Bach Dance Influence

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There are many ways in which dance influenced music composed during the baroque period. This essay will explore the dances that spread from the french court of Louis XIV to Germany and particularly to the music of JS Bach. The French culture had a huge influence on music in Germany in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The Thirty Years War, between 1618 and 1648, had destroyed most of Germany. As a result of this, Germans looked towards the french and imported their culture. However, this influence was short lives as in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, German writers revolted against the French influence and Bach’s music was criticised for being too greatly influenced by French styles. Evidence of this can…show more content…
Louis studied dance from an early age and performed many times with the aim of impressing all of Europe with his dance shows while he was king. It was this culture that many other parts of Europe were influenced by. In the balls that were put on by King Louis XIV to demonstrate the superiority of the nobles to all others present and his dances represented France’s power and sophistication. Dances were performed by young, healthy dancers and were often very demanding - however pretentious displays of an individuals skill were looked at disapprovingly by others. The aim of dance of this type was to make the different steps look effortless and not at all…show more content…
According to Little and Jenne, the sarabande is a dance “that seems calm, serious, and somewhat tender, but [also] ordered, balanced, and sustained.”(Little and Jenne, 92) It is also recognised that the sarabande has an underlying sense of wildness from its Spanish origins and sudden changes in the character which further justify the passionate Affekt of the dance. This powerful, passionate emotion hidden by a serious aura can be seen in many baroque works, especially those of Bach. Sarabandes often include mostly slow and fluent dance steps but some quicker and more lively moments are often included as this also suggests a passionate affekt. Little and Jenne state that Sarabandes often include the following musical features (Little and Jenne: 96) They have a metre of 3/4, make use of balanced phrases of 4 or 8 bars and have a harmonic rate of change of crotchets. Dissonance is often used to express the extreme passion
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