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Comparisons of Composers

Baroque and Classical Orchestras Differences Baroque Orchestras Classical Orchestras String section and basso continuo central to the orchestra. Other instruments are occasional additions. Standard group of four sections: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Different instruments treated individually. Fairly small; generally 10- 40 players. Larger than baroque; great variation to the numbers of players. Flexible use of timbres, e.g. Timpani and trumpets used generally just for festive music. Standardised sections. Most sections used regularly. Tone colour is distinctly secondary to other musical elements. Greater variety of tone colour and more rapid changes of colour. Timbre is unimportant and therefore a piece written for harpsichord could easily be rearranged for a string section. Each section of the classical orchestra has a special role. And each instrument is used distinctively. Wind instruments mainly used as solo instruments or as part of the basso continuo. The wind section had become a separate unit capable of contrast and distinct colour. The harpsichord generally plays an ostinato under the orchestra. Piano not invented. The piano introduces a third colour-tone to be contrasted with the orchestra Baroque and Classical Concerto Form DifferencesBaroque Concerto Form Classical Concerto Form Concerto grosso (use of string orchestra set against a number of solo instruments) is the most popular concerto form of this period. Other forms include The ripieno concerto and the solo concerto. Symphony form develops from baroque concerto forms and becomes the new form. Shorter movements than classical form. Concerto longer than baroque from. Fairly strict structure and prerequisites, e.g. Traditional ritornello form, virtuostic displays etc. More freedom and experimentation with traditional form. First movement has solo passages extending into long sections; alternated between four or five ritornello sections. First movement c...

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