Research Paper on Classical and Baroque Styles in Modern Music

3 pages
620 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In the modern times, a mention of classical music conjures the image of songs composed and performed by dead artists mostly in formal attire. On the contrary, classical music refers to a music era dating back from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries. Some of the major notable artists of this era include Beethoven and Mozart. Classical music was preceded by the Baroque era of music, dating between the 17th and the mid-18th century. The most notable contemporary artists of this era include Corelli and Monteverdi (Gjerdingen, 5). The artists of these two periods employed different styles in their music, which was the main difference between them. Some of those styles are used in the modern music today. The characteristics are discussed below.

One major factor that defined classical music was that it used the ideals of the classical age, which included features from the ancient Greece and Rome. For example, classical music emphasised on simplicity and elegance in performance and delivery. This was reflected in the manner of dressing, which followed the ancient times. The music was expressed in simple, flowing and beautiful melodies that move towards predictable distances. It also employed the use of symphony in music delivery. Classical music was also performed in orchestras and operas, which originated in the Baroque era and basically is drama driven by music. Classical artists expressed emotion in a refined and beautiful manner so as to connect the listener to the music at a deeper level (Rosen,72).

Baroque music, on the other hand, tended to employ a little bit complexity in composition and delivery. It used tightly woven fugues, sacred masses with full choruses, intricate orchestral works and grand scenes of serious opera. It also featured tedious pedagogical works; all meant to serve the diverse needs of the wealthy, who formed the majority of the consumers. The musical works, though serious in expression, did not in reality mirror the composers emotion but rather aimed at influencing the listeners emotion (Rangel-Ribeiro, 17).

In the modern times, some of these features have been employed by artists especially in hip hop, jazz and rock music. Hip hop artists, for example, employ the use of complicated lines and compositions in delivering their works, which is consistent with the complexity of the Baroque music. Performances are also sometimes accompanied by operas as was in classical times. This is a feature shared with jazz and rock music, which is often performed in orchestras accompanied by bands and sophisticated instruments. Jazz music, however, differs with rock music in that it is mostly emotionally charged, with the emotions being expressed in a soulful manner that connects deeper with the listener just as was the case in classical music (Gjerdingen, 12). The simplicity and elegance practised by jazz and rock musicians are also reflective of the style mostly employed in classical music.

There are several features of the classical and baroque era music styles that are employed in the modern times. Modern performers of genres such as hip-hop, jazz and rock, for example, have been noticed to apply these features in creating their works. The simplicity and elegance employed by these artists in composition and delivery, for instance, mirrors that which was used in classical music. The complexity adopted in the creation of hip-hop music, on the other hand, is consistent with the complexity that was significant of baroque music. These are just a few examples of how those characteristics are employed in the modern music world.



Gjerdingen, R. Music in the Galant Style. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007, pp. 5-18.

Rangel-Ribeiro, V. Baroque music: A practical guide for the performer. Courier Dover Publications, 2016, pp. 15-34.

Rosen, C. The classical style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. W. W. Norton, 1998, pp. 68-84.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: