Baroque orchestral music

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
Trevi Fountain, Rome

Baroque music is characterised by:

  • long flowing melodic lines often using ornamentation (decorative notes such as trills and turns)
  • contrast between loud and soft, solo and ensemble
  • a contrapuntal texture where two or more melodic lines are combined
  • terraced dynamics - sudden changes in the volume level, sometimes creating an echo effect
  • the use of harpsichord continuo

An example of Baroque music is the second movement from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. It demonstrates the solo group of violin and two flutes and the ripieno (accompanying) strings.