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Music from the Baroque Period

            The Baroque era was a period of energy and motion. New contrasts between light and dark appeared on paintings. Painting and sculpting gained a new sense of motion like music did at that time. They both pushed themselves forward. The picture on page 81 in the textbook A Musical Interlude, by the Dutch Painter Jan Verkolje shows an example of this movement to depict a single affect or emotion. The guy in the picture has turned, in a moment of passion and grasped the hand of his musical partner, a woman playing a violin. Another good example of this is Museo Civico, Turn, and Italy. It is a picture of the Bridgeman Art Library while a show is being put on. The musical instruments in the picture are the horn, basso, and if you consider the chorus as part of the singing. This picture was painted in 1740, depicting an opera performed at the Teatro Reale in Turin, which is known today as present-day northern Italy. Churches spent a lot of money on decorations that would show the church's authority and inspire religious fervor. .
             The Baroque organ, which was a instrument whose powerful resonance and striking variety of timbre was unsurpassed creating awe filled the interior. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach, made frequent trips to towns and cities around central Germany to test the craftsmanship of newly installed instruments. The composer Monteverdi's Orpheus was among earlier works in this new genre. He used a group of instruments known collectively as the basso continuo. The small ensemble plays continuously and provides an underlying bass line and harmonies. Some stylistic characteristics of Baroque art is the deep color and intense light and dark shadows. The art typically was done by the Baroque artists at the moment the action was occurring, which is different from the Renaissance art, which usually showed the moment before an even took place. With music the instruments were different too.

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