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 →

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.     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 their... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Ornamentation

Historically Baroque Ornamentation was without notation but of improvisatory tradition. Ornamentation was increasingly popular later but never completely replaced by notation. The notation was commonly completed but was not always capable of sounding complete in performance; the composer, mainly obligatorily supplied the figuration. The more or less improvised ornamentation was chiefly through the influence of... Continue Reading →

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