Before the Baroque era, music was rarely written specifically for instruments; most often, music played on instruments was originally for voice. The Baroque Era last from 1600 to 1750. During this time, instruments were improved, and composers began to write pieces for specific instruments. Music became more popular with the middle class, and amateur musicians became to sprout up, separate from the church and the court. Instrumental music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras were called sonatas, concertos, and sinfonias interchangeably. The order and shape of their movements were often very similar. Works that used between five and seven violins with contino were often called sonatas and concertos, though they were
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Concertos also had their own stylistic features. A common feature in short motives was to use sequences, usually rising fourths or falling fifths in the base, and was used by well-known composers such as Corelli, Handel, and Gabrieli. Another common theme was the use of repetition and echoes. To keep the repetition from being too boring, composers would use dramatic changes in dynamics. The ritornelli became a popular feature to connect solo sections and tutti sections. Composers would draw their material from the main theme, sometimes transposing it to other keys, or as an echo of solos.
The concerto was split up into separate subgroups: the solo concerto and the concerto grosso. From there, the concerto split into the concerto da camera, chamber concerto, and the concerto da chisa, a multi-movement church concerto. Of the two, the chamber concerto disappeared by the Eighteenth Century, and the church concerto evolved into a composition for a soloist or a soloist with orchestra.
One of the greatest composers of the concerto was Antonio Vivaldi. He wrote more than 450 pieces for a variety of instruments. Some contained solo instruments, usually the violin, as he was an accomplished violinist, a combination of solo