About Baroque Music

The word “baroque” has its roots in the Portuguese language. The root word, barroco, means “oddly shaped pearl.” This term was applied by nineteenth century musicians and critics. They felt it described the music aptly, suggesting it was too ornamented and over the top embellished. Well, of course we all know that Bach used great embellishments and ornaments in his music. These ornaments are are studied, queried and debated to this day. How many times have we questioned, “does this ornament start on the beat or before the beat?” (I always forget). To me, Baroque music is highly organized and I feel like it relaxes me because it calms my brain with its innate patterns and perfect framework and structure. I wonder if studies have been done to see what Baroque music does to the brain of a harried and unorganized person. (I digress). The Baroque music period spans the time period of 1600-1750.

During this time in history, the telescope was invented, Galileo began to explain the physical universe, Shakespeare wrote his plays, and much more. Additionally the growth of a middle class of people began.

Monteverdi, Corelli and Vivaldi, of Italian descent, make up the first part of the Baroque era. You may remember it’s said Turlough Carolan developed a formal style because he was acquainted with Corelli. Emphasis shifted to German composers as the period progressed. Historically, nations embraced musical styles and gave them personality and nationality by way of performance. In this way, one can tell the difference between Italian Baroque and French Baroque, for example.

Italy gave us the cantata, concerto, sonata, oratorio, and opera as well as Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Corelli, Vivaldi, Domenico and Alessandro Scarlatti. French Baroque composers include Couperin, Lully, Charpentier and Rameau. German Baroque composers include Praetorius, Schein, Scheidt, Schutz, Telemann, Handel and Bach, and the most well known English Baroque composer was Purcell.

The Greeks and Romans believed that music was a powerful tool which by its correct communication could trigger emotions. This philosophy gives composers power and composers began to emulate ancient music. Using music as a powerful communicator became of utmost importance.

Baroque musicians in general were guided by their employers, usually a church or royalty. Despite these limitations and structures, composers focused on timbre and dictated instrumentation.

The single melody became an important focus, and the figured bass developed. In figured bass, melody and bass line are written out and the harmonic filler indicated in a type of shorthand. Figured bass, also called thoroughbass, is a musical tablature where numerals and symbols indicate intervals, chords, and non-chord tones that a musician playing keyboards in general plays in relation to the bass note that these numbers and symbols appear above or below.

For more information on Baroque music, which is the period of time which produced concerts, public performances, see baroque.org.

Most of this article is paraphrased from an article at baroque.org


Downloadable Product Information

Here at Melody’s we offer a wide array of music books and accessories.  In the music book category, you may have a choice between PDFs (or MP3s) and paper books. If there is a choice, you are required to click either the paper version or PDF version before you can put an item into your cart. There should be no shipping charge for download music.  If there are physical products in your cart at the same time, your total will reflect shipping for those physical items.

Products that are download only will have a narrow blue banner toward the top of the description.   Products that are only available as physical/paper will not have a choice for you to make in order to add to your cart, nor will they have the narrow blue banner signifying download only.

After you check out, you are directed back to your receipt where you can download your music. Also, you will receive an email thanking you for your order with links that will take you to your downloads. Please add melodytradmusic@gmail.com to your approved e-mail list. If you do not receive an e-mail within a few minutes after you place your order, check your spam folder.

If you created an account with us, you can also find your downloads by going to “My Account” and clicking on the “Downloads” link.  We highly recommend that you create an account so that you can refer to your order history whenever you want.

Depending on your computer settings, when you click on your download link, 1 –  it may open automatically, 2 – it may go into your “downloads” folder, or 3 – your computer may prompt you to “save as”. 

If you have a problem with your downloads, please contact us at MelodyTradMusic@gmail.com  for assistance. Because our website contains so many titles, on occasion we have overlooked uploading a PDF here or there.  When you notify us of this, we make the correction immediately.  Please note that downloads are not “returnable.”


Depending on your computer settings, when you click on your download link, 1 –  it may open automatically, 2 – it may go into your “downloads” folder, or 3 – your computer may prompt you to “save as”.  If you can’t find your PDF, look in your “downloads” folder first.  The title of the PDF may not match the title of the book, so you may want to change the title to what you will remember. After you have located your download, please either remember that it is in your “downloads” folder, or better yet, move it to another folder on your computer with a name that you will remember.

Your respect of the copyright laws will help support the musicians and arrangers who created this music, and will encourage more harp music to be produced in the future. Please do not make multiple copies to pass on to others. You can help keep downloadable harp music viable and available by encouraging your students, friends, and relatives to purchase their own copies. Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor.


On our website, folkharp.com, we offer a wide selection of paper and download music. We were always in a quandary about publications having several parts, or that include sound files. After realizing that we can place multiple files into one folder and “zip” it up, we are now able to offer book + cd options.

What we do: sound files and the PDF book are placed into a folder and zipped. The zipped folder is inserted into the product on the back end of the web site.

What you receive: after you purchase, you receive a zipped folder. This is a folder that literally has a picture of a zipper on it, indicating there is more than one document in the folder.

What you do with it: Generally by double clicking on the folder, it automatically opens up. The challenge lies in whether or not you have a program that unzips these folders. If you do, it is as simple as double clicking and the contents are revealed. Alternately, you can right click on the folder, which brings up choices, one of which is “open with” – you then click on your unzip program.

If you don’t have a program to unzip your files you’ll have a challenge! Recently I bought a small laptop for my zoom lessons. This laptop did not come with winzip, or any other kind of program that unzips these folders. The computer kept wanting me to purchase winzip for $29.  I found another program that does a great job, and it is free. 7-zip unzips all my compressed (zipped) folders! It is open source and you can find out more here:https://www.7-zip.org/

We hope all this information is helpful to you.

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