Compared with the restrained and balanced style of the Renaissance era, the Baroque era indulged in exaggeration and opulence. The Catholic Church and rich European courts fostered art forms whose brilliance and richness celebrated their wealthy patrons. Playing instruments and dancing were part of the general education of the upper classes. However, in stark contrast to the lavish life of the courts, Europe was ravaged by many wars, and there was widespread poverty. The gulf between the rich and the poor grew. Science and the arts, raised to a new excellence in the Renaissance era, made more people aware of the wide world and what was in it. Secular authorities began to patronise and commission artists alongside religious authorities.
Have you ever marvelled at the fact that the music held in the highest regard by Western civilisation, the music written by Bach, is called Baroque? (from the Italian barocco, meaning a misshapen pearl or a strange idea) –Pierre Schaeffer