GCSE Music - AoS1 - Features of Baroque music (1600-1750)

For GCSE Music - AoS1

  • Features of Baroque Music (pitch, texture, common instruments, etc.)
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  • Created by: Evie
  • Created on: 06-04-09 15:40

Key features of Baroque music

  • The Baroque period was from 1600 - 1750.
  • Music generally has a polyphonic texture
  • Often uses harpsichord
  • Clearly defined major and minor parts
  • Melodies are long and flowing
  • Often uses imitation and sequences
  • Ornaments are frequently used (e.g. mordents, trills, turns)
  • Composers of the period include: Vivaldi, Bach and Handel.
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Baroque dance music

  • The four suites of Baroque dance music are the Minuet, the Gavotte, the Gigue and the Sarabande.
  • A Minuet is in 3/4 (medium rhythm), and sounds bright.
  • A Gavotte is in 4/4 and has a fast/medium pace.
  • A Gigue is fast, and is in 2 (6/8).
  • Finally, a Sarabande is slow (and often sounds sombre or sad), and is in 3/4.
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Some key definitions for the Baroque period

Baroque music is usuallypolyphonic in texture.

  • Polyphonic: Melodies interweave with one another. Often a feature in fugues.

Baroque music can also be homophonic.

  • Homophonic: A musical texture which involves a melody accompanied by harmonies (everything is played at once).

Sequences are often used in pieces from this period in musical history.

  • Sequence: Melodic phrases repeated at diffrerent pitches.
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Great arrangement of notes, easy and concise to use :)) 

T'was very helpful - thanks :)

Samuel Richardson


This is great simple overview of the Baroque period covering the basic essential knowledge. 

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