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MUS101 Music Appreciation Assignment - Post University, USA


Task - This assignment will measure your understanding of key components of the Baroque Era.

Q1. What does "equal temperament" mean?

Answer - The term equal temperament refers to a musical scale system for tuning of pianos guitars and other musical instruments according to Pfordresher & Brown, (2017). It fixed the instrument to the ideal scale for tuning. In this system, the octave is divided into twelve equal portions of semitones. The setting assists the pianos to play all the eyes at a minimal flaw. Before coming of the equal temperament, the initial tuning system mainly depended on acoustically clear intervals. It means that the intervals could happen naturally within the series of overtones.

Rasch, (2017). Argues that the musical intervals are always stated in cents. In this system, one hundred cents is equal to a single tempered semitone. The significance of cent notation is to give a way of comparing intervals occurring in different temperaments. After observing the intervals, one can decide whether there are musical impacts at those intervals. The importance of having an equal size of interval in the tempered scale is because the musical key in any instrument is the same. Besides that, it helps in ensuring that the composition fully transposed upwards and downwards. One of the example that ensures equal temperamental is the piano keyboard. Apart from that is the modern guitar which also has the equal tempered scale.

Q2. Please discuss the differences between an opera, an oratorio, and a cantata.

Answer - Opera

Opera refers to a form of art whereby the participants such as musicians and the singers perform work in a dramatic way according to Letellier, (2017). The dramatic work combines components such as musical score, text and other forms of components within a theatrical condition. The origin of opera is through experimenting with various factors. The Florinda Camerata who are the creators of the monody tried to innovate the available theatrical words that were used by the Ancient Greeks. The idea of opera began in Italy during the sixteenth century. The idea includes elements such as acting outspoken theatre scenery, dance, and acting. The opera has a specific setting that is the opera house.


Cantata refers to a vocal composition accompanied by other instruments movements and a choir according to Upton, (2018). Consequently, the meaning of cantata has changed over the years beginning with the simple voice during the seventeenth century to several voices at the later days of the century. The voices include cantata da Chiesa and cantata da camera. Cantata is applied in church services where it is referred to as church cantata. In other areas, it is referred to as sacred cantata or secular cantata. One of the people who advocated for cantata is Sebastian Bach.


It refers to a large composition of music used in choir orchestra and soloist. In the same way as opera, oratorio uses choir ensemble arias and soloist. The difference between opera and oratorio is that oratorio strictly a piece of the concert while an opera is a musical theatre. In some circumstances, oratorios are played as opera while opera is played as an oratorio. Besides that difference, oratorio involved minimal or no involvement between the participants. In general, opera revolves around mythology and history things such as the traditional forms of romance murder and deception however oratorio dwells on the sacred things that are why it can be performed in religious settings.


Q3. Why is the Baroque Suite considered an "international" music genre?

Answer - The reason why Baroque suite can refer to as international music genre is that the performance of the music is in diverse types of musical instruments which can be considered as an expansion of the natural traditional music. Baroque was composed of several types of dances which made it easier for anybody to correlate the dance with their traditional form of music according to Traini, Thompson, Issacson, Wheelwright & Clayton, (2018). It means that it could take an individual a shorter time to adapt to the music dance. There are also several dances within this suite that comes from different countries. The first example is the German Allemande which is a quadruple meter in a medium tempo. The second one is the Spanish Sarabande which is a state type of dance within the triple meter. The last aspect is the English gigues. In this type of genre, the participants were able to insert various types of dance including course, hornpipe, minute, and gavotte. Apparently, from the meaning of Baroque, it contains multiple styles of dance from different regions thus bringing the meaning of an international genre. The period that this dance has existed is about one hundred and fifty years in Europe.

Q4. Identify the key features of the Late Baroque style (1690 - 1750) in music.

Answer - Some of the common features that were evident in Baroque style include sonata opera suite, oratorio, and concerto according to Coorevits & Moelants, (2016). Apart from that in the sixteenth century, there are few components that started emerging. Some of the components include the following:

a. Monody

It refers to a single voice accompanied by a line bass of an instrument, from these line bass the musicians could come up with chords. In the part of the voice line delivery, it insisted on the rhythm of natural speech. Many people called this type of presentation as recitative. The performer of these chords was very skilled when it comes to playing.

b. Development of the opera.

In Baroque the initial opera came up in 1957. It was composed by an individual called Peri and the opera was referred to as Dafine. Some of the components of this opera included dances choruses and instrumental pieces. The opera had drama and music.

c. The French overture

It was an opera composed by Lully. The sequence of this opera was slow quick and then slow.

d. Oratorio

It came up the same year the year opera was brought up. Initially many participants confused these two, opera and Ontario. Before acting these types of genres the participants had to organize the costumes and the scenery. As indicated earlier in the assignment, the difference between opera and Ontario was that Ontario was a bit sacred as compared to opera.


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