The Baroque Era (1590-1730)

  • Period: 1567 to

    Claudio Monteverdi

    He was one of the few people successful in making the switch from Renaissance to Baroque. He composed several operas during this era.
  • Period: to

    Girolamo Frescobaldi

    He was the finest organist of the Early Baroque. He wrote several different genres and greatly influenced J. S. Bach.
  • Period: to

    Francesca Caccini

    She was the first woman to compose operas and sang lead roles in several early operas. Her sister was also a soprano so she wrote most of herself as the lead and also wrote a role for her sister.
  • Dafne

    This is considered to be the first opera composed. It was written by Giulio Caccini and Jacopo Peri. They also composed the first extant opera "Euridice" three years later.
  • Opera

    Opera was invented on accident by Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini in Florence, Italy. They wanted to recreate Greek poetry and theater, but thought it was sung all the way through. They saw the word "chorus" and thought they all sang. Overtures were not a thing in early opera and arias were not clearly defined until the 1640s.
  • Monody

    Solo voice with basso continuo. The voice would closely follow a free rhythm of the words in "emotional speech."
  • Period: to

    Early Baroque

    Music is starting to shift to something we can recognize today. Opera was invented along with many new instruments and other types of accompaniment (basso continuo).
  • L'Orfeo

    This was Monteverdi's first opera.
  • Period: to

    Barbara Strozzi

    She did no write opera but her songs were still very dramatic. She published 8 sets of songs with the first one being published in 1644.
  • Teatro de San Cassiano

    This was the first public opera theater to open. It was located in Venice.
  • The Coronation of Poppea

    This was Monteverdi's final opera. He composed it when he was 75 and the genre was only about 40 years old. It premiered in Venice. Many early operas were based on mythology; this one is historical.
  • Period: to

    Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Bohemian-Austrian composer and violinist. One of the most important composers for the violin. Wrote Catholic sacred music, violin sonatas, and ensemble music.
  • Solo Italian Cantata

    These were popular in the Mid-Baroque Era. They were usually secular, in Italian, and composed for 1 or 2 singers with basso continuo and maybe even a small string ensemble. They were meant as entertainment.
  • L'astratto (The Distracted One)

    Composed by Strozzi. Written in Italian. Lots of text painting through chromaticism and a basso continuo accompaniment.
  • Period: to

    Middle Baroque

  • Period: to

    Arcangelo Corelli

    He made clear distinctions between the different types of sonatas. He was the master of the Trio Sonata. Wrote many suites.
  • Period: to

    Henry Purcell

    He was a singer, organist, and composer and worked in the court of Charles II after stage plays were allowed again. He composed Dido and Aeneas
  • Period: to

    Alessandro Scarlatti

    He was the father of Domenico. He was a teacher in Naples and many of his students helped create the classical style.
  • Period: to

    Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

    "The wonder of our century." French.
  • Period: to

    Francois Couperin

    French composer.
  • Period: to

    Antonio Vivaldi

    Was called the red priest because of his red hair. Music director at the Pieta, a girls orphanage in Venice. Wrote most of his concertos for the girls. Considered the greatest master of the Baroque concerto.
  • Period: to

    Georg Philip Telemann

    German composer. Very important flute composer. Helped establish the French-style orchestral suite in Germnay. Tafelmusik.
  • Period: to

    Jean-Joseph Mouret

    He served the son of King Louis XIV as a composer. Some of his works have been used for TV commercials and other media.
  • Period: to

    Domenico Scarlatti

    He was a keyboard virtuoso. He had a progressive style and was aware of his modern flare. He wrote over 500 sonatas for harpsichord, operas, cantatas, and keyboard exercises.
  • Period: to

    J.S. Bach

    The most famous composer of the Baroque Era. The greatest master of the fugue.
  • Period: to


    Born in Germany, but worked in Italy and England. He was fluent in German and Italian, but not English. He began writing Oratorios because audiences got tired of his Italian operas and were drawn to lower class versions. They wanted things they could understand.
  • Dido and Aeneas

  • Period: to

    Late Baroque

  • Handel's "Water Music"

    22 movements. Performed for royal party on the Thames River in London. Harpsichord was not used during the first performance; it didn't fit on the barge. Combined French and Italian dances.
  • St. John Passion, BWV 245

    Composed by Bach during his first year in Leipzig. It was performed at the Good Friday Vespers service at the St. Nicholas Church. It is in two large parts and intended to have a sermon in the middle. There are 40 individual numbers. Very long for a church service.
  • Le Quattro stagioni

    The Four Seasons. Four violin concertos. Each concerto is accompanied by a poem. Programmatic work.
  • The English Oratorio

    Used Italian and British singers performing in English. There was no lavish scenery. Audiences were pleased with something new. They were presented during lent because operas (or anything meant for entertainment) was forbidden.
  • Cantata No. 14

    Written by J. S. Bach. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, A Voice Calls Us). Based on a chorale (Lutheran hymn) by Philipp Nicolai. Based on the parable in Matthew 25: 1-13.
  • Messiah

    It was first performed in Dublin in 1742. It is an English Oratorio with 52 separate numbers. He composed the full thing in three weeks (he borrowed a lot from his other works). There are multiple different versions because he had to rewrite the solos for whoever he had to sing it at a certain performance.
  • The Art of Fugue

    A collection of 14 fugues and 4 canons put together by Bach. It was actually left unfinished at the time of his death.