G8 U2 Baroque Resources

New Developments in Music

Studying music opens up a whole new world of expression. What you may not realize though, is that much of what we think of today in terms of “expression of moods in music” stems from the music techniques created during the Baroque period.

STARTER ACTIVITY: Listen to the following youtube performances and then write down 3 ways you would describe the music you hear in the following examples?

 Mr. Johnston will play the videos on the big screen.

Baroque Listening

Did you know listening to slow Baroque music while you are studying helps you concentrate more?

Instrumental pieces

The Minuet in G major is a harpsichord piece

Now listen to these 10 favourites by several of the famous composers from this era.


CLICK HERE to learn some interesting background information about the Musical Styles of the Baroque Era


Here is a LINK to the history of Baroque Opera

Inside “Palais Garnier” – The Paris Opera House


Baroque music brought us a new musical form called Opera. I am sure they had no idea of what was to follow. It was the first time music was used to help deliver a storyline to the listener. Specific music written to create and deliver specific moods to the listeners.
Opera was born in Italy at the end of the 16th century. A group of musicians and intellectuals were fascinated by Ancient Greece and opposed to the excesses of the previous Renaissance polyphonic music (thick sounding). They wanted to revive what was thought to be the simplicity of ancient tragedy.

In the first operas, the intention was to make music subservient or supportive to the words. They were made up of successive recitatives (a half spoken lyric which is more a dialogue to more the storyline forward) with a small instrumental accompaniment, punctuated by musical interludes. After Florence and Rome, Venice rapidly became the centre of opera, where the first commercial opera house opened in 1637, thus making the art form accessible to a wider public. Opera soon spread throughout Europe, and in 1700 Naples, Vienna, Paris and London were major operatic centres.




The orchestra had very few instruments and no conductor unlike today’s symphony orchestras of over 100 members and a conductor to keep them all working together as a whole.

Watch the following short video on the Baroque Orchestra

New York Philharmonic “A Brief History of the Orchestra

MODERN ORCHESTRA  – Modern orchestras are often used to create soundtracks for movies.  What instruments were added to the modern orchestra to give a wider variety of textures (sounds) that were not in the Baroque orchestra?




Harpsichord was a the keyboard instrument of the day.  Unfortunately is was limited as it had only one dynamic level.

C-30BassCrumGemsViolColorUnique woodwind and brass instruments such as Sackbuts and Sepents, as well as the predecessors to today’s string instruments.


Serpent Woodwind Instrument – it has a mouthpiece like a brass instrument and wind holes for fingering like a woodwind instrument.

Click for MAJOR COMPOSERS of the Baroque Erabach_shades

A few MORE GREAT resources on the Baroque to get you started

***GREAT RESOURCE – PLEASE use our YIS Library – there are many online materials that are excellent for research 

The Baroque Orchestra, Instruments and other interesting Baroque Music Facts

A Baroque Timeline by Classical fm

All About the Baroque Era

Baroque Music

Baroque Music Defined

Baroque Music New World Encyclopedia

Musical Styles of the Baroque

 the history of Baroque Opera

A variety of information on the characteristics and popular forms of composition