Musicology: Instrumental Music

The outline that you find below has been a very helpful study guide to assist students using the book A History of Western Music. I strongly recommend this book. With its contents, art work, and media, it's just gorgeous!

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Background

  1. Basic instrumental genres of the late 17th c.
    1. Keyboard genres
      1. Toccata (prelude, fantasia) and fugue
      2. Arrangements of Lutheran chorales or other liturgical material (chorale prelude, verset, etc.)
      3. Variations
      4. Passacaglia and chaconne
      5. Suite
      6. Sonata (after 1700)
    2. Ensemble genres
      1. Sonata (sonata da chiesa)
      2. Sinfonia
      3. Suite (sonata da camera)
      4. Concerto

Keyboard Music

  1. The Baroque Organ
    1. Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753)
      1. Leading German organ builder of the Baroque
      2. Influenced by the French full organ (plein jeu)
    2. Golden age of German organ music 1675-1725
    3. Antecedents (early 17th c. composers for organ)
      1. Sweelinck
      2. Scheidt
    4. Chieft organ composers of the late 17th c.
      1. Georg Böhm (1661-1733)
      2. Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703)
      3. Johann Pachelbel
    5. Performance
      1. Organ music predominated in Protestant churches
      2. Served as prelude to scriptural readings, singing of hymns, etc.
      3. North German preludes usually took the form of toccatas or praeludia in which fugues were imbedded, and organ chorales
  2. Toccata
    1. Preludes and toccatas developed into large-scale works that simulated extended improvisations
    2. Devices in the nonfugal sections of toccatas
      1. Irregular or free rhythm contrasted with a propulsive, unceasing drive of 16th notes
      2. Indistinct phrases
      3. Sudden changes in texture
      4. Extended pedal points
    3. Use of imitative counterpoint (contrasted against more rhapsodic sections)
      1. From this texture, the fugue emerges
      2. Fugue eventually develops as stand-along piece
  3. Fugue
    1. Independent pieces as well as sections within preludes
    2. By the end of the 17th c. fugue replaces the ricercare
    3. Form
      1. Exposition (introductory entrances)
        1. Subject (first voice): stated in tonic
        2. Answer (subsequent voice)
          1. Real answer: interval structure is indentical in transposition
          2. Tonal answer: interval structure accommodates the harmony
      2. Episodes
        1. Passages where the subject is not being heard in any voice
        2. Often permeated by use of sequences
      3. Stretto
        1. Concluding section in which statements enter more quickly
      4. Other techniques
        1. Pedal point
        2. Augmentation: doubling of the note value of the subject
  4. Equal Temperment
    1. Ariadne musica (1715)
      1. Collection of keyboard preludes and fugues in 19 major and minor keys
      2. Composed by J.K.F. Fischer (1665-1746)
    2. Earlier works exploiting tonal palette
      1. Giacomo Gorzanis
        1. Lutenist
        2. 1567 compilation of 24 passamezzo-saltarello pairs
          1. One in each major and minor key
      2. Vincenzo Galilei
        1. 1584 manuscript of lute music
          1. 12 Passamezzo antico-romanesca-saltarello sets in each minor key
          2. 12 Passamezzo moderno-romanesca-saltarello sets in each major key
      3. Lute was a natural instrument for such cycles because the frets were spaced such that there were 12 equal semitones in the octave
    3. Keyboard tuning
      1. Keyboard players used nonequal divisions of the octave to create 'sweeter' imperfect consonances and 'truer' perfect consonances
      2. 15th c. keyboards used pure 5th and 4ths of Pythagorean tuning
        1. This rendered Maj.3rds too large, min.3rds too small
        2. 15th c. players began compromising the tuning of the 4ths and 5ths to achieve better 3rds and 6ths
        3. Meantone temperament
          1. Maj.3rds slightly larger than pure
          2. 5ths slightly smaller
          3. Meantone temperament resulted in a very rough 5th between C#-Ab or G#-Eb
          4. Modulations through every key could not be accomplished with this tuning
      3. Equal temperament
        1. All semitones are equal
        2. Intervals are less than true, but acceptable
        3. 16th c. solution eventually embraced by keyboard players, composers and organ builders in the 17th and 18th centuries
      4. The Well-Tempered Clavier (Book I, 1722)
        1. J.S. Bach's collection of preludes and fugues in 24 keys
        2. Title suggests that Bach had equal temperament in mind when the work was composed
  5. Chorale Compositions
    1. Chorale composition linked in function and subject to the repertory of Lutheran hymns
    2. 17th c. organ composers used chorale melodies in several fundamental ways:
      1. Single presentation of the chorale melody harmonically or contrapuntally
      2. As themes for variations
      3. Subjects for fantasias
      4. Melodies for embellishment
    3. Chorale Types
      1. Simple organ chorales
        1. Harmonizations of the melody
        2. Moderate contrapuntal activity in the accompaniment
        3. Performance
          1. Organ may have alternated strophes with the congregation
          2. Congregation sang in unison unaccompanied
      2. Chorale variation (chorale partita)
        1. Organ setting in which the chorale tune was a subject for a set of variations
        2. This form emerges in the early 17th c. in the work of Sweelinck and Scheidt
          1. Continues up through the time of Bach
      3. Chorale fantasia
        1. More virtuoso treatment of chorale melody
        2. Melody is fragmented and motivically developed
        3. Use of imitative counterpoint and ornamentation
      4. Chorale prelude
        1. Relatively short piece in which the entire melody is presented once in readily recognizable form.
        2. Probably originated as functional liturgical music
          1. Organist played through the tune, with accompaniment and ornaments ad libitum as a prelude to the singing by congregation or choir
        3. Treatment of chorale melody
          1. Each phrase of the melody serves as the subject of a short fugal development (entire prelude a series of short fughettas)
          2. First phrase receives extended fugal treatment (Pachelbel generally associated with this style)
          3. Prelude is free adaptation of chorale melody (most ubiquitous)
          4. Unadorned melody accompanied in low register by a continuous, unrelated rhythmic figure (not found in 17th c., but is frequent in Bach)
  6. Organ Music in Catholic Countries
    1. South German and Italian organists not attracted to the northern toccatas and fugues
    2. Most Catholic organ music was based on ricercare forms, variation canzona and cantus-firmus pieces
    3. Juan Bautista Jose Cabanilles (1644-1712)
      1. Composed
        1. Tientos: imitative ricercari
        2. Passacaglias
        3. Toccatas
    4. France
      1. Use of agrements: French ornaments
      2. 'Masses' of Francois Couperin
        1. Versets and interludes to be played in the Mass
  7. Harpsichord and Clavichord Music
    1. Key genres of the period
      1. Theme and Variations
        1. Variation of a given musical subject
        2. Post-1650 many composers preferred writing original theme rather than borrow a tune
      2. Suite
        1. Popular during the late 17th and early 18th c.
        2. Two types of suite
          1. French
            1. Amorphous collections
            2. Ordres of Francois Couperin
              1. Publ. between 1713-1730
              2. Each consist of loose aggregations (sometimes (20+) pieces
              3. Often uses dance rhythms: courante, sarabande gigue, etc.
              4. Many pieces have fanciful titles
            3. The Art of Playing the Clavecin
              1. Couperin's practical music treatise
              2. Publ.1716
              3. Manual of fingerings and ornamentation
            4. Lully
              1. Popularizes passacaglia and chaconne
              2. Use of triple rhythms
              3. Ground bass ostinato
          2. German
            1. Clavier suite (or partita)
            2. Based on four standard dances
              1. Allemande
                1. Moderately fast duple meter
                2. Continuous movement of 8th/16th notes
              2. Courante
                1. Moderate 6/4 time
                2. Dominated by rhythmic fig: Dotted quarter-8th note-quarter-quarter, dotted quarter-8th, etc.
                3. French courante sometimes replaced or modified by the Italian corrente (a faster dance in 3/2 or 3/4)
              3. Sarabande
                1. Slow mov't in 3/2 or 3/4 meter
                2. More homphonic style than the allemande or courante
                3. Sarabande sometimes followed by a double (ornamented variation of the dance)
              4. Gigue
                1. Final number of the suite
                2. Sometimes 4/4 with dotted rhythms
                3. Later more often in 12/8 or 6/8
                4. Often fugal or quasi-fugal
            3. Optional dances may be added:
              1. Intro piece before the allemande
              2. After the gigue or sarabande
          3. International character of the dance movements
            1. Allemande: German origin
            2. Courante: French
            3. Sarabande: Spanish (imported from Mexico)
            4. Gigue: Anglo-Irish
          4. Notable German Suite composers
            1. Esajas Reusner (1636-1679)
            2. Silvius Leopold Weiss (1686-1750)
            3. Both composed for the lute
    2. Important German Keyboard Composers
      1. Froberger
      2. Pachelbel
      3. Alessandro Poglietti (an Italian residing in Vienna, d.1683)
      4. Johann Krieger
      5. J.K.F. Fischer
      6. Johann Kuhnau
      7. Georg Böhm
      8. Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770)
        1. Contermporary of Bach and Handel
        2. Suites are examples of early Classic style of the 18th c.
    3. England
      1. Henry Purcell is only English representative of this genre
    4. Keyboard Sonata
      1. Baroque Sonata was primarily a composition for instrumental ensemble
      2. Genre is transferred to the keyboard by Kuhnau in 1692
        1. Frische Klavierfrüchte
          1. Publ.1696
          2. Collection of sonatas
        2. Kuhnau publ. 6 sonatas based on the Bible in 1700
          1. Titles such as 'The Combat between David and Goliath'
          2. Musical renditions of biblical stories
          3. Other examples of instrumental program music
            1. Fitzwilliam Virginal Book
            2. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)
              1. wrote biblical sonatas for violin and continuo

Ensemble Music

  1. Background
    1. Early 18th century music
      1. Italina operatic preeminence challenged by:
        1. France clavencinists
        2. North German organists
    2. Era of the great Cremona violin makers
      1. Niccolo Amati (1596-1684)
      2. Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737)
      3. Giuseppe Bartolomeo Guarneri (1698-1744)
  2. The Ensemble Sonata
    1. Term 'sonata' appears regularly on the title pages of Italian publ. in the 17th c.
    2. Earlier terminology
      1. Pre-1630, Sonata (and sinfonia) designate instrumental preludes and interludes in predominantly vocal works
      2. Post-1630, Sonata (and sinfonia) signify independent inst. pieces
    3. Baroque Sonata
      1. Composition for a small group of instruments
        1. Usually two to four
        2. Basso continuo
    4. Two types of Sonata (after 1600)
      1. Sonata da chiesa
        1. The church sonata, usually designated simply as 'sonata'
      2. Sonata da camera
        1. Chamber sonata
        2. Suite of stylized dances
    5. Trio Sonata
      1. Designation for the most common type of instrumentation after 1670 for both church and chamber sonatas
      2. Instrumentation (4 players)
        1. Two treble instruments (usually violins)
        2. Bass
        3. Continuo
    6. Solo Sonata
      1. Less common than trio sonatas in the 17th c.
      2. Become more prevalent after 1700
      3. Instrumentation
        1. Solo violin (or flute or gamba)
        2. Continuo
  3. Italian Chamber Music
    1. San Petronio, Bologna
      1. Most important center of 17th c. Italian chamber music
      2. Maurizio Cazzati, music director
        1. La Pellicana
          1. Sonata for solo violin and continuo by Cazzati
          2. Publ. in 1670
          3. Movement scheme
            1. Allegro, 12/8, alla giga (Largo e vivace)
            2. Grave 4/4
            3. Presto 4/4
            4. Prestissimo 3/8
    2. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
      1. Background
        1. Composer and performer
        2. Studied 4 years at Bologna
      2. works
        1. Op.1: 12 trio sonatas sonata da chiesa (1681)
        2. Op.2: 11 trio sonate da camera and a chaconne (1685)
        3. Op.3: 12 trio sonatas (1689)
        4. Op.4: 12 trio sonate da camera (1695)
        5. Op.5: 12 solo sonatas; 6 da chiesa, 5 da camera, 1 variation set (1700)
        6. Op.6: 12 concerti grossi (1714)
      3. Corelli's Trio Sonatas
        1. Background
          1. Crowning achievement of Italian chamber music in the late 17th c.
          2. Solo sonatas and concertos initiated procedures that were followed for the next 50 years
          3. Corelli wrote no vocal music (unique among Italian composers)
        2. Style
          1. Violin writing
            1. Deliberate technical limitations
              1. No passages beyond 3rd position
              2. Does not use low register
              3. Fast runs and double stops were avoided
            2. Instruments treated equally
              1. Parts cross
              2. Parts exchange music
          2. Use of sequence
            1. Modulating downward through 5ths
            2. Modulations to the dominant and the relative major
          3. Harmonic dimensions
            1. Diatonicism
            2. Limited chromaticism
        3. Movement scheme
          1. Church sonatas
            1. 4-movements: slow-fast-slow-fast
          2. Chamber sonatas
            1. Begin with preludio
            2. Followed by 2-3 of the conventional suite dances
            3. Ends with a gigue or a gavotte
          3. Key relations
            1. Individual movements usually are in the same key (typical of the 17th c.)
            2. Later works differ:
              1. Solo sonatas in major keys have one slow movement in the relative minor
              2. Concerti grossi have a slow mov't in contrasting key
            3. No contrasting, 'secondary' themes within a movement
          4. Melody
            1. Fortspinnung: steady unfolding or 'spinning out' of a single melody
          5. 2 basic movement types
            1. First type (contrapuntal):
              1. Unrepeated section, contrapuntal with irregular phrase lengths
              2. In slow tempo it is often the first movement of both church and chamber sonatas
              3. In fast tempo this type of movement is found in the first Allegro of the church sonatas and quite often in the Allemande of the chamber sonata
              4. Texture is that of a free fugue
              5. Allegro is musical center of gravity of the church sonata (retains traits of the canzona: in its use of imitation, rhythm and modification of the subject after the exposition)
            2. Second type (homophonic)
              1. Homophonic
              2. In dances (chamber sonata) consists of two repeated sections with regular phrasing
      4. Corelli's Solo Sonatas
        1. Similar in character and layout to the trio sonatas
        2. Features idiomatic string writing:
          1. Double and triple stops
          2. Fast runs
          3. Arpeggios
          4. Cadenzas
          5. Etudelike movements in moto perpetuo
    3. Improvisation in Musical Performance
      1. Baroque performers often expected to add to the written score
        1. Figured bass realization was done by the player
        2. Ornaments were ubiquitous in vocal and instrumental music
      2. Ornaments probably originated from improvisation
      3. Two principal ways of ornamenting
        1. Small melodic formulas (trills, turns, appogiaturas, mordents)
        2. Longer ornaments (scales, runs, leaps, arpeggios)
      4. Embellished versions of Corelli's solo sonatas have been preserved in an edition of 1710 by Estienne Roger of Amsterdam
        1. Roger claimed that the edition represented Corelli's ornaments
      5. Cadenza
        1. Elaborate extension of the 6-4 chord of a final cadence
        2. Corelli's solo sonata Op.5/3 foreshadows long cadenzas of the Classic and Romantic periods
  4. Ensemble Sonatas Outside Italy
    1. Italian trio sonatas were imitated or adapted by composers
      1. England
        1. John Jenkins
        2. Purcell: 2 sets of trio sonatas publ.1683 and 1697
        3. John Ravenscroft
      2. Germany
        1. Georg Muffat: Armonico tributo (1682)
          1. Collection of sonatas
        2. Reinken: Hortus musicus (1687)
        3. Buxtehude (1696)
        4. Fux
        5. Caldara
        6. Christoph Graupner
      3. France
        1. Couperin
          1. Les Nations: Sonades et suites de simphonies en trio
            1. Collection from 1726
            2. Contains four orders: each consisting of a sonata da chiesa
          2. Couperin admired both Corelli and Lully
            1. Did not take part in debate in French music between the Italian and French style
            2. Couperin advocated a union of the two national styles
            3. 2 trio suites celebrate French and Italian composers:
              1. Parnassus, or the Apotheosis of Corelli
              2. The Apotheosis of Lully
  5. The Solo Sonata
    1. Composers after Corelli were increasingly attracted to the solo sonata
    2. German Composers continuing in the tradition of Corelli
      1. Johann Jakob Walther (1650-1717)
        1. Scherzi: collection of 12 sonatas publ. in 1676
      2. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
        1. Composed church music and instrumental ensemble works
        2. Is chiefly remembered for his 15 violin sonatas from 1675
          1. Representations of the life of Christ
          2. Considerable use of scordatura (unusual tunings of the violin)
    3. Italian Composers continuing in the tradition of Corelli
      1. Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762)
        1. One of Corelli's most influential pupils
        2. Enjoyed a long career as a virtuoso and composer in London
        3. The Art of Playing on the Violin (1751)
          1. Method which embodies principles of technique and interpretation taught by Corelli
      2. Francesco Maria Veracini (1690-1750)
      3. Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764)
      4. Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770)
        1. Most celebrated of all Italian virtuosos from this period
        2. Solo sonatas and concertos are predominantly in the early Classic style of the mid-18th c.
    4. French Composers continuing in the tradition of Corelli
      1. Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764)
  6. Orchestral Music
    1. Toward the end of the 17th c. a distinction was made between:
      1. Chamber music: music with one inst. to a part
      2. Orchstral music: multiple inst. to a part
    2. Orchestral Suite
      1. German disciples of Lully introduced French standards of playing along with the French musical style in their country
      2. This genre flourishes in Germany from 1690-1740
        1. Dances of these suites are patterned after those of Lully's ballets and operas
        2. Early collections of orchestral suites (a.k.a. Overture suites)
          1. Florilegium (1695 and 1698)
            1. Collection by Georg Muffat
            2. The second part includes an essay with much information illustrated by musical examples of bowing and playing of agrements
          2. Journal de Printemps (1695)
            1. Collection by J.K.F. Fischer
    3. Concerto
      1. Genre appears in the last two decades of the 17th c. and becomes most important type of Baroque orchestral music after 1700
      2. Features
        1. Concertato medium
        2. Use of fimr bass and florid treble
        3. Organization based on major-minor key system
        4. Building of long, separate autonomous movements
      3. Three types of concertos (ca.1700)
        1. Orchestral concerto (also called: concerto-sinfonia, concerto-ripieno concerto a quattro)
          1. Orchestral work of several movements
          2. Emphasizes the first violin part
        2. Concerto grosso
          1. Features contrasting sonorities
          2. A small ensemble of solo instruments set against a large ensemble
          3. Concertino: 'small' ensemble in the concerto grosso
            1. Often consists of 2 violins and a continuo
          4. Tutti, ripieno (full)
            1. The large ensemble
        3. Solo concerto
          1. Pits a single instrument against the ensemble
          2. Antecedents
            1. Lully: inserted episodes for a trio of solo wind inst. in his operas
            2. Sinfonia (or sonata) for 1-2 solo trumpets with string orchestra
              1. Cultivated in Venice and Bologna
      4. Concerto grossi of Corelli
        1. Earliest examples of the genre
        2. Exploit the solo-tutti contrast
  7. Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709)
    1. Background
      1. The composer who contributed the most to the development of the concerto around the turn of the century
      2. Leading figure in the last years of the Bologna school
    2. Opus 8 (publ. posthumously in 1709)
      1. A collection of 6 concerti grossi and 6 solo concertos (violin)
      2. Most are in 3 movements (fast-slow-fast)
        1. Mov't scheme becomes standard later in the 18th c.
      3. Features of Torelli's Allegro movements
        1. Each begins with a ritornello
          1. One or more motives are developed in the full orchestra
        2. Solo episode follows
          1. Does not refer to material of the tutti
        3. Tutti section
          1. Recalls portions of the ritornello
          2. Material now in a different key
          3. Solo-tutti sections may be alternated numerous times at this point
        4. Final tutti
          1. In the tonic
          2. Practically identical with opening ritornello
      4. Ritornello
        1. Term derived from vocal music
        2. Signified a refrain part
      5. Ritornello-form
        1. Typical for the first and last movements of Torelli, Vivaldi and their contemporaries concertos
        2. Combines recurrence of familiar music with variety and stability of key relationships
    3. Other composers of concertos
      1. Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1750)
      2. Evaristo Felice dall'Abaco (1675-1742)
      3. Geminiani and Locatelli
      4. Vivaldi

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