During the Baroque period, instrumental music became as important as vocal music. The Baroque period saw a rise in music for flute, oboe, bassoon, trombone,
valveless trumpets and horns, harpsichord, and organ. Recorders became less popular, and viols were gradually replaced by violins, violas, and
cellos. Timpani was the only percussion instrument used in serious
Much of the music written
for instruments contained several contrasting sections or movements.
One example is the concerto. Concertos were developed in the
second half of the 17th century by Italian composers like Torelli, Alessandro
Scarlatti, and Corelli. Within 25 years, almost all major centres had their
own concerto composer. One of the most famous concertos is Antonio
Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Concertos sometimes featured one soloist or a group of soloists. Concertos featuring a group of
soloists were known as concerto grossos. Concerto grossos
were written for a group of solo instruments and orchestra, and usually
contained three movements (fast-slow-fast).
Complete, MIDI sequence by Kostas Lialiambis
Adagio - Allegro,
MIDI sequence by Shane Ellis
Antonio Vivaldi, "The Four Seasons"; Vivaldi: The 4 Seasons
; Gil Shaham, violin, Orpheus Chamber Orcehstra; Deutsche Grammophon;
©199 Deutsche Grammophon (439 933-2)
Arcangelo Corelli, "Concerto Grosso in D major"; The Concerto
; Newell Jenkins, Clarion Music Society; BBC Music Magazine;
©1995 BBC (BBWN95D)