This paper explores musical pieces of the Baroque era through the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. Two musical pieces produced by the two authors will be compared to analyze their similarities and differences. These pieces will be evaluated to ascertain how they contributed to the evolution of Baroque era music. A conclusion summarizing the findings of the study will later be provided.
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The baroque era was characterized by several composers. However, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel stood out as the most influential composers of the time. Handel was known to compose concertos and oratorio while Bach was known to write Cantata and Fugue music. These two composers produced several types of music. Through examples, their differences and similarities are further analyzed below.
Comparison of Musical examples
This section of the study compares two musical pieces by Bach and Handel. For Bach, Little Fugue in G Minor (an instrumental part) will be analyzed. Handle’s Messiah will also be analyzed and compared to Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor. Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor is a Fugue musical piece, while Handel’s Messiah is an Oratorio. The Messiah is similar to Little Fugue in G Minor in the sense that, they both share a religious background.
Both musical pieces were famously played in the church, and they were similarly appreciated in the same contexts. The Messiah was composed initially of King James Bible and excerpts from the Book of Common Prayer which later propelled it to be one of the most celebrated Western music.
Little Fugue in G Minor has some polyphonic undertones to its composition which sets it apart from Messiah and indeed, most Baroque musical types. Since the musical piece is from the Fugue genre, it has an imitative element to its composition, where there are two melodies playing, and both of them almost have the same pattern.
Messiah is however different in the sense that, it is original to its authentic composition and its tones are not easily imitated. Messiah’s musical structure closely resembles that of traditional opera music, but Little Fugue in G Minor is different in this regard because it follows its own unique pattern. Unlike Little Fugue in G Minor, which has a repetition of musical tones, Messiah bears no signs of personification of characters.
There is also very little evidence of direct speech which sets it apart from other Baroque musical pieces, although this is a similarity that the musical composition shares with Little Fugue in G Minor because the latter is an instrumental piece.
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Representation of the Baroque Era
Messiah and Little Fugue in G Minor represent the Baroque era in many ways. First, Messiah is considered a pioneer of Western music and indeed, a significant contribution to the Baroque era music revolution. Its contribution is evident from the fact that it popularized the Oratorio type of music.
Little Fugue in G Minor on the other hand dramatically represents the importance of fugue to the composition of musical pieces in the Baroque period because it is during the Baroque period that Fugue became central to musical compositions.
This paper identifies Handel and Bach as influential Baroque musical composers. Their work greatly influenced the revolution of Baroque era music through their contribution to musical composition and the popularization of musical pieces of the Baroque era. However, this paper identifies that both authors composed their works from a religious, spiritual point of view. These factors define the revolution of musical pieces in the Baroque era.