When was the Baroque Era?

When was the first opera written?

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What was it called?

Who wrote it?



Jacopo Peri

What is the best known early opera?

When was it written?
Who was it written by?



Claudio Monteverdi

Where was the first public opera house?

When was it opened?

Venice, Italy


When did JS Bach live?
What does affection mean?
An affection is the mood that is presented throughout a baroque piece. They have unity of mood.
What does terraced dynamics mean?
The sudden dynamics shift between loud and soft, rather than a gradual shift. This is present because of the harpsichord.
What is a synonym for polyphony/polyphonic?
What does Fortspinnung mean?
The way the melody spins out to develop the mood of a piece.
What instruments are in a basso continuo?
Usually organ/harpsichord plus cello/bassoon
What is figured bass?
The numbers below a bass line that give the basso continuo player(s) a guideline on how to improvise and fill notes in their bass line
What is word painting?
When the melody changes in relation to the words that are being sung, eg going up on “sky” or down on “abyss”
Who did baroque musicians make most of their secular music for?
Wealthy royalty and stuff
What does libretto mean?
The text that is written for an opera
What is a Camerata?

A small group of nobles, poets, and composers who met in Florence around 1575


Florentine Camerata


Italian for “fellowship” or “society”

What is an aria?
A song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment in an opera
What is a recitative?
A vocal line that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech in an opera
What is a Da Capo Aria?
An aria in ABA form. After the B section, the term da capo is written, which means repeat A.
What is a castrato?
A male singer who was castrated as a boy so that he has the range of a woman with the lung power of a man.
What is a countertenor?
A nutty castrato. A male singer who has the high range without being castrated.
What is Ground Bass form?
A form where a bass line is repeated over and over while the melodies above it change. Also called basso ostinato.
What is Ritornello form?
ABACABA. The tutti repeats the A section in between solos.
What is the tutti?
The whole group of musicians, in ritornello form they play the ritornello part between solos.
What is a concerto grosso?
A group with a small group of soloists and a larger group of players called the tutti
What is a solo concerto?
A piece for a single soloist with an orchestra background
What is a sonata?
A composition in several movements for one to eight instruments
How many instruments are in a trio sonata?
Four (2 high lines and basso continuo)
What is a sonata da Camera?
A secular sonata (chamber music)
What is a Sonata da Chiesa?
A sacred sonata with a reverent and dignified mood.
What is a suite?
A dance inspired piece for solo instrument or orchestra
What are the movements in a suite?
Prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, menuet, gigue
What is a Cantata?

A sermon in music. Features choir, orchestra, organ, vocal soloists

Has arias, recitative, choruses

No acting or story line

What is a fugue?
A piece that is based on one main theme that is imitative and contrapuntal. The subject is repeated while counter-subjects play behind it to add variety
What is an oratorio?

A bibiclical story set to music.

Has a story line but no acting

orchestra, vocal soloists, choir

recitatives, arias, choruses

2+ hours long, longer than cantata

What does virtuoso mean?
A featured musician with great skill and stuff
What was the opera that Henry Purcell wrote called?
Dido and Aeneas (1689)