Baroque and Renaissance

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Updated: Dec 02, 2022
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The Renaissance and the Baroque Eras have many similarities and differences, especially in the seven elements of music. On of the main movements in the Renaissance Era was “”The Reformation”” while in the Baroque was “”The Florentine Camerata”” (founders of the Opera). Both of these movements had key points in shaping music and the style of playing complex pieces. During the Renaissance era, the music was sacred and there were 2 major types of music: mass and motet while in the Baroque Era, a new style of vocal singing became know as recitative.

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The four characteristics are: rhythm, melody, texture, and tempo. During the Renaissance era, a great composer of the era was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina with his famous chant “”Pope Marcellus Mass.”” This mass was part of the mass ordinary. The opening line was monophonic, but later throughout the chant, six voices can be heard in total. There was a frequent change in texture because it varied from the vocal density and also had a serene and celestial character. A great composer for the Baroque era was Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote “”Organ Fugue in G minor”” which was a polyphonic composition based on one primary contrapuntal theme called a subject. The Fugue normally had a fast tempo and the rhythm occasionally repeated itself.

Another great composer of the Renaissance Era was Thomas Weelkes. Weelkes wrote a very famous piece called “”As Vesta was Descending””, which was an English Madrigal. This piece portrayed the idea of text painting and the texts were jovial. The melody consisted of imitation and sequenced and the tempo was fairly slow since it was for the Queen. In the Baroque Era, George Frederic Handel was famous for his oratorio called “”Messiah.”” In this piece, the tempo is fast and it had a relatively fast harmonic rhythm. The timbre was a full Orchestra. The chorus showcased sudden changes between monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic.

The seven elements in music are different in the Renaissance and Baroque Era. For the Renaissance Era, rhythm were repeating, longer, and simpler. The melody are single melodies, imitation and sequence, and a more narrow range. The texture is homophonic in the vocal music and the timbre are the slyer, viola (cello), and the recorder. The tempo is slow for most pieces. For the Baroque Era, rhythm was florid, virtuosic, and had complicated rhythms. The melody had major and minor modes and the texture was polyphonic, homophonic, and polychoral. The timbre in the Baroque era meant that the instruments were added. Operas, aria, recitatives, oratorios, cantatas, sonatas, fugues, and concertos were added to the form. Finally, the music in the Baroque era had a fast tempo.

The Renaissance and Baroque Eras have each had a great in influence: “”The Reformation”” and “”The Florentine Camerata.”” It is safe to say that the Musical characteristics in these two eras have been very different to meet everyone’s needs. Religion, morals, and revolutions of the population during these eras have had a great influence in the way we listen to music today.

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Baroque and Renaissance. (2020, Apr 09). Retrieved from