Handel’s Messiah and the Baroque Violin

Handel’s Messiah and the Baroque Violin

Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.

Handel composed his famous oratorio in 1742, and it has been performed every year since then.  The music was composed to utilize the abilities of the instruments that were available at that time.  However, instruments changed as the decades and centuries passed.

Baroque Violin:

Baroque Bow:

Baroque Bowing: In the Baroque period, musical phrases were made up of strong and weak notes, falling on strong and weak beats within a bar. When a violinist would move the bow in a downward stroke across a string, the sound was stronger than when the bow would be moved in an upward direction. But eventually the lengths of musical phrases grew, and more notes were meant to be played in a connected way, leading much further down the line to a phrase’s focal point. Accordingly, the bows for stringed instruments were then made to create the same amount of sound whether the bow was moving up or down.

Baroque Bowing: 
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