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Baroque Music #2936048 01/19/20 07:42 PM
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I have got it in my head that I need to learn some baroque music having never learnt any since i returned as an adult. I have 3 pieces on the go in the lesson so I cant really play them in the lesson. Can someone recommend a good book to start which I could site read from ? I need to get it out my system. I have a very dull book by scarlatti sonata which only has one nice piece (cat fugue) which is too hard to sight read. Any recommendation please. Thanks smile

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Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936049 01/19/20 07:43 PM
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Maybe something grade 6-7 standard that I could play myself without a teacher. Preferably not fugues. Thanks.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936055 01/19/20 08:27 PM
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Do Bach Chorales count?


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Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936058 01/19/20 08:38 PM
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Also, if you are sight-reading grade 6-7, you should be able to sight-read almost any of the 2-part Bach Inventions. So you could take a look at this from IMSLP.


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Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936059 01/19/20 08:41 PM
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You might try some of the pieces from Bach's French Suites.

https://imslp.org/wiki/6_French_Suites%2C_BWV_812-817_(Bach%2C_Johann_Sebastian)

There are some sets of simpler Preludes by Bach, but I can't find them in IMSLP, though I'm they are sure there. The sheet music I have is "Kleine Praludien Und Fugetten" (edition Peters nr 2791). I'm thinking in particular ot the first set of 12 preludes in that book.


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Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936069 01/19/20 10:38 PM
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I'm not sure if you are referring to prima vista sight reading, but if not, and you fancy something a bit more "catchy" than Bach, then Handel's Keyboard Suites have some beautiful and memorable tunes which are a joy to play. I'd suggest the following - sheet music can all be found on IMSLP:

Minuet in G Minor (HWV 434): (Handel's original is simpler than this Kempff arrangement)
https://youtu.be/1KLG3p5UZoE

Sarabande in D minor (HWV 437)
https://youtu.be/awAvlVWS3Xg

Passacaglia in G minor (HWV 432):
https://youtu.be/xS06mpl3oG4

If these are too simple then the complete 1720 Suite No. 3 in D Minor has some highly challenging parts: (suite from 19:34 until 39:00) (my personal favourite is Variation 1 at 32:23)
https://youtu.be/HrXOVNzTeKo?t=1172

Last edited by scirocco; 01/19/20 10:40 PM.
Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936121 01/20/20 02:42 AM
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You can try the sonatine for clavier, band 1 from baroque to pre classical by Henle. It is a compilation of pieces which are borderline baroque and classic. There are some easy Scarlatti sonata, Carl Philipp E. Bach, Benda, Pistoia, Soler, ...no fugues. Most are easy enough.

In more complete collections, you would have the Purcell keyboard sonatas and the Buxtehude suites with Dover which are fairly easy and well written. Barenreiter has one book of the easy Haendel keyboard pieces, minuets and others. Most Haendel compositions would be too difficult.

There are other collections of baroque pieces but i am not a great fan of collections so i cant comment on those.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936157 01/20/20 05:51 AM
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How about something by the French Baroque composer Francois Couperin? Couperin wrote a treatise on harpsichord playing: L’art de toucher le clavecin:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'art_de_toucher_le_clavecin?wprov=sfti1

and he published a lot of short pieces to demonstrate how to play Baroque ornaments and articulation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Fran%C3%A7ois_Couperin?wprov=sfti1

My teacher was a professional harpsichord player, and so, she loves Baroque music. I’m working on Les coucous, the cuckoo, which is about someone who shows up at a masquerade ball dressed as a yellow cuckoo bird. Even the mighty Sokolov plays the Cuckoo:



It’s a fun piece and there are a lot of pieces like that in Couperin’s book.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/20/20 05:52 AM.

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Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936165 01/20/20 06:05 AM
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The baroque period is a very long one spanning 150 years or so. So there is a huge variety of styles. The early to mid baroque is complicated to play as it is often either modal or a mix of modal and some tonal harmony. Also the articulation is very important and it is very different from classic or romantic. So best is to focus initially on late 17th and 18th century. Other composers that are worth looking into are Kunhau suite for keyboard. They are quite approachable and closer to the classic style. The sonatas by C.P.E Bach for example wq 63 are good to play. Another often time neglected composer is Wilhelm Friedman Bach, the 12 polonaise Falck 12 are interesting pieces though like his brother already half way to a more classic style.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936171 01/20/20 07:02 AM
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If you are just starting with Baroque music, why choose pieces anyone but Bach and Scarlatti, the two greatest by far? Scarlatti wrote many very beautiful slow Sonatas. I suggest listening to some YT performances and printing the ones you like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxlVrYjPmT0

Do you just want to sight read Baroque music or learn some pieces? It's not clear from your OP.

The suggestion of the Bach French Suite in G is good at least for some of the movements. Also, the Little Preludes and Fugues. I'd suggest learning from an edition with good fingering. For fingering, you can use the Busoni edition on IMSLP for any Bach pieces and just ignore the rest of his edits and textual changes other than the fingering if you want.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: scirocco] #2936182 01/20/20 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by scirocco

Minuet in G Minor (HWV 434): (Handel's original is simpler than this Kempff arrangement)

Oh, do try this one, it is such a beautiful piece. Handel's original score can be found here and that already sounds fantastic if it is played with expression.

https://www.free-scores.com/sheetmusic?p=aGaHQHrcxk


Re: Baroque Music [Re: Sidokar] #2936282 01/20/20 01:41 PM
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Thank you for the suggestions. I dont know why suddenly I want to play a different period. I had this idea that it is probably not great to be playing mostly romantic period music and also it would be nice to have some idea of how earlier music is played and how it is played when on a piano even though may have been written for a harpsichord. Part of me wants to just stop my current pieces but I have tried to fight against this habit in the last year even though it is difficult at times. I think on reflection it is best if I do some homework and listen to some music from this period so when it comes to do when it comes to pick my next piece I will have some good suggestions and options to discuss with my teacher.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
The baroque period is a very long one spanning 150 years or so. So there is a huge variety of styles. The early to mid baroque is complicated to play as it is often either modal or a mix of modal and some tonal harmony. Also the articulation is very important and it is very different from classic or romantic. So best is to focus initially on late 17th and 18th century. Other composers that are worth looking into are Kunhau suite for keyboard. They are quite approachable and closer to the classic style. The sonatas by C.P.E Bach for example wq 63 are good to play. Another often time neglected composer is Wilhelm Friedman Bach, the 12 polonaise Falck 12 are interesting pieces though like his brother already half way to a more classic style.


Could you explain a bit more why you think it is best to focus on late 17th and 18th century. Sorry this does not mean much to me. Ta.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936304 01/20/20 02:38 PM
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Alfred publishers has a Scarlatti “introduction to his keyboard works“ which has some nice pieces and is very easy to read. I particularly like K32, K431, and K391 in this book. Handel’s Aylesford Pieces are great. Very different style. Bach Inventions and Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 are worth having and looking through.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936381 01/20/20 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)


Could you explain a bit more why you think it is best to focus on late 17th and 18th century. Sorry this does not mean much to me. Ta.


You can of course play whatever you like ; but if you want to familiarize yourself with a new period, it is easier to start with composers and music that has more common points with some of what you already know. The music has greatly evolved during the baroque period, so the early 17th century does not have anyway much to do with the music of Scarlatti or Bach. It would be like another different period to discover inside the baroque era. That is why I think that Scarlatti, Bach, Haendel, CPE Bach , his brother and some of the others I have named have written nice pieces, some fairly easy, that provide a good bridge to start entering into the baroque mindset.

The main issue with composers like Frescobaldi, or Froberger and in general the music of the early 17th up to very roughly 1660-1680 (it varies by country and composer) is that it is not following the mainstream tonal harmony of the major/minor model (I simplify greatly to keep it simple). There is no modulation per se and the signature does not indicate a key, so the circle of fifth is not applicable. The harmonies are the result of the voice leading arranged per the modal scheme. It is therefore sometime disconcerting and the structure of these pieces can not be understood easily. The logic of the incidentals is also different.

The articulation is specific and does not necessarily align with the bar line (some pieces were unmeasured). So all in all, you can play it and that can be an interesting musical journey, but without some guidance you will not know if you are playing it the right way or not (and why).

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Sidokar] #2936396 01/20/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Moo :)


Could you explain a bit more why you think it is best to focus on late 17th and 18th century. Sorry this does not mean much to me. Ta.


You can of course play whatever you like ; but if you want to familiarize yourself with a new period, it is easier to start with composers and music that has more common points with some of what you already know. The music has greatly evolved during the baroque period, so the early 17th century does not have anyway much to do with the music of Scarlatti or Bach. It would be like another different period to discover inside the baroque era. That is why I think that Scarlatti, Bach, Haendel, CPE Bach , his brother and some of the others I have named have written nice pieces, some fairly easy, that provide a good bridge to start entering into the baroque mindset.

The main issue with composers like Frescobaldi, or Froberger and in general the music of the early 17th up to very roughly 1660-1680 (it varies by country and composer) is that it is not following the mainstream tonal harmony of the major/minor model (I simplify greatly to keep it simple). There is no modulation per se and the signature does not indicate a key, so the circle of fifth is not applicable. The harmonies are the result of the voice leading arranged per the modal scheme. It is therefore sometime disconcerting and the structure of these pieces can not be understood easily. The logic of the incidentals is also different.

The articulation is specific and does not necessarily align with the bar line (some pieces were unmeasured). So all in all, you can play it and that can be an interesting musical journey, but without some guidance you will not know if you are playing it the right way or not (and why).



Thank you. I did not know about modes before until last month. I played on a harpsichord for the first time and tried to find a baroque piece . I told everyone that I had to find a piece from this era as a child as I had not played anything as an adult. Someone afterwards however told me it was not baroque at all. They said it modal. How can you tell ?

I played this piece

https://youtu.be/YQG-cZ_hV_c

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936405 01/20/20 06:25 PM
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The YouTube piece by Valente sounds like Renaissance music. But I am not a music theorist in the least. Contrast that with a Bach Invention, and you’ll hear the difference in the styles.

Last edited by rwsavory; 01/20/20 06:31 PM.
Re: Baroque Music [Re: rwsavory] #2936412 01/20/20 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rwsavory
The YouTube piece by Valente sounds like Renaissance music. But I am not a music theorist in the least. Contrast that with a Bach Invention, and you’ll hear the difference in the styles.


I suppose. My version was a lot simplier than that recording. I just don’t know how you can tell it is modal and not major and minor. Also whilst it sound very different from a Bach invention, Bach has pieces that don’t sound very similar. Even in the example above we had some examples I would have thought more modern than baroque.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HrXOVNzTeKo&feature=youtu.be&t=1172

Maybe pretty clueless atm but narrowed it down to later baroque music that is based on real scales. smile

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936413 01/20/20 06:44 PM
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Not sure what your level of playing is. The 1 book that is easy to read is the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. Most people would have played at least "Minuet in G" from the book. There are all sorts of other pieces by different composers other than J.S. Bach at a similar level.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936421 01/20/20 07:01 PM
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I think more than 95% of Baroque music performed in professional piano concerts is by Bach and Scarlatti. I think someone just starting to play music of this period should concentrate on those composers and not ones I (and I think most others) consider more minor figures.

Re: Baroque Music [Re: Moo :)] #2936423 01/20/20 07:06 PM
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Thank you for the advice. I think however this one suggested is too amazing not to play.

https://youtu.be/2E2e6WuXtQ0

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