Thursday, August 4, 2011

Baroque Gesture

In this Pliable post about a now deleted CD, he writes:

As Benjamin Schweitzer explains in the CD booklet, "...there is something in the gestures and tonality of [Baroque music], which is closer to modern times than one would assume in the first place".

Given my interest in the gestural component of music I was delighted to see someone actually using the word, particularly in association with Baroque music, as pieces requiring just three or four voices from Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks, A Musical Offering and Anna Magdalena's Notebook have been mainstays of my music making for decades. 

Most of my favorite classical music is that written before 1750. It's still connected to people actually dancing, which is where a lot of the gestural component originates. It's also from a time before equal temperament took over and before the various rules and regulations of music writing that brought an end to the simpler, but to my ear very rich, modal harmonies and less uniform metrical structures.

Here's another quote from the same source which I like, because as a music therapist I'm much more interested in how individuals can express themselves than in conforming to the standard practice styles laid down by academics.

'Sound experiments are part of daily life for a baroque orchestra. Because more so than their "modern" cousins, historical instruments offer numerous possibilities for sounds that are equally valid.'

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