Custom «Reconsideration of the Baroque Music in 21st Century» Sample Essay
The epoch of Baroque is one of the prominent movements of the art and culture development in Europe, which preceded Classicism. It embodied the new conceptions of unity, infinity, and diversity of the universe, its dramatic complexity and eternal changeableness. The aesthetics of this period grounded on the collision of the human being and God, ideal and empirical principles, rationality and irrationality. Due to its ambiguity, the Baroque period symbolizes the controversies of that historical epoch and the crisis of the rational world outlook, which dominated in the Medieval Ages. Such attitude was distinctive for all kinds of art and music in particular. The modern world and society face the same crisis and try to overcome it with the help of art. Thus, the Baroque musical principles become extremely relevant to the modern composers.
The Baroque style is peculiar for the musical development “from about 1600, when opera was born in Italy, until about 1750, the year of Johann Sebastian Bach’s death” (Mackay & Romanec, 2007). The music of that period adopted the practice of counterpoint, which was spread in the Renaissance. In the Baroque epoch the development of the polyphonic technique reached its peak. Therefore, there is no wonder that the most popular genre of music at that time was fugue. However, the counterpoint of the Baroque music was not so rational and mathematical as it had been in the previous epoch. Moreover, it became more emotional. The means of musical communication became more diverse and bright in comparison to the tradition of the medieval church songs. According to Tennenbaum (2000), one of the prominent composers of that time Bach “considered music entirely as a language and a composer as a poet”. That means that the Baroque outlook transformed and widened the crucial notions and concepts of art, which become more humanistic and free from canons.
The influences of the Baroque styles are present in the modern times as well. A great number of the contemporary composers appeal to the principles of musical organization that were typical of the artists of the 17th century. These attempts of the reconsideration of this experience have developed into the new original pieces of music, which resemble the ancient prototypes and, at the same time, express something new. Apparently, the reason for such interest to the Baroque music nowadays lies in the cultural crisis and world outlook on the modern society that was also peculiar to that epoch. Today the whole mankind is under the impression that we are living “in the eye of an epochal storm, in the middle of a gigantic transformation that can take us (before taking our children) anywhere, in terms of cultural as well as socio-economic conditions” (Guardiani, 1999). Thus, the composers try to express this ambiguity as well as their predecessors did in the Baroque period.
Among such contemporary pioneers is Giovanni Pacchioni. With a plenty of humor this Italian composer tried to modernize the peculiar genre of the Baroque period – fugue. For instance, one of his compositions is “Nokia Fugue”, which is original in its musical decisions and at the same time resembles the Baroque style. Thus, it is an illustrative example of the intersection of the Modernity and Baroque. The fugue developed as the ringtone of the Nokia mobile phones. In spite of choosing such foreign musical theme, the composer realized the typical features of the Baroque music. Among them there were simultaneous sounding of many instruments, contrasts, and unexpected passages, rhetorical figures. According to the aforementioned, the music was understood in the 17th century as the language, the communicational medium. Therefore, the dialogical nature of musical compositions written in the manner of that time is evident.
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To sum up, the cultural influences do not end in one epoch. Such scenery had the Baroque music, which revives in the 21th century with the new connotations and meaning. Due to the similar historical and outlook situation the principles of Baroque art take root in the contemporary culture and especially music. A great number of composers try to reconsider the principles of Baroque style in this kind of art. Among them is Giovanni Pacchioni, who applies the achievements of that epoch to the composed music.
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