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Lecture 11

The Rise of Instrumental Music

J.S. Bach...the immortal god of harmony.

—Ludwig van Beethoven, 1801

17th century developments and the rise of instrumental music, C.E. 1680-1750

We now finally come to the period which is represented regularly in concert halls and on classical radio stations. 

This is partially because of the popularity of instrumental music, which does not come into the mainstream until this period in history.


Topics covered:

17th century developments

the rise of instrumental music

the solo concerto

the concerto grosso



  • Purcell
  • Lully
  • Corelli
  • Vivaldi
  • J.S. Bach



how does a concerto work?

what is its form?



watch lecture 11 (in multiple parts for quicker download)

review previous chapters, as necessary

read textbook, Chapter 15

As you are reading your textbook, go through the Listening Exercises in textbook sequence, listening to the examples provided.

regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade.


Audio / Video lecture

click lecture segments below in sequence

presented in several segments to reduce download time

total lecture time: approx. one hour 15 minutes (all segments included)


Lecture 11.1 

17th century developments

Lecture 11.2 
Musical developments in the Middle Baroque
Lecture 11.3 
The rise of instrumental music
Lecture 11.4 
The Baroque concerto
Lecture 11.5 
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

Ritornello Form