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The Baroque Era

            The Baroque was an era characterized by constant turmoil which was reflected in the visual arts and architecture. The music was known by chromaticism, strict forms, elaborate ornamentation, constant restless movement, and turbulent emotions. During this era Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the most influential musicians to the people of his time ,as well as, the people of today. Another great era was the Classical era which was characterized in music by form, simplicity, proportion, and restrained emotion. Words such as elegant, controlled, logical, rational, intellectual and symmetrical were used to describe this era. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was influential for this period. Though he was only 35 years old when he died he was very productive considering the time of his life span. The fact that he started his career at the age of four also had a big impact on the number of symphonies that he composed before his death. Although Mozart only composed 41 symphonies each was considered a masterpiece. He was better known for the quality of his work instead of the quantity. .
             The significance of Bach's music is due to his intellect. He was able to understand and use every resource of musical language that was available in the baroque era. He could combine the patterns of French dances, the gracefulness of Italian melody and the intricacy of German counterpoint all in one composition. At the same time he could write for voice and the various instruments in such a way that the tone quality would not be affected. His ability to assess and exploit the media, styles, and genre of his day enabled him to achieve success. He could take and Italian ensemble composition, such as a violin concerto, and transform it into a convincing work for a single instrument, the harpsichord. Technical facility alone was not the source of Bach's greatness. It is the expressiveness of his music that shows his humanity and that touches listeners everywhere.

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