Baroque music is a format of Western art music written from about 1600 come 1750. This era adhered to the Renaissance, and also was complied with in revolve by the timeless era. The word “baroque” originates from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning misshapen pearl, a an unfavorable description of the ornate and also heavily ornamented music of this period. Later, the name pertained to apply additionally to the design of the same period.

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During the baroque era, crucial music came to be as important as vocal music.

Baroque music forms a significant portion of the “classical music” canon, being widely studied, performed, and also listened to. Composers the 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, jan Dismas Zelenka, and also Johann Pachelbel.

The baroque period saw the production of tonality. During the period, composers and also performers used an ext elaborate music ornamentation, made transforms in music notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music increased the size, range, and complexity of important performance, and additionally established opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata as musical genres. Numerous musical terms and concepts native this era room still in usage today.


The term “baroque” is usually used by music historians to describe a broad variety of layouts from a vast geographic region, mainly in Europe, written over a duration of approximately 150 years.

Although the was long thought that words as a an important term was first applied come architecture, in fact it shows up earlier in referral to music, in one anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of 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 the the music lacked coherent melody, to be filled through unremitting dissonances, continually changed an essential and meter, and also speedily ran v every compositional device.

The methodical application by chroniclers of the term “baroque” to music that this duration is a fairly recent development. In 1919, Curt Sachs became the first to use the five characteristics of Heinrich Wölfflin’s theory of the baroque systematically come music. Critics were quick to inquiry the effort to transpose Wölfflin’s categories to music, however, and in the second quarter that the 20th century live independence attempts were made byManfred Bukofzer (in Germany and, after his immigration, in America) and also by Suzanne Clercx-Lejeune (in Belgium) to use autonomous, technical evaluation rather 보다 comparative abstractions, in bespeak to prevent the adaptation the theories based upon the plastic arts and also literature to music. All of these efforts resulted in appreciable disagreement around time borders of the period, especially concerning when the began. In English the ax acquired money only in the 1940s, in the works of Bukofzer and Paul Henry Lang.

As late as 1960 there to be still considerable problem in scholastic circles, an especially 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. Nevertheless, the ax has come to be widely used and also accepted because that this broad range of music. It might be advantageous to identify the baroque indigenous both the preceding (Renaissance) and also following (Classical) durations of musical history.

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

Early Baroque Music (1580–1630)

Jean-Baptiste Lully

The middle baroque duration in Italy is defined by the development of the cantata, oratorio, and also opera during the 1630s, and a new concept of melody and also harmony that elevated the standing of the music to one of equality with the words, which previously had been related to as pre-eminent. The florid, coloratura monody the the beforehand baroque gave way to a simpler, an ext polished melodic style. This melodies were built from short, cadentially delimited concepts often based upon stylized dance patterns drawn from the sarabande or the courante. The harmonies, too, could be simpler than in the at an early stage baroque monody, and also the accompanying bass lines were an ext integrated through the melody, producing a contrapuntal equivalence that the components that later led to the device of one initial bass anticipation of the aria melody. This harmonic simplification additionally led come a new formal maker of the differentiation the recitative and also aria. The most important innovators the this layout were the Romans Luigi Rossi and also Giacomo Carissimi, that were primarily composers that cantatas and oratorios, respectively, and the Venetian Francesco Cavalli, who was principally an opera composer. Later essential practitioners of this style encompass Antonio Cesti, Giovanni Legrenzi, andAlessandro Stradella.

The middle baroque had actually absolutely no bearing at every on the theoretical occupational of Johann Fux, that systematized the strictly counterpoint properties of previously ages in his Gradus advertisement Paranassum (1725).

One pre-eminent instance of a court layout composer is Jean-Baptiste Lully. The purchased patents from the monarchy to it is in the single composer the operas for the king and to stop others from having operas staged. He perfect 15 lyric tragedies and also left loose Achille et Polyxène.

Musically, he did not establish the string-dominated norm because that orchestras, which to be inherited from the Italian opera, and the characteristically French five-part disposition (violins, violas—in hautes-contre, tailles and quintes sizes—and base violins) had actually been supplied in the ballet from the time of louis XIII. The did, however, present this ensemble to the lyric theatre, v the upper parts frequently doubled through recorders, flutes, and oboes, and the bass by bassoons. Trumpets and kettledrums were frequently added for heroic scenes.


Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli is remembered as influential for his success on the various other side of music technique—as a violinist who organized violin an approach and pedagogy—and in purely instrumental music, particularly his advocacy and advance of the concerto grosso.<20> whereas Lully was ensconced in ~ court, Corelli was one of the first composers to publish widely and have his music performed everywhere Europe. As with Lully’s stylization and also organization that the opera, the concerto grosso is built on strong contrasts—sections alternating between those play by the complete orchestra, and also those played by a smaller group. Dynamics to be “terraced”, that is through a sharp transition from according to to soft and ago again. Fast sections and also slow sections were juxtaposed versus each other. Numbered amongst his college student is Antonio Vivaldi, who later composed thousands of works based upon the principles in Corelli’s trio sonatas and also concerti.

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In comparison to these composers, Dieterich Buxtehude was no a biology of court but instead was church musician, hold the write-ups of organist and Werkmeister at the Marienkirche in ~ Lübeck. His duties as Werkmeister connected acting together the secretary, treasurer, and business manager the the church, while his position as organist included playing for all the main services, sometimes in teamwork with various other instrumentalists or vocalists, that were also paid by the church. Totally outside the his official church duties, the organised and directed a concert series known as the Abendmusiken, which included performances of sacred dramatic works pertained to by his contemporaries together the identical of operas.