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Which are the differences between Baroque and Classical music? Why Vivaldi’s Spring is Baroque and Mozart’s 25th Symphony is Classical music? The distinction is not so neat in every case, but we can set out some general principles, other than those described in the relevant Wiki pages (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_period_(music)).
1) Baroque loves details. It’s an art rich in particulars, with strong colours and contrasts between sacred and secular. Look at the following German statue:
Now listen to the beginning of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major:
Have you seen/heard how much information the music contains? Several musicians play different (and equally important) tunes at the same time; even if the violin plays alone there’s a basso continuo which comments its phrases by playing something else in the background, and its tune is fascinating, not at all boring, with many jumps and quick passages full of different notes. The instruments exchange continuously the tunes with extreme nonchalance.
2) Classical style is rational. The Enlightenment influence tidies everything up and brings geometry and simmetry into play: we see that in plastic arts, e.g. in ths Goya’s picture:
There’s a leaf on the ground: if it were Baroque, it would be full of curves, veins and details. See the wood in the background: it’s all vague. Where are the leaves on the trees? Most importantly, the lady in the focus, her smile and her dog stand out and the rest has no importance. Now listen to Mozart’s Divertimento KV 136:
The tune is everything, the rest doesn’t matter at all. Try singing the bass part and you’ll realize it consists in a single note that is repeated several times, changing only once in a while. Classical style seems “simple”, which doesn’t mean it’s simpler than Baroque one. Its complexity lies in the structure and in the form which tidies music up and puts the tunes in the right place. For further information about this topic, see the post on Sonata form (http://euterpe.blog.br/analise-de-obra/forma-sonata, which is the form of this Divertimento) or the following link (http://euterpe.blog.br/analise-de-obra/tema-com-variacoes).”