Baroque Music: A New Style

By: Kylie Skarp

Instrumental Music

During the Baroque Era, instrumental music became more important than it had ever been. The style of this new music emphasised virtuosity and skill. This era saw incredible composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Sebastian Bach, and Antonio Vivaldi. Keyboard instruments such as the organ, clavichord, and harpsichord became very important to the music. The Baroque era also saw the creation of new instruments such as the violin. The music of the time saw a break-away of the bassline from the melody which meant that new instruments had to be created to fulfil this new style requirement.

Equal-Temperment Tuning

Equal temperament tuning allowed for the used an octave system. The system that was being used before, Pythagoras's system of tonality, was created before major and minor tonality. Because of this, not every key on a keyboard was in tune. Equal temperament shifted the distance between mathematically pure intervals which allowed major and minor to be played in all keys. It is used mainly for wind, keyboard, and fretted instruments. This toning system was far more exact and precise than those that were previously used. This was incredibly important for Baroque Era music because of its emphasis on musical ability every note had to be perfectly exact. The music of this era was incredibly intricate as well as improvised. The complexity of the compositions required a tuning system that was up to par. This system allowed for minute differences between keys which is highly favorable for these complex pieces. Now that it was possible for the music to be more exact and all keys could be played it allowed the composers to create more embellished and over the top pieces.