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Baroque music

Baroque music, from the Baroque period of Western Classical Music, was composed in the range of the late 1600s to 1700s AD. The first Baroque composer is widely recognized to be Claudio Monteverdi. The death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1750) is generally considered to mark the end of the Baroque period. The most important composers of this period were JS Bach, Handel, Domenico Scarlatti and Vivaldi. The music of these four men (the first three of which were born in the same year) continues to be enjoyed by millions.

Important Features of Baroque music:

  • basso continuo - new music notation system for bass parts
  • Monody[?] - music for one voice without accompaniment
  • Homophony - only one independent musical party
  • text over music - intelligible text with humble (not overpowering) instrumental accompaniment
  • vocal soloists ('bel canto')
  • dramatic musical expression
  • new instrumental techniques, like tremolo and pizzicato
  • new musical forms like opera, drama per musica
  • clear and linear melody
  • the aria
  • the ritornello aria (repeted short instrumental interruptions of vocal passages)
  • virtuosity
  • the 'stile concertato' (contrast in sound between orchestra and solo-instruments or small groups of instruments
  • better use of properties of each type of musical instrument
  • ornamentation
  • development to modern Western tonality (major and minor scales)

Forms of Baroque music include:

Famous Baroque composers include, in chronological order:

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