The Baroque Period

Early (1600-1640)- favored homophonic
texture (one main melody)
Middle (1640-1680)- importance of
instrumental music (violin family most
Late (1680-1750)- best music known today
comes from this period
Mood- usually expresses one basic mood and
remains in that mood throughout the piece
Rhythm- patterns heard at the beginning of
the piece are usually heard throughout
Melody- many are not easy to sing or
Dynamics- volumes tend to stay constant
throughout. When they do shift it is usually
Alternation between loud and soft volume in
a piece of music
Instead of being in the service of the church,
composers now were being employed by the
 Music director- good job and good pay, but no
matter what the director had to answer to the
 Jobs for church musicians- churches,
processions, concerts, university graduations
 Jobs for town musicians- clubs, university
societies, private homes, coffeehouses, taverns
Modern orchestral instruments that we still
use today were developed during this period
Woodwinds became popular- flute, clarinet,
bassoon, trumpet, and French horn
The entire string family that we know today
was developed, including the violin, viols,
cello, and double bass.
Modern keyboard family was also developed
including the modern piano.
Early Baroque -favored the harpsichord
Later Baroque- the piano replaced the
Up to this point composers were considered
to be in the service of the church.
Now we see composers being employed by
the wealthy ruling class- The Patronage
Kapellmeister- music director
Konezertmeister- concertmaster
Kantor- teacher
The motet continued to be an integral part of
the Roman Catholic tradition throughout the
Baroque era.
Grand motet- contrasted solo voices
(accompanied by instruments) with a larger
Antiphonal- exchanges between choirs and
instruments (Germany)