On Baroque is an exercise in curation. There is already plenty of information about Baroque music online, but it can be time-consuming finding what you want. On Baroque is an effort to bring together and organize some of this information to make it easier for you to access what you want. It’s the kind of site I was looking for and couldn’t find, so I created it myself.
Baroque music is generally defined as the music composed in the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth centuries, roughly 1560 to 1750. More than just a time period, though, it’s a musical style defined by very specific motifs, including what’s known as the basso continuo (“continuous bass”), which you can think of as a rhythm section, something you don’t really hear in Renaissance music, which preceded the Baroque period, or Classical music, which followed it. Another characteristic motif is homophony, which refers to the melodic voice of the piece and its rhythmic accompaniment.
Then there’s the structure of the typical suite, which starts with an overture and that’s followed by four movements: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue.
The Baroque is also the period in which we saw the development of opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata as musical genres.
Each of the major Baroque composers and many of the minor ones are represented on the home page. For each one you can access a list of their entire body of work, or at least the most complete list that’s thought to be available, along with a thumbnail sketch of their contribution to the genre. For each composer you can also listen to representative pieces of their work, access some sheet music, and go directly to a selection of their books and music on Amazon.
On Baroque launched May 25, 2013, with 17 of the major composers of the genre represented. Two years later it had 60. More are being added, with the goal of having all of the major and many of the minor figures represented. I hope you find the site helpful.—Nabob
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