Tuesday, 13 November 2012

General Musical Periods

In the above encapsulation, some dates overlap such as the Baroque and Rococo. This is historically due to the fact the musicologists consider the death of J. S. Bach in 1750 as the end of the Baroque while Bach's sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Wilhelm Friedman and Johann Christian Bach are assigned to the Rococo even though they were writing during their father's lifetime.

There are many composers who wrote for the recorder. Three of the most important and prolific were; C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788), George Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). The student who continues to study the recorder and its literature will find them quite prominant. Because of these composers, the years 1725 to 1760 are considered the "Golden Age of the Recorder".

The greatest problem in playing traditional music on the recorder is what the Germans call Auffuhrungspraxis (practice of performance). Prior to 1550 the instruments were not specified in the sources. There are passages of vocal character with no words, music that is possible on a great many instruments and the fact the many instruments of the period are now obsolete and forgotten. It was the practice of the musicians to play a piece on whatever instrument was handy and could play the indicated notes. The idea of writing for a specific instrument during the middle ages and Renaissance was foreign to a 15th century composer. To them, the only important thing was to play the music. Very often the written score was absent of accidentals (sharps and flats) and had no tempo or dynamic instructions. It was understood that the musician would supply whatever embellishments he thought the piece required. Therefore, today much of the traditional recorder music is attributed to a certain composer based on style by an educated guess of an editor or arranger. It is quite proper for the modern player to provide his own interpretation and embellishments to early music.

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