Perspective 1.4 - Listening to Baroque Music

Assignment 1.4 - Listening to Baroque Music

Listen to Orchestral Suite No. 3 (Movement II: Gavotte) by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Be prepared to answer questions about the following elements of music.

  • Dynamics
  • Rhythm (Tempo, Duration, Meter)
  • Timbre
  • Instruments
  • Texture

Please download and read the Elements of Music presentation, if you have not already done so.

Click to listen

Answer the following questions in complete sentences and paragraphs.

Question 1

What is the overall dynamic level (pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff) of the piece? Does it ever change? How? When? You can mention a time stamp (minutes/seconds), if that helps you.

Question 2

What Italian term would you use to describe the tempo of the piece? Hint - You can use a metronome if you are not sure.

Question 3

What kind of rhythmic durations do you hear? Are there a lot of blank spaces (rests) in the sound?

Question 4

What do you think the meter is? Is it in 3/4, 2/4, 4/4 or something else? Try counting out loud to the song like this:

  • 2/4: 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, ...
  • 3/4: 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, ...
  • 4/4: 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, ...

Which one matches best with the song? Explain the different methods you tried. This may be difficult to do, but try your best.

Question 5

Do you think the timbre of this piece is bright or dark? Why?

Question 6

What instruments do you hear? You may need to look back at the list of instruments in the Baroque orchestra or do some research about the sounds of these instruments to help you listen for them.

Question 7

Do you think the texture is monophonic, homophonic, or polyphonic? Explain why you chose your answer.