Baroque Opera Research Paper

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Opera is a musical drama that combines elements of theater with singing and instruments. The Baroque period Italy saw the birth of opera. An operas elements have not changed in name since the Baroque period. They included the overture, arias, recitatives, and ensemble numbers. Baroque period opera was often religious, historical, or mythological in nature. The comic opera was created for the middle class of the Baroque era and provided commentary on modern life. Classical opera featured two types of Italian opera: opera buffa (comic) and opera seria (serious). The classical operas were more scandalous when compared to the religious operas of the Baroque period. Comic opera of the classical era was often satirical in nature, making light of…show more content…
Baroque opera featured lively and playful melodies and often had triple meter. Textures were typically modonic (early Baroque) or polyphonic (late Baroque), whereas Classical opera features a homophonic texture. Popular Baroque composers include Monteverdi, Purcell, and Vivaldi. Classical composers include Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert. Melody of the Baroque opera was often speechlike, and Classical melody was typically symmetrical. Baroque harmony was chromatic, and rhythm was single. Classical harmony was diatonic and dance rhythm was favored. The form of Baroque opera was in both binary and ternary forms, while the Classical period saw the rise of the sonata-allegro and other larger forms. Dynamics of Baroque opera were subtle, while Classical opera favored continuously changing dynamics. The instruments of the Baroque era opera featured a string orchestra, woodwinds, organs, and harpsichords. Classical era opera saw the rise of a featured piano as well as the introduction of brass instruments such as the trombone and the clarinet. The emotional features of Baroque opera were often exuberant and quite theatrical, whereas Classical opera featured an emotional balance

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