The Baroque Period lies between the Renaissance and the Classical Period. The name is derived from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning a misshapen shell – this was actually a derogatory term applied later by historians referring to the ornamented elaborateness of Baroque architecture and music.
The most prominent composers of the Baroque Period were Bach, Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, Rameau, Lully, Vivaldi, Monteverdi and Telemann.
The Baroque Period saw a more defined tonality, and musical notation began to resemble more closely that which we use today. The early Baroque Period in Florence saw the use of harmony directed towards tonality, rather than modality, which marked the shift from the Renaissance into the Baroque Period. This led to the idea that chords, rather than notes, could provide a sense of closure—one of the fundamental ideas that became known as tonality.