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How to recognize baroque style in music?


The Baroque is a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s

Baroque music features:

  • Energetic, lively rhythms, often with 18th-century dance character

  • Strong, spirited melodic ideas in both upper and lower parts, sometimes with parts copying each other

  • Crisp, light articulation and limited range, reflecting original use of harpsichord

  • Clear, contrapuntal textures, with imitation between parts

  • Clear-cut cadences usually occurring only at the ends of main sections, owing to independence of parts

  • Melodic decoration and ornamentation, especially at the ends of phrases

  • Limited dynamic shaping and only rare use of crescendo and diminuendo

Keyboard instruments of Baroque period: Clavichord, Tangent piano, Fortepiano, Harpsichord, Organ.

Some composers to listen to:

J. S. Bach





D. Scarlatti



The following stylistic hallmark given for the baroque period shouldn’t be

considered as exclusive or comprehensive description.

This stylistic hallmark should be considered in combination with other styles, as clearly many of them can apply to music of any period.

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