- The Crisis of the Baroque
- Decentering the European Imaginary: A Baroque Taste for India
- Line and Trait of the Baroque River
- Water in The Baroque Garden
- Fashioning the Baroque Male
- Antinomies of the Twenty-First-Century Neobaroque: Cormac McCarthy and Demian Schopf
- The Automaton
- The Baroque City
- Surface and Substance: Baroque Dress in Spain and France, 1600–1720
- Baroque Dance
- Ibero-American Architecture and Urbanism
- Baroque Organ Music
- Ottoman Baroque
- Baroque Opera
- Machine Plays
- The Organization of Knowledge from Ramus to Diderot
- Experience and Knowledge in the Baroque
- Conversation and Civility
- The Philosopher’s Baroque: Benjamin, Lacan, Deleuze
- The Spanish Baroque Novel
- Baroque Tragedy
- The Baroque as a Literary Concept
- Baroque Discourse
- Classical Defense of the Baroque
- The Baroque and Philosophy
- The Baroque as Anti-Classicism: The French Case
- Is There a Baroque Style of Preaching in Early Modern France?
- Prayer, Meditation, and Retreat
- Baroque Sexualities
- Paradoxes: Baroque Science
- Baroque Diplomacy
- The End of Witch-Hunting
- Time and Chronometry
- Court Spectacle and Entertainment
- The Baroque State
Abstract and Keywords
The fundamental assumption of commentators from the early modern period is that tasteful music functions simultaneously to express sentiment and to move listener-spectators. The three core elements of the baroque operatic spectacle—poetry, music, and dance—are defined by their ability to express and convey passion. Commentators point to the particular ability of musical language—and its combination with poetry and movement—to represent that which is out of reach of spoken language, or below the threshold of linguistic representation. Although both dramma per musica and the tragédie en musique arose and were fundamentally grounded in monarchical cultural worlds, both also endured successfully as public art forms. Aesthetically, baroque opera exhibits and revels in nested structures, manifested in plays within plays and in references that place the operatic moment within a social world outside the opera. Opera left this aesthetic behind as it moved into the second half of the eighteenth century, influenced by the views of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the works of Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck among others.
Downing A. Thomas is Professor of French and Associate Provost and Dean for International Programs at the University of Iowa. His books include Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Englightenment (Cambrige, 1995), Aesthetics of Opera in the Ancien Régime: 1647-1785 (Cambridge, 2002) and, as editor with RobertMarvin, Operatic Migrations: Transforming Works and Crossing Boundaries in Musical Drama (Ashgate, 2006).
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