What is Baroque?
It is anti–naturalistic. Unlike the aesthetics of the Renaissance, the art and music of the Baroque era do not attempt to imitate life or nature.
Baroque religious painting was meant to be emotional and highly expressive, even theatrical. During the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church strove to show that Catholicism was more accessible to the human emotions than Protestantism.
(Madonna with the Long Neck, c. 1535, Parmigianino)
The religious art of the 16th century, however, was also criticized for NOT inspiring religious devotion.
(Noli me tangere, Agnolo Bronzino, 1561)
Baroque architecture was a reflection of the power and wealth of its patrons.
(Casa Professa, Palermo)
The Catholic Church also strove to use architecture to demonstrate its wealth and power.
(St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome)
What about music?
New scales began to replace the old church modes, and tonality became the sonic norm.
So, we go from music that sounds like this:
to music that sounds like this: