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The Baroque Suite Basic Information

During the Baroque period, the suite was one of the most common forms used in the composition of instrumental music, especially keyboard works, and was popular throughout Europe. A suite in this meaning of the word applies to a collection of small-scale pieces, based on dance forms, grouped together into a set. It was the rench who de!eloped a structure to the Baroque "uite which became the dominant model. #ypically, this was based around a core of four dances, the allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue, to which others were often added. In $ermany the suite was known as a Partita. Aside from the dances mentioned, other popular ones included the gavotte, bourre, passacaglia, chaconne, minuet and passepied. Dances were typically simple in their structure, with a binary % A-B & structure being the most common. A modulation is commonly found at the end of the first section %the 'A( section&, often to the dominant, with a return to the original key during the 'B( section. Important composers of the Baroque "uite were )" Bach, *andel, roberger and ran+ois ,ouperin %whose keyboard suites were called Ordres&

Related Links:
http-..www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.chamber.pdf http-..www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.bw!/0/.pdf http-..www.tafelmusik.org.pdfs.$oforBaroque.pdf http-..www.hyperion-records.co.uk.notes.00123.html http-..www.cello.org.4ewsletter.Articles.mansbridge.mansbridge.htm

Recommended listening: )" Bach 5 English and rench 6eyboard "uites )" Bach 5 ,ello "uites roberger 5 6eyboard "uites $. . *andel 5 7ater 8usic "uite

musicteachers.co.uk / teaching resources / intermediate level

Dance Characteristics:
Allemande: A moderately fast dance, usually in 2.2 or 0.0 time. Beginning with an upbeat, it is often characterised by flowing qua!ers or semiqua!ers. ind a short sample of one by #homas ,hilcot at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.allemande.mp9 Bourre: A li!ely dance in 2.2 or 0.0, starting on the last crotchet of the bar. 7hen employed in a suite there were sometimes 0 bourres played consecuti!ely. ind a short sample of one by )" Bach %from his 3th rench "uite& at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.bourree.mp9 Courante: :iterally meaning 'running(, the courante is a rench dance, usually in ;.2 and commonly with bars of 9.0 added, especially towards cadences %gi!ing a hemiola-type effect&. "ometimes this was replaced in a suite by the Italian !ersion, known as the corrente. #his was a faster dance in simple triple time %9.2& which tended towards more homophonic te<tures. ind a short sample of one by #elemann at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.courante.mp9 Chaconne: see Passacaglia. Gavotte: rench in origin, the gavotte is a moderately fast dance in 2.2. It characteristically begins on the third beat of the bar. ind a short sample of one by :a $uerre at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.ga!otte.mp9 Gigue: A dance of English and ,eltic origins with a li!ely feel. It is usually in ;./, although e<amples occur in =0./, 9./, ;.2 and 2.2 %with the beats di!ided into triplets&. 8elodically it tends to incorporate leaps across wide inter!als, with an energetic rhythmic flow. ind a short sample of one by *andel %from his $ ma>or suite *7? 22=& at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.gigue.mp9 Minuet: A dance of rench origin in 9.2 time, of steady speed and dainty character. Although used frequently in the Baroque suite, it later became a standard part of the classical symphony, as the 9rd mo!ement, where it was played with a following Trio %before the reprise of the Minuet&. ind a short sample of one by )" Bach %from the Clavierbuchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach& at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.minuet.mp9 Passacaglia: A slow and stately dance with no great discernable differences to the Chaconne. It is usually in triple time and consists of regular phrases. #hese often take the form of theme and variations o!er a ground bass %i.e. a repeated bass line and chord sequence&. Passepied: A quick dance in 9./ or ;./ of rench origin. ara!ande: Although originally a li!elier dance of :atin American origin, the type of Sarabande commonly adopted in Europe was a slow, stately form in triple time. #he dance is characterised by a slight emphasis on the second beat of the bar. ind a short sample of one by *andel %from his suite in D minor *7? 29@& at www.musicteachers.co.uk.resources.sarabande.mp9

musicteachers.co.uk / teaching resources / intermediate level

The Baroque Suite - Question Sheet


=. #he $erman name for the Baroque suite was the 0. 4ame two of the four typical core dances in a Baroque suite-

9. #he form of a baroque dance mo!ement is often an A 5 B structure. #his is known as form.

2. 7hat is the rhythmic characteristic of a GavotteA

3. #he "arabandes found in Baroque suites are of a slo"# statel$ . %ast# livel$ nature %delete as appropriate& ;. #he 8inuet later became incorporated into another important musical form. 7hat is itA @. A Passacaglia is written o!er a ground !ass. 7hat does this meanA

/. #he gigue originates from which part of the worldA BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

musicteachers.co.uk / teaching resources / intermediate level

Composition &ask
,hoose a dance style from the list on the other sheet and write a short composition in binary form %appro<imately 90 bars&, displaying the appropriate rhythmic characteristics. Do not feel limited to a Baroque style in terms of instrumentation and harmony thoughC many composers in more recent centuries ha!e taken these dance forms and cast them in a more modern light. A few e<amples of this type of piece are listed belowBritten 5 Dassacaglia from 'Deter $rimes( *olberg "uite 5 $rieg 5 sarabande, ga!otte Ea!el 5 8inuet from ':e tombeau de ,ouperin( Debussy 5 "arabande from 'Dour le Diano( "tra!insky - $a!otte from 'Dulcinella "uite(