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Who Are Some Baroque Composers?

Handel is a Baroque composer.
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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2014
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Baroque composers include great names like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and Antonio Vivaldi. Heinrich I.F. von Biber was another such composer, as was Jean-Philippe Rameau. The list of baroque composers is quite lengthy, in fact, as those noted for this style of music popular between 1600 and 1760 hail from multiple countries such as Austria, Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

Some baroque composers who are duly celebrated for their contributions today did not enjoy comparable fame during their lifetime. One such composer is Johann Sebastian Bach. While his extensive collection of works has influenced other great artists, such as Brahms, Chopin and Wagner, this German composer was not nearly as popular during the defining baroque era as he is today. Still, he was respected as a talented organist during his lifetime and remains one of the first names of baroque music today.

George Frideric Handel helped popularize the English baroque style. His music has influenced such greats as Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Mozart. Considered among the best baroque composers, Bach longed to someday have the opportunity to meet Handel and was even lent one of German Prince Leopold’s horses to do so while Handel was visiting the place of his birth, Halle, Saxony. For mysterious reasons, however, the meeting between these two great baroque composers never took place.

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The baroque style of music and its many composers has fascinated people for centuries. Today, one of the more popular and recognizable songs from that era is the Four Seasons by another of this genre's great composers, Antonio Vivaldi. Born in Italy, Vivaldi’s music has been used in contemporary experiments to test cognitive improvements, particularly in older adults who listen to baroque music while performing certain tasks involving memory.

Though listed alongside other noted baroque composers, Heinrich I.F. von Biber did not perform as often as other musicians and composers of his ilk. Often imitated by others, he is considered by some to be among the best violinist composers ever. As an Austrian baroque composer, Biber is best known for his Mystery Sonatas and Battalia a 10 in D.

Jean-Phillipe Rameau influenced other baroque composers, such as Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and George Frideric Handel. Though well-respected among French musicians, Rameau, an accomplished organist, was never able to attain a highly regarded position as an organist after moving to Paris from Dijon. In addition to being among the most highly regarded baroque composers, Rameau also spent a great deal of time authoring highly controversial theoretical treatises.

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