Characteristics Of Baroque Music

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Baroque music is a style of western art music. It was followed after the Renaissance music and was followed in turn by classical music. It emerged in the seventeenth century as a shorthand notation for keyboardists who were accompanying a soloist or small ensemble performing a work originally composed for a larger group. Key composers of the Baroque music are Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell, Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti, Jean Philippe Rameau, Johann Pachelbel, George Frideric Handle, Claudio Monteverdi Domenico Scarlatti and many others. The Baroque period saw the creation of tonality and an approach to writing music in which a song or piece is written in a particular key. During the Baroque period, professional musicians were expected to be skilful improvisers of both solo melodic lines and accompaniment part. Baroque music was normally accompanied by a basso continuo group which consisted of chordal instrument such as harpsichordists and lute players who improvised chords from a figured bass part while a group of bass instruments such as viol, cello and double bass played the bass lines. One of the defining characteristics of Baroque music is the basso continuo, or figured bass, providing the harmonic structure of the music. The continuo is sometimes called figured bass because the composer would simply write chord figures below the musical staff and let the musician figure out how to realize the harmony. Once the continuo is

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