1600-1750 - Vastness of proportion, rich counterpoint, great splendor
The Baroque era covers the period between 1600 and 1750. Taken from two different words-one French and one Portugese-both meaning an 'irregularly shaped pearl', the term 'baroque' was originally applied only to art.
But relatively recently, it has been applied to the music of the period as well, since it contains many of the same elements: complexity of form, much ornamentation, and a certain virtuosity.
It is during this period that we find the origins, and growth to immense popularity, of opera and oratorio.
We also find the origin of the Sonata Allegro form, which would influence musical composition into our own age.
Great composers of this period include Monteverdi, Bach and Handel, to name a few.