Music of the Baroque Period

1 day, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Baroque architecture

Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Messiah, Vivaldi's Four Seasons - the Baroque period has given us some of the most dramatic and beautiful compositions of music history. This study day unravels the rich complexity of Baroque music, providing insight into the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and their contemporaries, in their social and historical context. Learn what makes Baroque music sound Baroque, and what the great composers were striving to achieve.

This course part of a series of music history courses, exploring the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionist periods. You may attend the courses in any order.

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Course Outline

Session 1

  • Social and historical background: Europe, 1600-1750
  • Musical genres of the Baroque period
  • Vivaldi, Bach and Handel

Session 2

  • Compositional techniques
  • Musical characteristics

Session 3

  • The suite
  • The concerto

Session 4

  • The birth of opera
  • Choral music and sacred forms


“Susan’s course was excellent. She has a vast knowledge of her subject and great illustrations, notes for students and musical concepts. I found this course very beneficial and have learned to appreciate this music so much more. Will return for more courses with Susan.”

“Very informative yet presented in a simple way that everyone can understand”

“Very well paced with a very personal presentation. Good use of example music and the power point additions were very helpful and interesting. Enjoyable and informative. Thank you!”

“Susan is an excellent, organised and knowledgeable lecturer. Her ability with the piano assists her lectures.”

“It was absolutely wonderful and very educational, I felt like I did not only attend a lecture, but a couple of concerts as well. Superb!”

More about Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching music appreciation courses for more than twenty years, through Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, WEA Sydney and at other venues. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan teaches piano and music theory to adults and children, and plays piano and organ at various venues around Sydney.

More about Susan's qualifications

Read what people have said about Susan's other courses

Susan's other music courses