The Baroque Period and Henry Eccles

             During the Baroque period (1600-1750), music evolved amid religious wars between the Protestants and Catholics as well as the exploration and colonization of the New World. With the rise of middle class cultures throughout Europe, much of music-making centered in the home. As musical instruments developed technically, the level of expertise and virtuosity improved. The major-minor tonality system was established in this period and harmony was written with figured bass, so the performer had more freedom to improvise the chords. The basso continuo, or bass part, was often played by harpsichord and cello. Well known composers of the Baroque period include Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Vivaldi (1678-1741), Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738), Johann sebastian Bach (1685-1750), and George Frideric Handel 1685-1759). A lesser known composer and violinist was Henry Eccles (1670-1743).
             By the time Joseph Handel entered the music scene in England, Henry Eccles (1670-1742) was already a respected London composer and violinist. He was the second son of Solomon Eccles and brother of John Eccles, who were both composers and musicians. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, Henry Eccles played in the court of King Louis XIV from 1694 to 1710.1 By 1716, he's no longer on the list of Chamberlayne's Notitia in the British Museum, which implies that this is when he moved to Paris. Eccles produced in two volumes the Twelve Excellent Solos for the Violin in 1720. The first book contains sonatas that are adaptations from Italian Giuseppe Valentini's Alletamenti (op. 8). 2
             Eccles felt under appreciated in England, which may be why he moved to Paris. There he became a member of the King's band. In 1732, he published Twelve Sonatas for Gamba and Figured Bass. Most notable is the Bass Sonata in G minor. These sonatas were also heavily influenced by Valentini. 3 There were no copyright laws back then. Since Eccles was greatly influenced...

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The Baroque Period and Henry Eccles. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:44, December 14, 2018, from