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Lecture 9 

Secular Trends and Introduction to the Baroque


If music be the food of love, play on...

—William Shakespeare


secular trends leading to the baroque

C.E. c.1550-1610


the counter-reformation left composers little opportunity to experiment and exercise their creative urges, and so turned to the secular madrigal and secular drama, leading directly to the invention of opera.

Topics covered:

  • secular trends
  • a new style of madrigal
  • introduction t the baroque
  • baroque opera


  • Weelkes
  • Monteverdi



  • familiarization with:
  • text painting in the madrigal
  • arioso
  • ritornello


  • watch lecture 9 (in multiple parts for quicker download)
  • review previous chapters, as necessary
  • read textbook, Chapter 11-12 
  • regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade. 


Audio / Video lecture

  • click lecture segments below in sequence
  • presented in several segments to reduce download time
  • total lecture time: approx. one hour 15 minutes (all segments included)
  • can be downloaded for portable media players by right clicking each segment link and choosing save option. (note: older Macs and Mac notebooks with single-button mice: control-click)

    9.1 Secular trends in the Renaissance


    As Vesta was from Latmos Hill descending


    A new style for the madrigal

    Monteverdi's Zefiro Torna

    9.3 Introduction to the Baroque


    Baroque opera and a new musical language

    Here are a few verses of what the character of Music says, in translation:

    I am Music who, through sweet sounds, 

    knows how to calm every troubled heart. 

    and can fire up the most icy souls — 

    now to anger, now to love. 

    I’m here now to tell you of Orpheus 

    who held the wild beasts spellbound in his song, 

    and who even succeeded 

    in overcoming Hell with his pleading.