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Chapter 9: Baroque Instrumental Music

Fugue and Dance Suite

Key Terms
• • • • • • • fugue fugue subject exposition subject entries episode contrapunctus fugal devices • • • • • • suite Baroque dance form binary form trio French overture walking bass

• most characteristic form of Baroque music • systematized imitative polyphony
– polyphonic composition for a fixed number of instrumental lines or voices – built on a single principle theme (subject) – subject ―chased‖ from one voice to another

Typical Fugue
• exposition • alternating episodes and subject entries

Fugal Exposition
• the subject = the principle theme • all voices take turns presenting the subject in full • each voice continues with new material as next one states subject

Episodes and Subject Entries
• subject re-enters at intervals
– in any voice – in different keys

• episodes contrast with subject entries • final subject entry in tonic key

Subject Entries vs. Episodes
subject entries • fixed—always recognizable as subject • stable—in one key for each statement • may occur in different keys after episodes episodes • free—may explore motives from subject in any order • Unstable—modulate from one key to another • connect subject entries that are in different keys

Fugues, Free and Learned
• fugue as genre (a fugue)
– uses exposition, subject entries, and episodes – full-scale, independent work  ―learned‖ fugue

• fugue as style or procedure
– imitative section in a larger work – a work in fugal style  ―free‖ fugue

Fugal Devices
• • • • • countersubject stretto augmentation diminution inversion

Bach, The Art of Fugue
• a testament to Bach’s fugal skill • twenty canons and fugues on the same subject • unfinished final fugue Bach’s epitaph
– theme no. 4 spells B-A-C-H – German B = B-flat; H = B-natural

Bach, Contrapunctus 4
• fugue in four voices • exposition: voices enter high to low

• episodes: based on subject’s final motive and a ―cuckoo‖ figure

Bach, Contrapunctus 4
• later subject entries: like secondary expositions
– voices often enter in different order – fugal devices used (stretto) – expanded pitch range of subject

The Dance Suite
• a grouping of miscellaneous dances
– all in same key – last dance always fast

• usually stylized dances
– written for listening, not dancing – allow greater musical sophistication

• written for various performing forces
– orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo harpsichord or lute

Baroque Dances
• each dance characterized by
– specific dance steps – a certain meter – a distinctive tempo – unique rhythmic features

Baroque Dances
Dance allemande courante sarabande minuet gavotte bourrée siciliana gigue Meter 4/4 3/2 3/4 3/4 4/4 2/2 12/8 6/8 Tempo moderate moderate slow moderate moderate rather fast moderate fast Rhythm flowing motion 6/4 at times accents beat 2 straight rhythm double upbeat short upbeat gently rocking short upbeat, lively

Baroque Dance Form
• binary form: two sections (a, b)
– each ends with strong cadence – each is repeated (a a b b) – symmetrical feel—shared motives, cadences, etc. – b usually longer than a

• a a b b or |: a :||: b :|

Dance and Trio
• larger-scale A B A form
– groups 2 shorter dances of same type (A) – contrasting middle dance is the trio (B) – minuet and trio, gavotte and trio, etc.

• trio is softer and lighter than A dance
– uses different melody and rhythms

• return of A creates satisfying conclusion

French Overture
• a special preparatory number at the start of a suite • developed by Louis XIV’s orchestra • sharply contrasting sections (A B A´)

French Overture
• A: slow; dotted rhythms; duple meter; homophonic texture

• B: fast; often compound meter, imitative polyphony

• A´: often shortened version of A

Bach, Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D
• scored for festive Baroque orchestra • includes
– French overture – air – gavotte and trio – bourrée – gigue

Bach, Air
• • • • • French air = aria (song) Bach’s most famous, beloved melody scored for strings and continuo Baroque dance form (binary form) spontaneous, singing melody with irregular rhythms • stable walking bass

Bach, Air

Bach, Gavotte I and II
• scored for festive Baroque orchestra • gavotte and trio
– typical gavotte two-quarter-note upbeat – opening melody of a inverted to open b

– trio unusual in its use of full orchestra