Differences between Baroque vs Classical

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

The Baroque Period began in the early 1600s and is often defined by its dramatic, emotional style of music. The Classical period also began in the 1600s but was characterized by more rationalistic, formal compositions. These two periods are easy to differentiate between because they are so different from one another. There are many differences between these two periods when it comes to their musical styles which can be seen in their composition techniques, instruments used, and overall feel. For example, during this time there were no set rules for composing a piece of music; musicians would use any sounds that came naturally without following any sort of system or pattern which gave them much more freedom than what was allowed during the classical era.

The difference between Baroque music and Classical music is in the way that they are structured. Classical music typically has a more formal structure while Baroque mainly focuses on improvisation. Additionally, Baroque pieces tend to be very long with many different sections while Classical pieces are usually shorter and have fewer sections. The other main difference is in the instruments used for each style of music. In general, baroque use stringed instruments while classical use woodwinds, brass, or strings depending on the piece being played.

Comparison between Baroque and Classical

Parameters of ComparisonBaroqueClassical
KeyMinor keyMajor key
QualityBaroque pieces have an improvisational qualityclassical is more formulaic
Instrumentbaroque had harpsichords and lutesClassical instruments included violins and cellos
MusicBaroque music was played on instruments with a greater range of dynamics, from soft to loud,Classical pieces were often written for a small number of instruments.  

What is Baroque?

The word baroque comes from the Portuguese word (Barroso) meaning “misshapen pearl,” and was used to describe a style of art and architecture that emerged in Europe during the 17th century. Baroque is characterized by an emphasis on dramatic effect, with elaborate ornamentation, asymmetrical designs, and intense colors. The term can also be applied to other arts including music, literature, dance, theater…   A good example of Baroque-style architecture is St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This Church has many ornate architectural details which are typical of the Baroque period. One example is the carved marble decoration around the main entrance door which represents Christ flanked by angels who are holding scrolls.

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What is Classical?

Classical music is one of the most widely enjoyed genres in the world. But what exactly is classical? Is it just anything written before the 20th century? In this post, we’ll explore the definition of classical music and take a look at some of the common misconceptions about it. We’ll also hear from some popular classical composers and find out why they love creating this type of music. So if you’re curious about classical and its many wonders, read on.

“Many people have a vague understanding of what Classical music is, but not an in-depth one. This post will explore what Classical music is and why it should be appreciated.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, classical music is a type of art that includes various genres such as opera and symphony. The most well-known composer in this genre is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.”  “Classical music has been around since the 1700s and can be found all over the world.” “Some may think that classical music only consists of European composers, but there are many other countries involved in this musical style including America, Russia, Japan, China, and more.

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10 Differences between Baroque and Classical

1. Baroque music is emotional, classical is more formal.

2. Classical pieces are written in a major key, baroque in the minor.

3. Baroque pieces have an improvisational quality to them, while classical is more formulaic.

4. Baroque works often include ornamentation and embellishment of the melody with runs or trills.

5. Classical instruments included violins and cellos; baroque had harpsichords and lutes. 

6. The lyrics for baroque were typically Italian operas that told stories about love and revenge; whereas the lyrics for classical were usually French poems that described natural scenes like forests or mountains.

7. Baroque is more emotional and dramatic while Classical is more restrained.

8. Baroque music was played on instruments with a greater range of dynamics, from soft to loud, while Classical pieces were often written for a small number of instruments.

9. The melodies in Baroque compositions are often much longer than those in Classical pieces. 

10. In the 17th century, composers began using different types of scale that would eventually lead to the development of major and minor keys.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Baroque

1. The Baroque period lasted from the early 1600s to the late 1700s.

2. It was a time of great change in art, music, and politics.

3. This era is seen as a reaction against the Renaissance.

4. The word “baroque” comes from Portuguese meaning “roughly shaped pearl”.

5. The term was first used by an Italian art historian in 1666 to describe what he saw as an over-refinement on the part of artists during this period.

6. Many people associate Baroque with excessively decorated churches or buildings that are more about looks than function.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Classical

1. Classical music is one of the most popular genres in the world.

2. The first recordings of classical music were made on Edison wax cylinders.

3. There are many different types and styles of classical music, including symphonies, concertos, and operas.

4. Beethoven was a famous composer who wrote some well-known pieces such as “Symphony No. 5” and “Fur Elise”.

5. One type of instrument that is often used in classical music is the violin because it can be heard from afar without amplification.

6. Another instrument that is often used for this genre is the piano because it’s been around for centuries and has many different sounds to choose from.

7) Classical musicians have to practice their instruments at least an hour a day or they risk losing their skills over time.


Baroque and Classical music are two different types of sound. The baroque period was from 1600-1750, while the classical period started in 1730. Baroque is generally more emotional than classical, with a faster tempo to match its moody-sounding pieces. These differences make it difficult for many people to distinguish between these styles of music on first listen, but some key elements will help you identify them quickly if you know what they are looking for. For example, baroque has much more dramatic pauses before phrases start up again because musicians would be taking breaks or tuning their instruments during this time interval; whereas in classical music each phrase usually flows into the next without pause as most composers wrote shorter movements with fewer instruments.


Resource 01: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque#:~:text
Resource 02: https://www.allclassical.org/

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