What is Baroque Music?

Baroque Music is a style of European Classical Music between 1600 to 1750. The baroque era followed the Renaissance period (approx. 1400 - 1600) and preceeded the Classical era (1750 - 1820). The baroque period is notable for the development of counterpoint, a period in which harmonic complexity grew alongside emphasis on contrast. In opera, intererst was transferred from recitative to aria, and in church music the contrasts of solo voices, chorus, and orchestra were developed to a high degree. In instrumental music the period saw the emergence of the sonata, the suite, and particularly the concerto grosso, as in the music of Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach. Most baroque music uses continuo. Note that 18th century writers used 'baroque' in a pejorative sense to mean 'coarse' or 'old-fashioned in taste'.

Who composed Baroque Music?

There are several well-known composers of baroque music, such as Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and many more.

What is counterpoint?

Counterpoint describes two or more independent lines of music played simultaneously, in other words "note against note" (Latin punctus contra punctum). Counterpoint reached a high level of development in the baroque era, especially the music of J.S. Bach.

What styles and forms were used in Baroque Music?

Instrumental forms such as Concerto Grosso; Fugue; Suite (often containing Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, Gavotte, Minuet); Sonata (such as Sonata da camera, Sonata di chiesa, and Trio Sonata); Partita; Canzona; Sinfonia; Fantasia; Ricercar; Toccata; Prelude; Passacaglia; Chaconne; Stylus Fantasticus. Vocal forms such as Opera (Opera seria, Opera comique, and Opera-ballet); Oratorio; Passion; Mass; Cantata; Chorale.

What instruments were used in Baroque Music?

String instruments such as the lute, violin, viola, cello and double bass. Brass instruments like the trumpet, horn and sackbut were used. Popular wind instruments included the recorder, flute, oboe and bassoon. Baroque keyboard music was often composed for the organ or harpsichord. Occasionally, baroque composers utilized other unique and lesser-known instruments which have since become obscure.