The Baroque and Renaissance Periods of Music

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Throughout history, many periods of music have existed, some of which have left behind enduring contributions to music altogether. The most important period of music however is the Baroque period. This is because the beginning of its era marked the introduction of dominant musical devices that have been used ever since. The term “baroque” was derived from the Portuguese barroco meaning “oddly shaped pearl” and refers to a period of European music or Western European art music that flourished from about 1600 to 1750. This period began when the Renaissance period of music – a period of music full of choral music and chants – began to change. The Baroque period brought with itself key devices such as variation in musical compositions, the enlargement of standard scales and chords and the process of varying one or more properties within a piece; that are used today. In contrast the renaissance period of music whereby music was often sang, contained simple rhythms and melodic lines and was mostly for the purpose of praise, the Baroque period of music started off the use of distinct melodies and harmonies opposed to the polyphony used in the Renaissance period. This new music was then called “…expansive and dramatic”. Famous composers and performers of this period include Henry Purcell, Arcangelo Corelli, Claudio Monteverdi, Antonio Vivaldi and many others. Music of the baroque period had a number of traits in style as well as spirit; examples include the use of the basso

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