Today we are learning about the style of music called Baroque. Baroque music is heavily ornamented which means it is flowery. It reflected the architecture of that era also. Baroque music uses strings and sometimes a trumpet, oboe or bassoon. There is always a harpsichord playing underneath everything, this is known as harpsichord continuo. Opera became established in this era too.
Let The Bright Seraphim by George Frederick Handel
Let The Bright Seraphim by George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) comes from a religious work (Oratorio) about Samson and was completed in 1742. This song is a well-known Aria, an Italian word that describes a long accompanied song for solo voice often used in opera. It was written for two main performers; a soprano (high female) voice and trumpet. They are accompanied by a small (chamber) string orchestra. In this performance, the female singer is Kathleen Battle and the trumpeter is Wynton Marsalis.
Have a look at the questions in blue below and discuss them with a grown up. I have put the answers in black to look at after.
Do you like this song?
What Can You Hear?
- The vocal line: One female singer, soprano.
- The backing/accompaniment: The trumpet plays a lead role in this song. There is a string orchestra consisting of violins, violas, cellos and double basses. A harpsichord plays throughout.
Is there a hook? (A hook is a catchy chorus or repeated instrumental passage in a piece of popular music: strong, funky vocals with a hook that gets into your head)
In baroque music we do not use the word hook. Hook is used when discussing popular music.
The tempo: is it fast, slow or in between?
The tempo changes at times but is mostly quite fast.