History of Classical Music

Instrumental Music

(Baroque 4)
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 music.

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).

Previous (Vocal Music) Overview of Baroque

MIDI Example Real Audio Example MP3 Example

Sound Examples

Vivaldi, "Winter" Concerto (Op. 8, No.4), mvmt. 1 Get the music!
Vivaldi, "Spring" Concerto (Op. 8, No.1), mvmt. 1  Get the music!
Corelli, Concerto Grosso in D major (Op.6, No.7) mvmt. 1 Get the music!


L'Inverno (Winter) Complete, MIDI sequence by Kostas Lialiambis
    from Classical MIDI Connection
Adagio - Allegro, MIDI sequence by Shane Ellis
    from Classical MIDI Connection
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)

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