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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology


Composition, Soundscape, Baroque, Music, Italian music, Instrumental music


The Baroque period is home to some of the most prolific composers known today: Handel, Vivaldi, Bach all fill the standard repertoire of many instrumentalists today. However, who came before, and why should we care? Prior to these notable composers of the High Baroque, the 17th century marked an era of immense musical discovery. The early 1600s was a time of exploration and excitement within the realms of music making and musical thought. Claudio Monteverdi was a pivotal figure in the development of the early Baroque world, and with that, new styles of music emerged, noted as stil concertato and stil moderno. This paper explores the sound world of 17th century Italian instrumental music; what would one expect if they were to travel back in time and attend performances of such repertoire. Through the examination of certain composers such as Dario Castello, Biagio Marini, and the later Arcangelo Corelli, style, ornamentation, instrumentation, and cultural perception of music of the period, it is determined that 17th century Italy had an extremely unique, virtuosic, and theatrical way of musical thought - including composition and performance. This paper will explore works such as Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Op. 6, Dario Castello’s Sonate Concertate in stil moderno, and Biagio Marini’s Affetti Musicali as sources of interest.

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