La Follia

Concert Hall Orchestra Illustration


Title: La Follia
Date: 1700
Composer: Arcangelo Corelli
Movement: Baroque
1653 – 1713

Arcangelo Corelli was an Italian violinist and composer. He studied under Giovanni Battista Bassani and Matteo Simonelli. Corelli’s first major success was at the age of 19 in Paris. By 1679 he had entered the service of Queen Christina of Sweden, who after her abdication had moved to Rome and had established an academy of literati, known as the Arcadian Academy.

La Follia is a specific framework that composers of the Baroque era applied to simple melodies in minor keys. It is a compositional-improvisational process which could generate the required sequence of chords and became a standard chord progression. The Follia generally comes at the beginning of a composition, giving way to the partial or pure improvisational section before ending with a return to the Follia.

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