Introducing New Baroque Music!

Come and Find out More about Instrumental Baroque Music!

By: Hannah Phillips

Instrumental Music During the Baroque Time Period

During the Baroque Era there was a high demand for new music written for special occasions. Since aristocrats did not work at this time, composers had to keep writing music because it was the main source of entertainment for aristocratic families. Musicians were often employed by towns and there were competitions between towns for the best musicians. The average person usually heard music in church, so Baroque churches were started that often housed an orchestra and choir and hired an organist.

Instruments Played

Advancements in new instruments were also made during this era. All woodwind instruments were truly made of wood, and string instruments used gut as string. Trumpets were used as a solo role in the orchestra because of their volume. Trumpets were also sometimes paired with large kettle drums called timpani. Keyboard instruments were also very important during this time period. The Organ had multiple keyboards and pipes that let the tone change throughout the song. The clavichord and the harpsichord were softer instruments that had solo parts or accompanied vocal music.

Instrumental Forms

Solo music written for keyboard instruments had either a free form or structured form. Free forms include embellishments and a feeling of improvisation although the piece is notated. Structured forms were written according to the rules of counterpoint, a form of harmony popular during the Baroque era. Other forms of music include the Sonata and the Concerto. The sonata had contrasting sections in 1 to 6 instrumental parts, while the Concerto had solo parts and could be written for two contrasting groups of instruments.

Composers of the Baroque Era