CLEP Humanities : Understanding Terminology That Describes Baroque Music

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Baroque Music (1600 1750)

Which of the following instruments is most similar to the modern piano?

Possible Answers:

Lyre

Harpsichord

Lute

Viola da gamba

Mandocello

Correct answer:

Harpsichord

Explanation:

The harpsichord is the modern piano’s most direct ancestor. The harpsichord had a similarly arranged keyboard, similar string layout, and was played in a similar manner to the piano. Unlike the piano, though, the harpsichord plucked rather than hammered its internal strings, meaning it was less able to modulate and sustain its volume.

Example Question #2 : Baroque Music (1600 1750)

Which of the following styles of composition is associated with the "fugue" style?

Possible Answers:

Counterpoint

Trumpet flourishes

Minor keys

Tonal clusters

Organ recitations

Correct answer:

Counterpoint

Explanation:

The fugue is a kind of melody that is based upon a relatively simple theme that is then woven and adapted with other lines that express this same theme. These variations weave in and out of each other, often opposing one another (though not in an unpleasant way). As one version of the theme is descending, another is rising, and perhaps yet another is preparing to descend. Although he had antecedents, J.S. Bach was well known for this style. He wrote a work, Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue) that details many ways that fugues can be composed. So notorious was Bach for this style that Claude Debussy is said to have referred to his music as being "mercilessly regulated" and "joyless" in its attachment to the style of counterpoint.

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