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The Complete Musician - 17th-Century Style

Improvisation was a regular part of musical performance in the Baroque and Renaissance eras. Unlike today, performers were almost always also composers as well, and someone performing someone else's composition would often take liberties - even adding whole sections to the work. Today it is highly unusual that a performer would depart from the score, even a tiny bit! In our program Flights of Fancy, we will be finding different ways to present how improvisation is a part of period music. In some cases, the ensemble will be improvising ornamentation, variations of written melodies, as well as brand new melodies created on the spot. In addition, you will hear a glimpse of the improvisational s

Tocca-what??

What is a toccata? And what does it have to do with our Flights of Fancy concert? According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term comes from the Italian toccare: ‘to touch’. It is a piece intended primarily as a display of manual dexterity, often free in form and almost always for a solo keyboard instrument. It's the "free in form" part that interests us the most for the purposes of this concert. That means the piece, unlike so much other music of its time, is not strictly linked to a dance form or vocal melody. While it is written music, and may feature some more formally composed sections (ie fugues), for the most part the Baroque toccata is intended to sound almost