17th Century Musicians

Find out more about the greatest 17th Century Musicians, including Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Pachelbel.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 17th Century Musicians

 1 

Johann Sebastian Bach
16
Birthdate: March 31, 1685
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany
Died: July 28, 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was an 18-th century German composer of the Baroque period. He redefined both church and secular music. He served as the court musician of Duke Johann Ernst and King Augustus III. He created more than 300 cantatas and vocal music such as Mass in B minor.

 2 
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
(Baroque Composer & Virtuoso Violinist Known for His Violin Concertos 'The Four Seasons')

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
6
Birthdate: March 4, 1678
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 28, 1741

Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, and teacher, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He was extremely popular during his lifetime and composed many instrumental concertos and operas. He was also a Roman Catholic priest and worked at a home for abandoned children. Even though he died in 1741, his music continues to be popular.

 3 
Claudio Monteverdi
(Composer, String player and Choirmaster Who Was a Pioneer in the Development of Opera)

Claudio Monteverdi
6
Birthdate: May 9, 1567
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: November 29, 1643

Claudio Monteverdi was an Italian string player, composer, choirmaster, and priest. His pioneering work in the development of opera and his letters, which gives an insight into the life of Italian musicians from the era, makes him a significant historical figure. He is also considered an important transitional figure between the two important periods of music history, Renaissance and Baroque. 

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 4 
Henry Purcell
(Composer)

Henry Purcell
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1659
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westminster
Died: November 21, 1695
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 5 
Juana Inés de la Cruz
(Early feminist author and philosopher who studied everything around her and argued forcefully that all women should be allowed to do the same)

Juana Inés de la Cruz
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1648
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nepantla de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico
Died: April 17, 1695

Mexican nun Juana Inés de la Cruz was one of the finest authors of the Latin American colonial era. Initially the lady-in-waiting of Mexico’s viceroy, she later took her vows. She built a huge library and penned masterpieces such as the poem Primero sueño and the religious drama El divino Narciso.

 6 
Johann Pachelbel
(One of the Most Influential Composers and Organists of the Middle Baroque Era)

Johann Pachelbel
3
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: March 7, 1706

Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, teacher, and organist who is credited with helping the south German organ schools achieve their peak. His contributions to the progression of the fugue and chorale prelude have established him as one of the most prominent composers of the middle Baroque era. During his lifetime, his music became a model for several German composers.

 7 
William Byrd
(Music composer)

William Byrd
3
Birthdate: 1543 AD
Birthplace: Lincoln, England
Died: July 4, 1623
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 8 

Jean-Baptiste Lully
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1632
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: March 22, 1687

Born to Italian parents, Jean-Baptiste Lully grew up to be a legendary composer who ruled the French courts. He started his journey as a violinist in Louis XIV’s band and later came to be known for his tragic operas. He had also apparently invented the French overture.

 9 
Arcangelo Corelli
(Composer, Violinist)

Arcangelo Corelli
2
Birthdate: February 17, 1653
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fusignano, Italy
Died: January 8, 1713

Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli is regarded as a pioneer of the concerto grosso and the sonata. Named after his father who died 5 months before his birth, Corelli rose to be a major figure of Baroque music and became a favorite of priests and the royalty.

 10 
Jean-Philippe Rameau
(Music composer and theorist)

Jean-Philippe Rameau
2
Birthdate: September 25, 1683
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dijon
Died: September 12, 1764

One of the greatest French opera composers and music theorists of all time, Jean-Philippe Rameau enriched the late Baroque period with his harpsichord pieces. His organist father wanted him to pursue law, but Rameau wasn’t academically bright and had poor grammar, which made Rameau travel to Italy to study music.

 11 

Georg Philipp Telemann
4
Birthdate: March 14, 1681
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1767

 12 
Tomaso Albinoni
(Composer)

Tomaso Albinoni
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 17, 1751

 13 
Carlo Gesualdo
(Composer)

Carlo Gesualdo
4
Birthdate: March 8, 1566
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venosa, Italy
Died: September 8, 1613

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1608
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz
Died: April 2, 1657

Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III is largely held responsible for ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 with 2 peace treaties known as the Peace of Westphalia. He also conspired against Generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein when he was denied control of the imperial army. He was also instrumental in the Peace of Prague.

 15 
François Couperin
(Former Composer who was known as Couperin le Grand ()

François Couperin
2
Birthdate: November 10, 1668
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 11, 1733

 16 
Giovanni Gabrieli
(Composer, Organist)

Giovanni Gabrieli
2
Birthdate: 1557 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: August 12, 1612

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian organist and composer. One of the most popular musicians of his generation, Gabrieli's works were popularized throughout Europe by his association with the prestigious Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where he was appointed as an organist.

 17 
Heinrich Schütz
(Composer, Organist)

Heinrich Schütz
2
Birthdate: October 18, 1585
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bad Köstritz, Germany
Died: November 6, 1672
German composer and organist Heinrich Schütz was one of the first to bring the Italian style of music to Germany. While he had initially studied law, he later began his musical career in Venice. He is remembered for his works such as Symphoniae sacrae and the first German opera, Dafne.

Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri
2
Birthdate: August 21, 1698
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: October 17, 1744

 19 

Johann Joseph Fux
2
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: Langegg bei Graz, Austria
Died: February 13, 1741

 20 
Alessandro Scarlatti
(Former Baroque composer, known especially for his operas and chamber cantatas)

Alessandro Scarlatti
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1660
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: October 22, 1725

 21 

Marc-Antoine Charpentier
2
Birthdate: 1643 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 24, 1704

 22 

Gregorio Allegri
2
Birthdate: 1582 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: February 7, 1652

 23 
Dieterich Buxtehude
(Organist and Church Music Composer of the Baroque period)

Dieterich Buxtehude
1
Birthdate: 1637 AD
Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
Died: May 9, 1707

While some scholars believe Dieterich Buxtehude was born in Denmark, others claim he was from Germany. The composer and organist was a significant figure of the Baroque period and had Johann Sebastian Bach as his student. As a church musician, he also composed for family events and festivals.

 24 
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
(One of the Best Violin Composers of the 17th Century)

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1644
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stráž pod Ralskem, Czechia
Died: May 3, 1704

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was a Bohemian-Austrian violinist and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the best violin composers of the 17th century. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber wrote operas, music for chamber ensemble, and sacred music. Today, his compositions are widely performed and recorded.

 25 

Dimitrie Cantemir
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1673
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dimitrie Cantemir, Romania
Died: September 1, 1723

 26 
Barbara Strozzi
(Composer and singer of the Baroque Period)

Barbara Strozzi
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1619
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: November 11, 1677

 27 
Marin Marais
(Composer)

Marin Marais
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1656
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 15, 1728

 28 

Turlough O'Carolan
2
Birthdate: 1670 AD
Birthplace: Nobber, Ireland
Died: March 25, 1738

 29 

Tomas Luis De Victoria
2
Birthdate: 1548 AD
Birthplace: Sanchidrián, Spain
Died: August 20, 1611

One of the most influential 16th-century composers, Tomas Luis De Victoria had begun as a choirboy. He went to Rome on a grant from Spain’s King Philip II and later became a Catholic priest. A skilled singer and organist, too, he developed the concertato style of the Franco-Netherlandish school.

 30 

Girolamo Frescobaldi
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1583
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: March 1, 1643

 31 
Domenico Montagnana
(Luthier, Musical instrument maker)

Domenico Montagnana
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1686
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lendinara
Died: March 6, 1750

 32 
Jacopo Peri
(Composer)

Jacopo Peri
1
Birthdate: August 20, 1561
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: August 12, 1633

 33 
Jan Dismas Zelenka
(Composer & Musician of Baroque Period Known for His Extensive Composition 'Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis')

Jan Dismas Zelenka
1
Birthdate: October 16, 1679
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Louňovice pod Blaníkem, Bohemia, Holy Roman Empire
Died: December 23, 1745

 34 
Francesco Cavalli
(Composer of the early Baroque period)

Francesco Cavalli
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1602
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Crema, Italy
Died: January 14, 1676

Seventeenth-century Italian composer Francesco Cavalli had taken up the surname of his Venetian patron Federico Cavalli. He was initially a soprano at the St. Mark's Basilica. While he mainly composed for operas, he also developed the early recitative-aria technique. Two of his most notable works were Erismena and L’Ormindo.

 35 
Jeremiah Clarke
(Composer)

Jeremiah Clarke
1
Birthdate: 1674 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 1, 1707

 36 
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
(Dutch Composer and Pedagogue Famous for His Brilliant Improvisations at the Organ and Harpsichord)

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
1
Birthdate: 1674 AD, 1562
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deventer, Netherlands
Died: October 16, 1621

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was a Dutch composer, music educator, music organizer, harpsichordist, organist, and ensemble leader. He played a major role during the transition to Baroque music from Renaissance and is often regarded as the most prominent Dutch composer of the Early Modern Period. His music was not only popular in the Netherlands but also spread across Europe.

 37 
Thomas Campion
(Famous for Writing Over a Hundred Lute Songs, Masques for Dancing)

Thomas Campion
1
Birthdate: February 12, 1567
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 1, 1620

 38 
Francesca Caccini
(Italian Composer, Lutenist and Singer of the Early Baroque Era)

Francesca Caccini
1
Birthdate: September 18, 1587
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1641 AD

Francesca Caccini was an Italian composer, poet, lutenist, singer, and music teacher. She is best remembered for La liberazione di Ruggiero, her only surviving stage work, which is regarded as the oldest opera composed by a woman. Although little of her music has survived the test of time, Francesca Caccini was known to be a prolific composer.

 39 
Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre
(Former Composer, best known as the first woman to compose an opera in France)

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre
1
Birthdate: March 17, 1665
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 27, 1729

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet De La Guerre was a French musician, harpsichordist, and composer. Born into a family of musicians and master instrument-makers, she received her initial musical training from her father. She worked as a musician in the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Following her marriage to organist Marin de La Guerre, she taught and composed music. 

 40 
Benedetto Marcello
(Former composer and writer, especially remembered for two works: the satirical pamphlet Il teatro alla moda (1720); and Estro poeticoarmonico (1724–26))

Benedetto Marcello
1
Birthdate: July 24, 1686
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 24, 1739

 41 
John Bull
(Composer)

John Bull
1
Birthdate: 1562 AD
Birthplace: Wellow, England
Died: March 12, 1628

 42 

Pietro Locatelli
1
Birthdate: September 3, 1695
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bergamo, Italy
Died: March 30, 1764

 43 
Leonardo Vinci
(Composer)

Leonardo Vinci
1
Birthdate: 1690 AD
Birthplace: Strongoli, Italy
Died: May 27, 1730

 44 

Johann Adolph Hasse
1
Birthdate: March 25, 1699
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bergedorf, Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 16, 1783

 45 

Alessandro Marcello
1
Birthdate: February 1, 1673
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: June 19, 1747

 46 

Christian Petzold
1
Birthdate: 1677 AD
Birthplace: Königstein, Germany
Died: May 25, 1733

 47 
Antonio Caldara
(Composer)

Antonio Caldara
1
Birthdate: 1670 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: December 28, 1736

 48 
Johann Jakob Froberger
(One of the Most Famous and Influential Composers of the Early Baroque Era)

Johann Jakob Froberger
1
Birthdate: May 19, 1616
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
Died: May 7, 1667

Johann Jakob Froberger was a German keyboard virtuoso, composer, and organist. Widely regarded as one of the most popular composers of his generation, Froberger played a key role in the development of the musical form of a suite in his keyboard works. His compositions were studied by several other composers like Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Pachelbel, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

 49 

Michelagnolo Galilei
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1575
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 3, 1631

 50 

Francesco Geminiani
1
Birthdate: December 5, 1687
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lucca, Italy
Died: September 17, 1762