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Ch 4: The Baroque Period in Music

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the different composers, musical style and instruments of the Baroque period in music. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

The Baroque Period in Music - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The Baroque period in music is often described as ornate and intense. Music from this period often features emotions expressed through repeating melodies and quick changes in volume, pace and other aspects. Music from the Baroque period is also often distinguished by the use of organs and harpsichords to play harmonies. From this period came some intense and well-known composers, such as Bach and Handel. Our instructor will lead you through lessons covering all these topics. Lessons will also cover things like:

  • The characteristics of the organ
  • The patronage system of music
  • Examples of counterpoint
  • Ornate and decorative music styles
  • The connection between art and music in this period
  • The important works of Bach

Video Objective
The Organ: Instrument Characteristics and History Discover what an organ is, its history and what makes it a unique instrument.
History of the Harpsichord Study the history of the harpsichord.
The Patronage System of Music During the Baroque and Classical Periods Explore the patronage system of music.
Counterpoint in the Baroque Period: Definition, Harmony & Examples Look at harmony and see how it relates to counterpoint.
The Fugue: Bach, Definition & Examples Explore the musical composition style called the fugue.
The Oratorio: Composers, Definitions & Examples Examine type of oratorio compositions.
Decorative and Ornate Music of the Baroque Era Learn more about the Baroque style of fancy and decorated music.
The Baroque Period: Extravagance in Music and Art Analyze the music's connection to art.
Baroque Composers: Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Pachelbel & More Discover baroque composers, such as Bach, Vivaldi, Pachelbel and Handel.
Baroque Opera Composers: Monteverdi & Lully Take a look at these two composers and learn about basso continuo and 'L'Orfeo'.
Antonio Vivaldi and Henry Purcell: Baroque Composers in Italy and England Study the role of these Italian and English composers in this period.
Bach: Important Works, Organ, Fugues and Solo Works Explore Bach's work and see how the different aspects of his music are uniquely Baroque.
Handel: Major Works & Oratorio Look into the work of Handel.

11 Lessons in Chapter 4: The Baroque Period in Music
The Oratorio: Composers, Definitions & Examples

1. The Oratorio: Composers, Definitions & Examples

The oratorio was significant to Catholic and Protestant church life throughout Europe during the Baroque period. Find out about the oratorio's role in church, influential composers, and why it will make you want to shout 'Hallelujah!'

Decorative and Ornate Music of the Baroque Era

2. Decorative and Ornate Music of the Baroque Era

Through embellished melodies and newly established ideas of harmonic theory, the music of the Baroque era brought a new sense of musical expression. In this lesson, learn how composers of the era achieved affective music through new influence and a new style of writing.

Baroque Composers: Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Pachelbel & More

3. Baroque Composers: Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Pachelbel & More

The Baroque was an exuberant musical period that lasted from 1600-1750. This lesson will introduce you to some of the Baroque's most famous composers.

Baroque Opera Composers: Monteverdi & Lully

4. Baroque Opera Composers: Monteverdi & Lully

The Baroque period began with the invention of opera, and composers like Monteverdi and Lully helped bring the opera genre to new heights. In this lesson, we'll explore the life and music of these two great opera composers.

The Organ: Instrument Characteristics and History

5. The Organ: Instrument Characteristics and History

The organ and other keyboard instruments were important catalysts in driving composers to create more complex music in the Baroque era. Learn how the instruments work and why they played such an important role during this time period.

Harpsichord: Definition & History

6. Harpsichord: Definition & History

How could it be that the instrument that made Bach famous, before being rejected in favor of the piano, is now finding its way to video games? Keep reading to learn more about the harpsichord.

Counterpoint in the Baroque Period: Definition, Harmony & Examples

7. Counterpoint in the Baroque Period: Definition, Harmony & Examples

The use of counterpoint is a significant characteristic of Baroque period music. In this lesson, learn how to define counterpoint, how it was used during the Baroque period, and hear popular examples.

The Fugue: Bach, Definition & Examples

8. The Fugue: Bach, Definition & Examples

A fugue is a complex style of composition that was developed during the Baroque period. In this lesson, learn how fugues are made, what characteristic qualities make up the style, and how J.S. Bach influenced the style, and listen to examples.

Antonio Vivaldi and Henry Purcell: Baroque Composers in Italy and England

9. Antonio Vivaldi and Henry Purcell: Baroque Composers in Italy and England

In this lesson, we'll explore the life and music of two of the Baroque period's greatest stars: the English composer Henry Purcell and the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. Then, test yourself with the brief quiz.

Bach: Important Works, Organ, Fugues and Solo Works

10. Bach: Important Works, Organ, Fugues and Solo Works

In this lesson, you'll meet Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers and organists from music's Baroque period. This lesson will introduce you to Bach's life and works, with an emphasis on his organ music.

Handel: Major Works & Oratorio

11. Handel: Major Works & Oratorio

Though George Frideric Handel was born in Germany, he composed the world's most popular English choral piece. This lesson explores how Handel's career brought him to England and how he captured the public's heart with his compositions called oratorios.

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