About the Baroque Period
Derived from the Portuguese barroco, or “oddly shaped pearl,” the term “baroque” has been widely used since the nineteenth century to describe the period in Western European art music from about 1600 to 1750. Comparing some of music history’s greatest masterpieces to a misshapen pearl might seem strange to us today, but to the nineteenth century critics who applied the term, the music of Bach and Handel’s era sounded overly ornamented and exaggerated. Having long since shed its derogatory connotations, “baroque” is now simply a convenient catch-all for one of the richest and most diverse periods in music history.
Select a box below to hear a representative sample of music from that time period.
Medieval: Te Deum laudamus (Solemn Tone)
Renaissance: Ave Maria (Gregorian Plainchant)
Baroque: Gloria from the Mass in B Minor (Johann Sebastian Bach)
Classical: Symphony No. 104, Movement IV (Franz Joseph Haydn)
Romantic: Coriolan Overture (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Modern: O Magnum Mysterium (Morten Lauridsen)
- What is "baroque," and when was the Baroque period?
- Who were the major Baroque composers, and where were they from?
- What is the philosophy of Baroque music?
- What are the characteristics of Baroque music?
- What musical forms came to define the Baroque era?
- What was it like to attend a concert in the Baroque era?
- What came after the Baroque period?
- The Baroque era in the modern age
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Marc-Antoine Charpentier
- Antonio Corelli
- François Couperin
- Girolamo Frescobaldi
- George Frideric Handel
- Jean-Baptiste Lully
- Claudio Monteverdi
- Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
- Michael Praetorius
- Henry Purcell
- Jean-Phillippe Rameau
- Alessandro Scarlatti
- Domenico Scarlatti
- Samuel Scheidt
- Johann Hermann Schein
- Heinrich Schütz
- Georg Philipp Telemann
- Antonio Vivaldi