terrifies
the wounded brute, who for a little space
tries wearily to flee but, harried, dies.

To shiver frozen mid the frosty snow
in unrelenting winds that bite and sting,
to stamp one’s icy feet, run to and fro,
one’s teeth for bitter chill a-chattering;
To muse contentedly beside the hearth
while those outside are drenched by pouring rain;
with cautious step to tread the icy path
and try to keep one’s feet with might and main;
To turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground
and, rising, hasten on across the ice
until it cracks and splinters all around;
To hear the winds burst with ferocious might
their prison gates and clash with martial sound–
this is the winter, such are its delights.

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