Lecture no. 15 from the course: How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition
Taught by Professor Robert Greenberg | 45 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online Music & Fine Art Courses
We introduce the concept of instrumental musical form—processes that organize musical materials into recognizable structures without the presence of, or need for, words. The advent of instrumental music during the Baroque indicated that parts of musical speech—melody, rhythm, harmony, form—had developed enough to provide a satisfying, although "abstract," musical experience. We then focus on Baroque musical forms based on the process of variation: passacaglia, ground bass, or chaconne (or ciaconna). Such variations are demonstrated in works by Henry Purcell and Johann Sebastian Bach.