The Baroque era constitutes a significant shift in music style. One of the most notable composers of this era is Johann Sebastian Bach. While there were a great variety of Bach’s works the selection committee considered, Bach’s composition ‘Sonata no 1’ a characteristic example of his work. This track combines violin and harpsichord in a level of instrumental complexity and poignancy that at the time had not yet been experienced in the history of music. While ostensibly non-secular this music seemingly transcends such categorizations as it exhibits pure musical poignancy. In these regards, there is a sort of mysterious quality to the track that places it at a level of great interest and intrigue to listeners. In addition to these sonic qualities the committee considered that Bach has significant historical importance both for his power compositions as well as the tremendous influence he had on future musicians. His influential nature and iconic historical importance factored greatly into the committee’s selection of this composition for the time capsule. Furthermore, Bach’s harpsichord concertos are recognized by scholars as among the first concertos for the keyboard instrument ever written (Bukofzer 2008). Another notable Baroque era composer selected for the time capsule was Jean Baptiste Lully, with his ‘Symphonie’ the selected work. While Bach’s work was slightly subtle, this composition is highly bombastic with patriotic or nationalistic overtones in its upbeat melody; in these regards, it could fit perfectly in a state or crown sponsored event (Bukofzer 2008). There were a number of factors that led to the committee’s decision. In addition to Lully’s seminal historical importance to the Baroque era, this composition has withstood the test of time and its sonorous, yet patriotic qualities are believed to hold continued interests for contemporary and potential future audiences. In addition to Johannes Sebastian Bach and Jean Baptiste Lully, the committee selected Antonio Vivaldi from the Baroque era for inclusion into the time capsule. While Vivaldi’s work spans a wide array of selections, the committee ultimately selected his ‘Four Seasons,’ specifically the first movement, for the iconic status it has assumed as a Baroque era composition. From the very first instrumentation that is heard on this composition the listener immediately recognizes the sound. This opening movement has an upbeat and light-hearted aura of happiness that takes the listener to a new visceral experience. Its seminal importance, even centuries after its original composition, attests to the deeply powerful aspect of this song as reaching into and capturing the human soul. The Classical era in music is perhaps the most seminal era of composition in the history of Western culture. This era witnessed an explosion of musical talent and styles. The most seminal talent of this period and indeed in the history of Western music is Ludwig van Beethoven. While the committee struggled to choose only one of Beethoven’s works, ultimately the final movement – ‘Chorale IV’ of Beethoven’s ‘Symphony #9’ was chosen. With its cataclysm of ferocious internal emotions as expressed masterfully through orchestral expression places it on a level of artistic mastery as Shakespeare’
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This paper is written in a form of a Time Capsule for describing The Baroque era in music and showing examples of important masterpieces of this period…
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