Dido & Aeneas - Opera by Henry Purcell

Baroque music

Baroque music expresses order, the fundamental order of the universe.

  • Baroque music is characterised by:

‚Äčlong flowing melodic lines often using ornamentation (decorative notes such as trills and turns)

contrast between loud and soft, solo and ensemble

contrapuntal texture where two or more melodic lines are combined

terraced dynamics - sudden changes in the volume level, sometimes creating an echo effect

(source : BBC GCSE bitesize)

Baroque music composers / artists

Click on the image below to learn a little about composers in the Baroque period like Bach, Scarlatti, 

Features of Baroque music

Baroque Quiz

Try your hand at this Baroque music quiz....

Baroque music

Baroque Music (1600-1750)

It was during the 17th Century that the system of modes finally crumbled away. By adding accidentals the Major/Minor key system developed. The 17th Century also saw the invention of several new forms and designs, such as:

  • Opera
  • Sonata
  • Oratorio
  • Suite
  • Fugue
  • Concerto

baroque music


Image source : Pixabay

Baroque Art - Francesco Solimena - the Royal Hunt of Dido and Aeneas

Source : Wikimedia commons


The idea of opera was fairly slow to catch on in England but one composer, Purcell, produced an excellent example, ‘Dido and Aeneas’. This composition contained all the ingredients which were to become standard over the coming centuries.