Baroque music is a style of Western arts music composed from roughly 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance, and also was adhered to in revolve by the timeless era. The word “baroque” comes from the Portuguese word barroco, an interpretation misshapen pearl, a an unfavorable description of the ornate and heavily ornamented music the this period. Later, the name pertained to apply also to the design of the very same period.

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During the baroque era, crucial music ended up being as vital as vocal music.

Baroque music develops a major portion the the “classical music” canon, being commonly studied, performed, and listened to. Composers that 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, Heinrich Schütz, Jean-Philippe Rameau, january Dismas Zelenka, and also Johann Pachelbel.

The baroque period saw the creation of tonality. Throughout the period, composers and also performers used more elaborate music ornamentation, made alters in music notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music increased the size, range, and also complexity of crucial performance, and also established opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata together musical genres. Countless musical terms and also concepts native this era are still in use today.


The ax “baroque” is usually used by music historians to define a broad variety of formats from a wide geographic region, greatly in Europe, created over a duration of approximately 150 years.

Although it was lengthy thought that words as a critical term was an initial applied to architecture, in fact it shows up earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical testimonial of the première in October 1733 that Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in may 1734. The movie critic implied the the new in this opera to be “du barocque,” complaining that the music lacked meaningful melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, continually changed key and meter, and also speedily ran v every compositional device.

The systematic application by historians of the hatchet “baroque” to music of this period is a relatively recent development. In 1919, Curt Sachs came to be the first to use the five characteristics of Heinrich Wölfflin’s theory of the baroque systematically come music. Critics were quick to question the effort to transpose Wölfflin’s category to music, however, and in the second quarter of the 20th century elevation attempts were made byManfred Bukofzer (in Germany and, after his immigration, in America) and also by Suzanne Clercx-Lejeune (in Belgium) to usage autonomous, technical evaluation rather than comparative abstractions, in bespeak to avoid the adaptation of theories based on the plastic arts and literature come music. All of these initiatives resulted in appreciable disagreement around time borders of the period, especially concerning when the began. In English the hatchet acquired currency only in the 1940s, in the works of Bukofzer and also Paul Henry Lang.

As late as 1960 there to be still considerable problem in academic circles, an especially in France and also Britain, even if it is it was meaningful to lump with each other music as varied as that of Jacopo Peri, Domenico Scarlatti, and also J.S. Bach under a solitary rubric. Nevertheless, the ax has become widely used and accepted because that this broad variety of music. It might be valuable to distinguish the baroque indigenous both the preceding (Renaissance) and following (Classical) periods of music history.

The baroque duration is separated into three significant phases: early, middle, and late. Although they overlap in time, lock are conventionally dated indigenous 1580 come 1630, native 1630 come 1680, and from 1680 to 1730.

Early Baroque Music (1580–1630)

Jean-Baptiste Lully

The center baroque duration in Italy is characterized by the introduction of the cantata, oratorio, and opera throughout the 1630s, and a brand-new concept the melody and also harmony the elevated the condition of the music to among equality through the words, which previously had been concerned as pre-eminent. The florid, coloratura monody the the beforehand baroque gave method to a simpler, more polished melodic style. This melodies were constructed from short, cadentially delimited ideas often based upon stylized dance patterns drawn from the sarabande or the courante. The harmonies, too, might be simpler than in the beforehand baroque monody, and the accompanying base lines were much more integrated with the melody, creating a contrapuntal equivalence that the parts that later led come the machine of one initial bass anticipation the the aria melody. This harmonic simplification also led to a brand-new formal machine of the differentiation of recitative and also aria. The most vital innovators the this style were the Romans Luigi Rossi and also Giacomo Carissimi, that were primarily composers the cantatas and also oratorios, respectively, and also the Venetian Francesco Cavalli, that was principally one opera composer. Later vital practitioners the this style incorporate Antonio Cesti, Giovanni Legrenzi, andAlessandro Stradella.

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

One pre-eminent example of a court layout composer is Jean-Baptiste Lully. That purchased patents native the monarchy to be the sole composer that operas for the king and also to stop others from having operas staged. He perfect 15 lyric tragedies and left unfinished Achille et Polyxène.

Musically, that did not establish the string-dominated norm because that orchestras, which was inherited from the Italian opera, and also the characteristically French five-part disposition (violins, violas—in hautes-contre, tailles and also quintes sizes—and base violins) had been provided in the ballet from the time of luigi XIII. That did, however, present this ensemble come the lyric theatre, v the upper parts regularly doubled by recorders, flutes, and also oboes, and the base by bassoons. Trumpets and kettledrums were frequently included for heroic scenes.


Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli is remembered as influential for his achievements on the various other side of music technique—as a violin who arranged violin method and pedagogy—and in purely crucial music, an especially his advocacy and advancement of the concerto grosso.<20> conversely, Lully to be ensconced in ~ court, Corelli was one of the very first composers come publish widely and also have his music performed almost everywhere Europe. Similar to Lully’s stylization and also organization that the opera, the concerto grosso is built on strong contrasts—sections alternative between those played by the complete orchestra, and also those play by a smaller sized group. Dynamics were “terraced”, the is with a sharp change from according to to soft and ago again. Quick sections and also slow sections were juxtaposed versus each other. Numbered among his college student is Antonio Vivaldi, who later composed hundreds of works based upon the values in Corelli’s trio sonatas and also concerti.

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In contrast to these composers, Dieterich Buxtehude was no a creature of court but instead to be church musician, holding the short articles of organist and also Werkmeister in ~ the Marienkirche at Lübeck. His duties as Werkmeister connected acting together the secretary, treasurer, and also business manager the the church, while his place as organist included playing for all the key services, periodically in cooperation with other instrumentalists or vocalists, that were also paid by the church. Totally outside of his official church duties, the organised and directed a concert collection known together the Abendmusiken, which contained performances of spiritual dramatic works pertained to by his contemporaries together the identical of operas.