The Development of the Harpsichord Tradition

He become the organists at church of Saint Gervais and Kings Chapel. Louis Couperin had an interest in and a command of the contrapuntal keyboard technique and the conservative use of ornamentation and chord selection. Generally, only especially long note values received ornaments to sustain the sound. He favoured and manifested the use of major... Continue Reading →

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The Development of Piano

The Harpsichord had sparkling clarity but it lacked expressive power. Keyboard manufacturers had pathed a way to make the instrument more capable of greater nuances. In 1709, Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Florentine instrument maker, began to manufacture realised the pianoforte – a harpsichord with hammers. The Italian gave his instrument the shape of large harpsichord called... Continue Reading →

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Italian Cembalo (Harpsichord) Music

Domenica Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) pathed a way for the future school of piano composition. A Neapolitan composer, his harpsichord work was largely composed in Madrid or other Spanish cities. He lived in Spain under the patronage of Queen Mariá Bárbara. He composed more than five hundred of pieces in Spain for the Harpsichord. He... Continue Reading →

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Dotting in the Baroque Era

Dotting The dot in Baroque music lengthens the durations of the note after it is placed by a variable amount. The variable duration of the dot depends on the rhythmic freedom practiced by the baroque composer at all time and places. Sometimes dots are placed after the notes which augments the note value, but in... Continue Reading →

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Early Keyboard Instruments

Early Keyboard Instruments Echiqüier, Clavichord, Harpsichord and Piano are each stringed keyboard instrument with various shape and sizes each having their own merits, strengths and weaknesses. Clavichord Harpsichord Piano In French, Echiqüier means chessboard. In England, it was called a Checker. Echiqüier performers were in demand in their hey day and were well rewarded for... Continue Reading →

Baroque Phrasing

Phrasing In Baroque music, it is important to have separation between phrases so it is audible to the listener. This can be achieved either by a moment of silence before playing the next note or by making an ostensible silence as a stolen time. As always, line comes first, but punctuation is itself an element... Continue Reading →

Baroque Rhythms

Certain specific conventional rhythmic alteration took shape within an old and general traditional rhythmic flexibility. Baroque performers were expected to improve the expressiveness of music while adopting to their own personal taste. Before and during the Baroque period, general liberty to modify rhythm were mainly related to pairing notes into units of a beat. This... Continue Reading →

Baroque Tempo

Baroque Tempo Tempo Judgement in the Baroque period  is one of the most important and difficult elements of expression. Musicianship skill is greatly required. There is seldom one absolute right tempo; however good tempo is achievable. Given the same piece of music, depending on the desired acoustic resonance, a larger force is required for a... Continue Reading →

Ornamentation in Baroque Era Part II

1. Trills Trills are more or less rapid and an unmeasured alteration between a main note and an upper auxiliary tone and semitone above. In the 16th century and early 17th century, trills optionally begun with its main note, or its upper auxiliary note, fulfill its melodic function. When it has a harmonic function, it... Continue Reading →

Ornamentation in Baroque Era – Part I

1.  Appoggiatura The Appoggiatura (Ital. appogiare, to lean) is an auxiliary note, more or less stressed and commonly (although not necessarily) dissonant to the harmony where it resolves. An appoggiatura is a dissonant essentially both of melody and harmony in structure, which acts as a suspension, except it does not require to be prepared. When... Continue Reading →

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