Baroque music

Baroque music is a style of Western art music composed from about 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance, and was adhered to subsequently by the Classical era. Words “baroque” comes from the Portuguese word barroco definition misshapen pearl, an unfavorable summary of the ornate and also heavily ornamented music of this period. Later, the name involved use likewise to the architecture of the exact same period.

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Baroque music creates a major portion of the “timeless music” canon, being widely stupassed away, perdeveloped, and listened to. Composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin,Denis Gaultier, Claudio Monteverdi, Heinaffluent Schütz, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Jan Dismas Zelenka, and Johann Pachelbel.

The Baroque period experienced the development of tonality. Throughout the period, composers and performers offered more fancy musical ornamentation, made transforms in musical notation, and occurred brand-new important playing methods. Baroque music broadened the dimension, range, and also intricacy of crucial performance, and also established opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata as musical genres. Many type of musical terms and principles from this era are still in use now.


Periods ofWestern timeless music


MedievalRenaissanceUsual practiceBaroqueClassicalRomanticModern and also contemporaryModern20th centuryContemporary2first century
c. 500–1400
c. 1400–1600
c. 1600–1760
c. 1730–1820
c. 1815–1910
c. 1890–1930
c. 1975–present

History of European art music

The term “Baroque” is generally used by music historians to explain a vast array of formats from a vast geographical area, mostly in Europe, written over a duration of roughly 150 years.

Although it was long assumed that the word as a crucial term was initially applied to design, in truth it shows up earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical evaluation of the première in October 1733 of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734. The critic implied that the novelty in this opera was “du barocque,” complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled through unremitting dissonances, constantly adjusted crucial and also meter, and speedily ran through every compositional tool.

The organized application by historians of the term “baroque” to music of this duration is a reasonably recent development. In 1919, Curt Sachs came to be the initially to use the 5 attributes of Heinwell-off Wölfflin’s theory of the Baroque systematically to music.  Critics were quick to question the attempt to transpose Wölfflin’s categories to music, but, and in the second quarter of the 20th century independent attempts were made by Manfred Bukofzer (in Germany kind of and, after his immigration, in America) and also by Suzanne Clercx-Lejeune (in Belgium) to usage autonomous, technical analysis quite than comparative abstractions, in order to avoid the adaptation of theories based upon the plastic arts and also literary works to music. All of these initiatives caused appreciable disagreement around time borders of the period, specifically concerning once it started. In English the term got money just in the 1940s, in the works of Bukofzer and Paul Henry Lang.

As late as 1960 tright here was still significant conflict in scholastic circles, particularly in France and Britain, whether it was systematic to lump together music as diverse as that of Jacopo Peri, Domenico Scarlatti, and J.S. Bach under a single rubric. However, the term has become commonly used and also welcomed for this wide selection of music.  It may be beneficial to identify the Baroque from both the preceding (Renaissance) and following (Classical) durations of musical history.


The Baroque duration is separated right into 3 major phases: at an early stage, middle, and also late. Although they overlap in time, they are traditionally dated from 1580 to 1630, from 1630 to 1680, and also from 1680 to 1730.

Early baroque music (1580–1630)

The middle Baroque period in Italy is identified by the introduction in the cantata, oratorio, and opera in the time of the 1630s of the bel-canto style. This style, among the most important contributions to the advancement of Baroque and also the later Classical style, was produced by a new principle of melody and also harmony that elevated the condition of the music to one of equality through the words, which formerly had actually been pertained to as pre-eminent. The florid, coloratura monody of the early Baroque provided way to a much easier, even more poliburned melodic style, usually in a ternary rhythm. These melodies were constructed from brief, cadentially derestricted concepts frequently based on stylized dance fads attracted from the sarabande or thecourante. The harmonies, too, were less complicated than in the early Baroque monody, and also the accompanying bass lines were more integrated through the melody, producing a contrapuntal equivalence of the parts that later on brought about the gadget of an initial bass anticipation of the aria melody. This harmonic simplification also brought about a brand-new formal tool of the differentiation of recitative and aria. The most necessary innovators of this style were the Romans Luigi Rossi and Giacomo Carissimi, that were mostly composers of cantatas and also oratorios, respectively, and the VenetianFrancesco Cavalli, who was principally an opera composer. Later essential practitioners of this style include Antonio Cesti, Giovanni Legrenzi, and Alessandro Stradella.

The middle Baroque had absolutely no bearing at all on the theoretical work-related of Johann Fux, who systematized the strict counterpoint characteristic of earlier ages in his Gradus ad Paranassum (1725).

One pre-eminent example of a court style composer is Jean-Baptiste Lully. He purchased patents from the monarchy to be the single composer of opperiods for the king and to proccasion others from having actually opperiods staged. He completed 15 lyric tragedies and left unfinished Achille et Polyxène.

Musically, he did not create the string-conquered norm for orchestras, which was inherited from the Italian opera, and also the characteristically French five-component disposition(violins, violas—in hautes-contre, tailles and quintes sizes—and also bass violins) had actually been supplied in the ballet from the moment of Louis XIII. He did, however, present this ensemble to the lyric theatre, with the top parts frequently doubled by recorders, flutes, and also oboes, and also the bass by bassoons. Trumpets and also kettledrums were generally included for heroic scenes.




Violino piccoloViolinViolViolaViola d’amoreViola pomposaTenor violinCelloContrabassLuteTheorboArchluteAngéliqueMandolinGuitarHarpHurdy gurdy


Baroque fluteChalumeauCortol (also known as Cortholt, Curtall, Oboe family)DulcianMusette de courBaroque oboeRackettRecorderBassoonClarinet


CornettNatural hornBaroque trumpetTromba da tirarsi (likewise called tromba spezzata)Flatt trumpetSerpentSackbut (16th- and also early 17th-century English name for FR: saquebute, saqueboute; ES: sacabuche; IT: trombone; MHG: busaun, busîne, busune / DE (given that the early on 17th century) Posaune)Trombone (English name for the very same instrument, from the beforehand 18th century)


ClavichordTangent pianoFortepiano – early variation of pianoHarpsichordOrgan


Baroque timpaniWood snare drumTenor drumTambourineCastanets

Styles and forms

The Baroque suite

The Baroque suite regularly consists of the following movements:

Overture – The Baroque suite frequently began via a French overture (“Ouverture” in French), which was followed by a succession of dances of various forms, principally the complying with four:Allemande – Often the initially dance of an instrumental suite, the allemande was a really popular dance that had actually its beginnings in the German Renaissance era, when it was even more frequently referred to as the almajor. The allemande was played at a moderate tempo and also can begin on any type of beat of the bar.Courante – The second dance is the courante, a lively, French dance in triple meter. The Italian version is referred to as the corrente.Sarabande – The sarabande, a Spanish dance, is the third of the four standard dances, and is one of the slowest of the baroque dances. It is also in triple meter and also have the right to start on any beat of the bar, although tright here is a focus on the second beat, developing the characteristic ‘halting’, or iambic rhythm of the sarabande.Gigue – The gigue is an upbeat and lively baroque dance in compound meter, frequently the concluding motion of an crucial suite, and the fourth of its fundamental dance forms. The gigue deserve to start on any type of beat of the bar and is conveniently recognized by its rhythmic feel. The gigue originated in the British Isles. Its counterpart in individual music is thejig.

These four dance kinds (allemande, courant, sarabande, and also gigue) make up the majority of 17th-century suites; later suites interpolate one or even more additional dances in between the sarabande and gigue:

Gavotte – The gavotte have the right to be established by a selection of features; it is in 4/4 time and also always starts on the 3rd beat of the bar, although this might sound choose the first beat in some instances, as the first and third beats are the solid beats in quadruple time. The gavotte is played at a moderate tempo, although in some instances it may be played much faster.Bourrée – The bourrée is equivalent to the gavotte as it is in 2/2 time although it starts on the second fifty percent of the last beat of the bar, developing a various feel to the dance. The bourrée is frequently played at a moderate tempo, although for some composers, such as Handel, it can be taken at a much much faster tempo.Minuet – The minuet is probably the best-known of the baroque dances in triple meter. It deserve to start on any kind of beat of the bar. In some suites tright here may be a Minuet I and also II, played in succession, via the Minuet I repetitive.Passepied – The passepied is a rapid dance in binary create and triple meter that originated as a court dance in Brittany type of. Examples can be uncovered in later suites such as those of Bach and also Handel.

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Rigaudon – The rigaudon is a lively French dance in duple meter, comparable to the bourrée, yet rhythmically less complicated. It originated as a family of very closely related southern-French people dances, traditionally linked with the provinces of Vavarais, Languedoc, Dauphiné, and Provence.

Other features

Basso continuo – a type of continuous accompaniment notated through a brand-new music notation mechanism, figured bass, commonly for a sustaining bass instrument and also a keyboard instrument.The concerto and concerto grossoMonody – an outdevelopment of songHomophony – music through one melodic voice and rhythmically comparable accompaniment (this and also monody are contrasted through the typical Renaissance texture,polyphony)Dramatic musical forms prefer opera, dramma per musicaCombined instrumental-vocal creates, such as the oratorio and cantataNew important approaches, like tremolo and pizzicatoThe da capo aria “appreciated sureness”.The ritornello aria – repeated brief critical disruptions of vocal passperiods.The concertato style – contrast in sound between groups of instruments.Extensive ornamentation



OperaZarzuelaOpera seriaOpéra comiqueOpera-balletMasqueOratorioPassion (music)CantataMass (music)AnthemMonodyChorale


Chorale compositionConcerto grossoFugueSuiteAllemandeCouranteSarabandeGigueGavotteMinuetSonataSonata da cameraSonata da chiesaTrio sonataPartitaCanzonaSinfoniaFantasiaRicercarToccataPreludeChaconnePassacagliaChorale preludeStylus fantasticus

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