9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music


The style and purpose of all things furious

Sarah McCleave

By considering the “distinguishing and ordering concepts” of the dance music of J.S. Bach, Meredith Little and Natalie Jenne have explored a certain aspect of style in considerable depth, relating Bach’s rhythmic“style” to actual dance repertory. But this is only one aspect of style. To date, little work has yet been done considering further aspects of the stylization of theatrical dance, more particularly considering the “mode of expression” to be found in operatic dances.

This paper will explore aspects of style by considering the music for Furies and Baleful Dreams in theatrical music dating from circa 1670 to 1750. Do Furies or Baleful Dreams have consistent manners of presentation? Are stylistic differences a matter of a composer’s own style, or are they attributable to the dramatic context? Handel’s “stylization” of these dances will form a focal point, as compared with Matthew Locke, Henry Purcell, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Jean- Pierre Rameau.

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Last updated on 22 March 2000 by Yo Tomita