- The baroque period lasted from 1600-1750
- The word 'baroque' was used to describe things that were 'ornate' and 'extravagant'
-Baroque music was often very decorative- with ornamented melody lines and complex counterpoint
-The Baroque period was the first in which the composers thought as much in terms of harmony (chords) as Polyphony (individual lines), this way of thinking formed the basis of music for the next 300 years.
Key features of Baroque music
1. simple, mainly diatonic harmonies
2. Movements usually keep the same mood throughout
3. Terracced dynamics- changes in volume sudden rather than gradule
4. Ornamentation- melodies are often highly decorated
5. Complex contrapuntual writing in some pieces
6. Orchestras made up of largely string instruments
7. The use of continuo- a group of instruments provides a bass line and a harmonic accompaniment. Usual consits of a keyboard instrument (harischord or organ) and bass instrument (cello or double bass).