The Baroque Period

The Baroque time period brought about music that many scholars describe as 'inconsistent', in the fact music varied broadly from the start of the period to the end. Music during this period expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance. Many musical terms and concepts were developed from this era, and are still in use today. Composers and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation, made changes in musical notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques.


Early composers of this period shifted from a complex composition structure to a simple solo melody, with a basic accompaniment. Much of the music written for orchestra was to serve as accompaniment for soloists, typically vocalists. The term tonality was founded, referring to the idea that chords in music drove the music and created a sense of closure.

QUESTION #1: Which vocal musical genre was established during the Baroque Period?

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Music-making was highly prized by many princes and kings, who would often pay for leading composers to travel back and forth from their towns to bring the latest styles and compositions. Often, composers would travel between countries, bringing back styles, forms, and terms. The most recognizable names from this time period include Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivalidi.

QUESTION #2: What composer from this time period wrote the famous 'Messiah', often recogized for it's 'Hallelujah Chorus'?

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The Baroque period saw the development of the modern-day orchestra, starting with approximately eight instruments, including the violin, flute, and harpsichord. Antonio Stradivari, born in Italy in 1644, made some of the finest violins ever made. Today, some of his violins continue to be played, and are worth as much as $3 million.

QUESTION #3: Which instrument, developed from the harpsichord, was invented during this time period?

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J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach
Early 18th Century

Photo Credit:

Antonio Vivaldi:
"The Four Seasons"
Mvmt 1 'La Primavera'

Audio Credit: Wikimedia

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"Canon in D" by Pachelbel performed on period instruments

Video Credit: YouTube
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