Differences and Communication

Our goal here is to discover ways to think about and play Baroque music in a manner consistent to how the music was intended to be played. Fortunately for us, Geminiani’s statement about how the violin should rival the most perfect human voice gives us many clues into Baroque phrasing and articulation. We could go in several different directions at this point, but there’s a lot made perfectly apparent to us by this statement. By comparing the voice to music there are several concrete things we can put into practice immediately.

One aspect that stands out to me is differences or inequalities. When someone is speaking with emotion, control, and conviction, he or she does not say all the words in the same way or with the same pitch or volume. There is amazing and appropriate variety, each inflection adding depth to the communication. Imagine doing this on the violin. Suddenly all notes have their own character. They don’t need to be the same, in fact they should differ in importance and direction. With this concept, suddenly variety opens up. Now the question will be, how did Baroque musicians do this?


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