Cover art for Baroque Music as part of the Music Humanities syllabus

Explore Baroque Music

Published: November 7, 2019

Listen to selections from this section of the Music Humanities syllabus below and the full Spotify playlist here.

George Frideric Handel


English audiences loved the divas and divos of Italian opera, but only with his unstaged theatrical works on biblical stories in English did Handel become truly and enduringly popular. His choruses became the first musical repertory to be considered “sublime.”

Album cover of recording of Handel's Messiah
Audio: Handel, "Messiah"

Recording: Andrew Parrott, Taverner Choir and Players

Johann Sebastian Bach

The fugue

Bach’s extraordinary “spatial” imagination enabled him to envision all the ways in which a musical subject could be manipulated while participating in a configuration with other musical voices. In dozens of works for harpsichord and organ, in choral music, even in the finale of his Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D major, Bach’s fugues became the foundation of keyboard technique and choral epiphany, even of compositional instruction — Mozart’s and Beethoven’s music materially changed when they came in contact with Bach’s fugues.

Album cover of recording of Johann Sebastian Bach, The fugue
Audio: Bach, The fugue

Recording: Brandenburg Concertos 4-6, Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert

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