Zen for Ten 7: A dose of sun

Today’s features: Sonata in B flat Major and Sonata in D Major, by Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)

Welcome back! Today’s video highlights two of my favorite short pieces by Italian Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti.

About the music:

When we think about the word “Sonata,” we usually think about a long piece of music, often divided into different sections or movements. Scarlatti’s pieces don’t fit into that pattern. During his lifetime, the word “sonata” didn’t refer to any particular musical form or structure. It came from the Italian suonare, meaning “to play” or “to sound,” and composers saw it as an invitation to write whatever they wanted. In Scarlatti’s case, he borrowed from popular dances of his time – minuets, gavottes, gigues – to create little musical gems.

As you listen to today’s pieces, you can hear how dance music inspired them both. They’re light and joyful, fun to play and listen to. In last week’s blog post I talked about why the world needs artists, especially during the hardest times; in today’s post I’m thinking about sending some beauty and cheerfulness out into the world. Scarlatti’s music is a dose of sunlight. Please enjoy and share!

Thought exercise:

This part of the blog will be back soon.

Blog Subscriber Bonus! When you subscribe to the blog and join our email list, you’ll receive a PDF of my flash-fiction story “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” which I wrote in response to Charles Mingus’s jazz tune of the same name. Subscribe (using the black button on the right), read the story, and then listen here to the music that inspired it.



4 thoughts on “Zen for Ten 7: A dose of sun

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