Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi was an Italian musician, one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods.
Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical traditions through his many travels. He is also remembered for his highly idiomatic and personal descriptive harpsichord pieces, which are among the earliest known examples of program music.
Denis Gaultier
Denis Gaultier was a French lutenist and composer.
Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres
Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres was a French harpsichordist in the Early Baroque era. Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres was reported to have “excelled every performer in the softness and roundness of his touch.” He is considered the founder of the French harpsichord school — in part, because he published two collections of his works in 1670—although he probably inherited a rich and long tradition. The French harpsichord school flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries and led to Francois Couperin (1668-1733) and Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764).
Arcangelo Corelli
Arcangelo Corelli was an Italian violinist and composer of Baroque music.
Giuseppe Torelli
Torelli is most remembered for his contributions to the development of the instrumental concerto, especially concerti grossi and the solo concerto, for strings and continuo, as well as being the most prolific Baroque composer for trumpets.
Francois Couperin
Francois Couperin was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist.
Georg Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque music composer and multi-instrumentalist, born in Magdeburg. He is known for writing concertos for unusual combinations of instruments, such as multiple violas, trumpets, oboes, or harpsichords.
Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was a baroque composer and Venetian priest, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist, born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular baroque piece.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.
George Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-English Baroque composer, who is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concerti grossi. His works include Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Jean Philippe Rameau
Jean-Philippe Rameau was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. He replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is also considered the leading French composer for the harpsichord of his time, alongside Francois Couperin. Rameau’s 1722 Treatise on Harmony initiated a revolution in music theory.[48] Rameau posited the discovery of the “fundamental law” or what he referred to as the “fundamental bass” of all Western music.
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.
Trio sonata
A trio sonata is written for two solo melodic instruments and basso continuo, making three parts in all, hence the name trio sonata. However, because the basso continuo is usually made up of at least two instruments (typically a cello or bass viol and a keyboard instrument such as the harpsichord), trio sonatas are typically performed by at least four musicians.
Concertato is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo. The term derives from Italian concerto which means “playing together” —hence concertato means “in the style of a concerto.”
The term Concerto usually refers to a three-part musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. The concerto, as understood in this modern way, arose in the Baroque period side by side with the concerto grosso, which contrasted a small group of instruments with the rest of the orchestra. While the concerto grosso is confined to the Baroque period, the solo concerto has continued as a vital musical force to this day.
Orchestral suite
In music, a suite is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed in a concert setting rather than as accompaniment; they may be extracts from an opera, ballet, (Nutcracker Suite) or incidental music to a play (L’Arlesienne Suites) or film (Lieutenant Kije Suite), or they may be entirely original movements (Holberg Suite, The Planets). In the Baroque era the suite was more precisely defined, with the pieces unified by key, and consisting of dances usually preceded by a prelude or overture.
In musical tuning, a temperament is a system of tuning which slightly compromises the pure intervals of just intonation in order to meet other requirements of the system.
Partita was originally the name for a single instrumental piece of music (16th and 17th centuries), but Johann Kuhnau and later German composers (notably Johann Sebastian Bach) used it for collections of musical pieces, as a synonym for suite.
Traite de l’harmonie
Rameau’s Traite de l’harmonie is divided into four Books, the first of which presents the mathematical from which Rameau sought to derive his theories. Book Two may be considered the most important section of the Traite; in it Rameau generates his entire harmonic system from fundamental principles, explaining intervals, chords and modes, everything, in fact, essential to musical composition in tonal style. Working from the principles developed in Books One and Two, Book Three treats the practical rules of composition, including such topics as harmonic modulation and chord progressions. Book Four concerns the practical art of accompaniment on harpsichord or organ, including the realization of a figured bass.
The French term for ornament or embellishment. Originally, Embellishments introduced in French music of the 17th century typically in keyboard music.
Style brise
‘Broken style’: term for a broken, arpeggiated texture in keyboard music; it has been used to characterize the transference to the harpsichord of lute figuration, particularly in mid-17th century French music.
Tablature (or tabulature, or tab for short) is a form of musical notation indicating instrument fingering rather than musical pitches. Commonly used for fretted instruments, such as the guitar.
Basso continuo
Basso continuo is the practice of creating (called “realizing” by specialists) an accompaniment from a composed bass part by playing the bass notes and improvising harmony above them. The term also refers to the composed part itself. Composers often wrote numbers (“figures,” hence “figured bass”) on the bass part to indicate the harmony, but the rules of continuo realization are firm enough that skilled players can play from an unfigured bass part.
In music, a fugue is a type of contrapuntal composition or technique of composition for a fixed number of parts, normally referred to as “voices”. A fugue opens with one main theme, the subject, which then sounds successively in each voice in imitation; when each voice has entered, the exposition is complete; this is occasionally followed by a connecting passage, or episode, developed from previously heard material; further “entries” of the subject then are heard in related keys. Episodes (if applicable) and entries are usually alternated until the “final entry” of the subject, by which point the music has returned to the opening key, or tonic, which is often followed by closing material, the coda. In this sense, fugue is a style of composition, rather than fixed structure.
In music, a suite is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed in a concert setting rather than as accompaniment; they may be extracts from an opera, ballet, (Nutcracker Suite) or incidental music to a play (L’Arlesienne Suites) or film (Lieutenant Kije Suite), or they may be entirely original movements (Holberg Suite, The Planets).
Toccata (from Italian toccare, “to touch”) is a virtuoso piece of music typically for a keyboard or plucked string instrument featuring fast-moving, lightly fingered or otherwise virtuosic passages or sections, with or without imitative or fugal interludes, generally emphasizing the dexterity of the performer’s fingers. Less frequently, the name is applied to works for multiple instruments (the opening of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo being a notable example).
French Overture
The French overture is a musical form widely used in the Baroque period. It is in three parts: the first is slow, often with double-dotted rhythms (a double-dotted crotchet followed by a semiquaver), the second is quick and fugal, and the first part returns at the end. When written for orchestra, the French overture is often scored with trumpets and timpani, and aims at grandeur. The form was thus highly suited to an era in which all orchestras were employed by royalty or other aristocracy.
Italian Overture
The Italian overture is a piece of orchestral music with which in the late 17th and early 18th centuries several operas, oratorios and other large-scale works opened. An Italian overture typically has a three-movement structure – the outer movements are quick, the middle movement slow.
Sonata da chiesa
Sonata da chiesa is an instrumental composition dating from the Baroque period, generally consisting of four movements. More than one melody was often used, and the movements were ordered slow–fast–slow–fast with respect to tempo. The second movement was usually a fugal allegro, and the third and fourth were binary forms that sometimes resembled the sarabande and gigue.
Sonata da camera
Sonata da camera is a type of trio sonata intended for secular performance. It is an instrumental work of the Baroque period, in three or more stylized dance movements (sometimes with a prefatory movement), scored for one or more melody instruments and basso continuo. Arcangelo Corelli’s op. 2 and 4 contain typical examples. After circa 1700 the genre overlapped increasingly with the sonata da chiesa and the title survived alone to describe the church or the fused type, such titles as partita, suite or ordre serving to describe collections of dance movements.
Chorale prelude
In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J.S. Bach, who wrote 46 (with a 47th unfinished) examples of the form in his Orgelbuchlein.
Concerto grosso
The concerto grosso (Italian for big concert(o), plural concerti grossi) is a form of baroque music in which the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists (the concertino) and full orchestra (the ripieno).
Stile concitato
Stile concitato or “agitated style” is a Baroque style developed by Claudio Monteverdi with effects such as having rapid repeated notes and extended trills as symbols of bellicose agitation or anger.
A chaconne is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression, often involving a fairly short repetitive bass-line (ground bass) which offered a compositional outline for variation, decoration, figuration and melodic invention. In this it closely resembles the Passacaglia. The ground bass, if there is one, may typically descend stepwise from the tonic to the dominant pitch of the scale, the harmonies given to the upper parts may emphasize the circle of fifths or a derivative pattern thereof.
A passacaglia is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used by contemporary composers. Its character is usually grave and it is often, but not always, based on a bass-ostinato and written in triple-meter.
The fantasia is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. Because of this, it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form (as with the impromptu). In the Baroque and Classical music eras, a fantasia was typically a piece for keyboard instruments with alternating sections of rapid passagework and slower, more melodic passages.
In music, a canzona (also canzone) was a 16th-century multipart vocal setting of a literary canzone and a 16th- and 17th-century instrumental composition. At first based on Franco-Flemish polyphonic songs (chansons), later independently composed, the instrumental canzonas, such as the brass canzonas of Giovanni Gabrieli, influenced the fugue and were the direct ancestors of the sonata.
A ricercar is a type of late Renaissance and mostly early Baroque instrumental composition. The term means to search out, and many ricercars serve a preludial function to “search out” the key or mode of a following piece. During the Baroque era, the imitative ricercar gradually evolved into the fugue, just as the instrumental canzona evolved into the sonata.