Humanities: Baroque Period Essay

Submitted By nick1nick
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Evoking Emotion through Music and Art
HUM 231

The Baroque period started in Rome, Italy and was an artistic style that is exaggerated with emotion, motion, and drama. This period was strongly encouraged by the counter-reformation which was backed by the Roman Catholic Church. The Baroque period was a time where all artists and composers used a lot of different techniques in order to display motion, emotion, and drama. Music during the Baroque period can best be understood by studying compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Lucio Vivaldi and for art during this period studying Bernini’s pieces such as Baldacchino, and The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, will show how more is better.
During this period of music musicians used more elaborate musical ornamentation and developed new instrumental techniques. Program music is music that describes the song being played through the instruments being used and how they are being used. An example of program music was Vivaldi’s “La Primavera” it was in the form of concerto (Music 138). This song displays why bigger is better because of the use of terraced dynamics throughout the song. Terraced dynamics is when there are sudden dynamic changes without gradual transition in the music. This concerto describes the joys of the spring time and this is meant to evoke emotion out of its listeners furthering the explanation on why bigger is better in the Baroque Period. La Primavera is associated with the song by Michael Jackson called, “We are the World” in the since that in both of the songs it evoke a lot of emotion when they are played. When Vivaldi used the different instruments to make it sound like birds are flying or thunder striking and in Jackson’s song he evokes emotion from the powerful words he sings in this song on how the world should come together as one. Bach is another composer of this period that shows through his music that bigger is better. The Fugue in G minor is one of Bach’s most famous fugues. A fugue is “a polyphonic in which one or more themes are developed by imitative counterpoint” (Music 122). This is a complex round meaning that the same instruments are playing the same melody throughout the fugue and this notion that bigger is better carries over to the art part of the Baroque period.
Baroque art was associated with religious tensions and uses many different techniques in the arts to help evoke motion, emotion and drama in the viewers. An example of a piece of art evoking emotion is Bernini’s St. Peter’s Balacchino which was a bronze canopy standing ninety feet tall; the fact that its ninety feet tall is showing how dramatic it is when standing next to it. This was made to show the power of the pope during this period and this was also made in honor of St. Peter being the person that started the Catholic Church. I think that The…