How To Write Baroque Music

This columnist is a able trombonist, aqueduct and educator. He has a continued career in the music and writes about his affection of music.


1908 Statue of Bach in advanced of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig


Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist and aqueduct during the Baroque aeon of music. He was built-in in March of 1685 and died in July of 1750 and was the aftermost adolescent of a burghal artisan in Eisenach.

Johann Sebastian came from a ample agreeable family. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the administrator of the boondocks musicians. It would be a acceptable assumption that he provided the adolescent boy his aboriginal agreeable training. The aboriginal two instruments Joann Sebastian abstruse to comedy were the violin and harpsichord.

Both parents died back he was ten years old. He lived with his beforehand brother Johann Christoph Bach for about bristles years. His brother accomplished him the clavichord and helped adolescent Johann Sebastian advance his agreeable skills.

According to Wikipedia, “He was enrolled in the celebrated St. Michael’s Academy In Luneburg. His two years there were analytical in advertisement Bach to a added ambit of European culture. Addition to singing in the choir, he played the School’s three-manual agency and harpsichords. He came into acquaintance with sons of aristocrats from arctic Germany, beatific to the awful careful academy to adapt for careers and added disciplines.”

For the best part, Bach was cocky taught. Aside from accepting the basics from his ancestor and ancient brother, he abstruse music by studying, artful and alignment compositions of such composers as: Vivaldi, Pachelbel and Palestrina.

St Thomas Church, Leipzig


The aim and final end of all music should be none added than the celebrity of God and the alleviation of the soul.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Often referred to as actuality actual extravagant, complex, and of camp tastes, the Baroque Aeon was brought about by the Catholic Church. This aeon was both a political and religious movement. During this time, there was a anarchy of adoration in Western Europe centered about grievances adjoin the Catholic Abbey alleged the Protestant Reformation. This Protestant abbey revolutionized the Christian faith.

Bach was all about the abbey and committed his activity and music to it. A abundant commodity to apprehend on this accountable is: “Characteristics of the Baroque Period.” This commodity explores Art, Architecture, Sculpture as able-bodied as the Music of the time.

The Baroque Aeon in music was amid the years of 1600 and 1750. Beneath is a blueprint that outlines the actual agreeable time line,

Early Medieval Period

Baroque music worksheet
Baroque music worksheet | How To Write Baroque Music

500 – 1400

Perotin, Leonin, Machaut

Renaissance Period

1400 – 1600

J. Desprez, W. Byrd, C. Monteverdi

Baroque Period

1600 – 1750

J.S. Bach, Handel, Purcell, Telemann

Classical Period

1750 – 1825

Mozart, Beethoven,,Haydn

Romantic Period

1825 – 1900

Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Berlioz

Modern Period

PPT - The Elements of Baroque Music PowerPoint Presentation, free
PPT – The Elements of Baroque Music PowerPoint Presentation, free | How To Write Baroque Music

1900 – Present

Schostakovich, Ives, Stravinsky

There are abounding belief that will call Bach’s personality. Every aesthetic person, be it an artist, composer, actor, or painter, has a aphotic ancillary to their personality. Johann Sebastian Bach was no exception. As a adolescent person, he was rebellious, a bully, with thuggish, gang-like behavior. As he got beforehand and religious apprenticeship set in his personality gravitated to the abbey and his music.

Many belief accept been accounting anecdotic Bach’s application as a abbey organist, music director, etc. These belief acquaint of his attrition to ascendancy and one, in particular, had him confined for one ages because he went adjoin abbey rules. Bach was a authentic and wasn’t accommodating with incompetence. As a teacher, he would not abide acceptance absent to booty shortcuts.

In the eyes of best musicologists, Johann Sebastian Bach was a agreeable genius. He had such a algebraic acclimatized apperception that abounding begin his music agreement achievement artlessly amazing. With over 1000 compositions to his credit, Bach created in aloof about every appearance of the time. Beneath is a account of the assorted genres he composed music for.

Vocal Music

His active music includes

Bach’s best acclaimed compositions

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach adherent already set styles. His ablaze use of counterpoint, harmonization, and motivic development set him afar from added composers of the day. His use of added elements of music accepted as: Rhythm, Form, and Texture, set his appearance of autograph far added circuitous than composers from added countries.

It’s accessible to comedy any agreeable instrument: all you accept to do is blow the appropriate key at the appropriate time and the apparatus will comedy itself.

Johann Sebastian Bach

The Toccata and Beat in D accessory is apparently the best acclaimed of all the pieces composed by Bach. It was accounting for agency and accepted a awful able organist at the keys. Confusing belief as to back it was absolutely written, advisers accept it actuality composed about the aboriginal 1700s. Bach was in his adolescence back he wrote it and a superb organist. It is a actual ambitious allotment authoritative it a claiming for any ambitious organist of the day.

Such a awe-inspiring agreement regained accent and acceptance in 1833 during a Bach Revival era, back artisan Felix Mendelssohn performed the allotment in an acclaimed concert in 1840.

The 20th aeon apparent its acceptance already afresh due for archetype to its admittance in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Today, this agreement advised to be the best acclaimed assignment in the agency repertoire. Because of the arduous aspects of this piece, able groups like the Canadian Brass transcribed the agency arrangement for 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, and Tuba. Beneath is an amazing achievement of the Toccata and Beat in D accessory abiding for Brass Quintet by the Canadian Brass.

If Bach was active today, he would be a “Rock Star“! If not that, he would apparently be a arch applesauce artisan because of his absurd “improvisational skills.” Don’t forget, he was acquirements the harpsichord, clavichord, and the agency at a actual aboriginal age. He didn’t accord to a little alliance team. No computer, corpuscle phone. He accomplished day in and day out.

Main Characteristics Of Baroque Music: [Essay Example], 7 words
Main Characteristics Of Baroque Music: [Essay Example], 7 words | How To Write Baroque Music

The abbey agency has commonly been referred to as “the baron of instruments” due to its adeptness to actualize abounding altered bright sounds. Also, the arduous adeptness it has back played. One charge accept abundant agreeable abilities to accomplish music accounting for the organ. Bach excelled at this apparatus alternating with arduous approaching organists by basic acutely difficult pieces.

Bach had a acceptable religious apprenticeship and throughout his activity committed his music to his religious beliefs. It adeptness be said that his aboriginal compositions bigger his arena ability. It additionally meant that as he became a bigger artisan so did his music. There wasn’t a allotment of music that Bach wrote that he couldn’t play. To get a bigger abstraction of what a acceptable artisan he was, accept to Bach’s “Toccata an Fugue” below.

The Gigue Beat in G Major BWV 577 was accounting for agency in 1707. This abundant Bach agreement will affect anyone not accustomed with agency music. It is fun to accept to and alike added arresting to watch in a video.

Diane Bish is a able organist who plays this acutely difficult allotment flawlessly. Please watch the video beneath and beam the ascendancy of the agency she exhibits as she performs this “jig” or “dance” agreement in a active tempo.

This agreement requires the amateur to uses two easily and two feet. As Diane gets into the lower choir of the fugue, watch her anxiety “dance” on the peddles again, flawlessly.

A Beat is a contrapuntal agreement in two or added voices, congenital on a accountable or theme. This accountable is alien at the alpha and recurs frequently in the advance of the composition. Bach was a adept of the brand and has abounding fugal compositions to his credits.

Please watch the video beneath and adore this admirable ball cardinal accounting over three hundred years ago.

As mentioned earlier, the music of Bach was advised by composers of his day as able-bodied as every artisan since. In fact, a apprentice at any academy or university gluttonous a amount in music charge complete four semesters of music theory. Best of this abstraction centers about the part-writing harmonic rules set alternating by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Many agreeable artists performed and recorded Bach’s music in the 20th century. One of the best accepted articulate groups of the 1960s and ’70s was the Swingle Singers. The character of this actual accomplished accumulation was their avant-garde adjustment of Bach’s music through the Applesauce idiom.

Another artisan who helped abutment the Bach name was Wendy Carlos. In 1968 Switched on Bach came out and accustomed abundant reviews for the aesthetic analysis of abounding Bach compositions played on the Moog cyberbanking synthesizer. It would be absorbing to apperceive if Bach would accept of the abounding treatments artists accept taken with his music. Keeping with this theme, this columnist believes that this abutting artisan would not be a fan of Bach.

P. D. Q. Bach is a artisan created by agreeable carper “Professor” Peter Schickele. Schickele fabricated a career out of creating this apocryphal adolescent of Baroque artisan Johann Sebastian Bach.

Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children, four of whom became notable composers. The name “P. D. Q.” is a apology of the three-part names accustomed to some associates of the Bach children. The names were bargain to initials, such as C. P. E., for Carl Emanuel Bach. Thus, the name P.D.Q. Bach, the PDQ stands for “pretty abuse quick.”

Below are a few CDs of the Swingle Singers and PDQ Bach that you can add to your music library. There is additionally a sample beneath of the articulate appearance of the Swingle Singers assuming a best difficult Beat by Bach.

If we booty annihilation from this article, let us bethink that history builds off the past. The Music of Johann Sebastian is a abundant archetype of this. Because of this abundant composer, we can acknowledge him for the standards in music agreement he set. I achievement that you were able to accept accept to the examples provided actuality and that you accept a bigger compassionate and acknowledgment of the greatest artisan of all time.

Please accelerate me a animadversion and let me apperceive what you think.

Top 7 Baroque Music Song Selections
Top 7 Baroque Music Song Selections | How To Write Baroque Music

This agreeable is authentic and accurate to the best of the author’s ability and is not meant to acting for academic and abundant admonition from a able professional.

© 2019 Reginald Thomas

How To Write Baroque Music – How To Write Baroque Music
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PDF) Using Baroque Techniques to Teach Improvisation in Your Classroom
PDF) Using Baroque Techniques to Teach Improvisation in Your Classroom | How To Write Baroque Music

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Baroque Ornamentation and Improvisation: Playing in the baroque style on  period instruments
Baroque Ornamentation and Improvisation: Playing in the baroque style on period instruments | How To Write Baroque Music