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.

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 1 Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
15
Famous As: Composer
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

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
4
Famous As: Composer
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

Claudio Monteverdi
5
Famous As: Composer, String player & choirmaster
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

Henry Purcell
4
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 10, 1659
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westminster
Died: November 21, 1695
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 5 William Byrd

William Byrd
3
Famous As: Music composer
Birthdate: 1543 AD
Birthplace: Lincoln, England
Died: July 4, 1623

 6 Juana Inés de la Cruz

Juana Inés de la Cruz
3
Famous As: Poet, Nun, Writer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Feminist, Composer
Birthdate: November 12, 1651
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetlixpa
Died: April 17, 1695

 7 Carlo Gesualdo

Carlo Gesualdo
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 8, 1566
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venosa, Italy
Died: September 8, 1613
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 8 Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel
3
Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Free Imperial City of Nuremberg
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.

 9 Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 9, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: May 5, 1705

Second son of Emperor Ferdinand III, Leopold I became the heir apparent to his father’s throne on the death of his elder brother in 1654, being coroneted as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1658. Although he received little training for the throne, Austria became a great European power during his reign, emerging victorious in struggles against Ottoman Empire and France.

 10 Jean-Baptiste Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 11 Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli
2
Famous As: Composer, Violinist
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.

 12 Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau
2
Famous As: Music composer and theorist
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.

 13 Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 14 Tomaso Albinoni

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

 15 Georg Philipp Telemann

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

 16 Dieterich Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude
3
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: June 24, 1637
Sun Sign: Cancer
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.

 17 François Couperin

François Couperin
2
Famous As: Composer, Organist, Musician, Viol player, Harpsichordist
Birthdate: November 10, 1668
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: September 11, 1733

 18 Giovanni Gabrieli

Giovanni Gabrieli
2
Famous As: Composer, Organist
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.

 19 Heinrich Schütz

Heinrich Schütz
2
Famous As: Composer, Organist
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.

 20 Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri

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

 21 Johann Joseph Fux

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

 22 Marc-Antoine Charpentier

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

 23 Alessandro Scarlatti

Alessandro Scarlatti
2
Famous As: Composer, Musician
Birthdate: May 2, 1660
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palermo
Died: October 22, 1725

 24 Gregorio Allegri

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

 25 Tomas Luis De Victoria

Tomas Luis De Victoria
2
Famous As: Composer
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.

 26 Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

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

 27 Dimitrie Cantemir

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

 28 Barbara Strozzi

Barbara Strozzi
2
Famous As: Singer, Composer, Actor, Model
Birthdate: August 6, 1619
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Venice
Died: November 11, 1677

 29 Marin Marais

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

 30 Turlough O'Carolan

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

 31 Girolamo Frescobaldi

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

 32 Domenico Montagnana

Domenico Montagnana
1
Famous As: Luthier, Musical instrument maker
Birthdate: June 24, 1686
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lendinara
Died: March 6, 1750

 33 Jacopo Peri

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

 34 Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli
1
Famous As: Composer of the early Baroque period
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 Jan Dismas Zelenka

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

 36 Jeremiah Clarke

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

 37 Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
1
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 30, 1562
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deventer, Netherlands
Died: October 16, 1621

 38 Thomas Campion

Thomas Campion
1
Famous As: poet, composer, music theorist, musicologist
Birthdate: February 22, 1567
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
Died: March 1, 1620

 39 Benedetto Marcello

Benedetto Marcello
1
Famous As: composer, poet, writer
Birthdate: August 9, 1686
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Venice
Died: July 24, 1739

 40 Francesca Caccini

Francesca Caccini
1
Famous As: Composer & Singer
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.

 41 Pietro Locatelli

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

 42 Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet De La Guerre

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet De La Guerre
1
Famous As: Composer, Musician
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. 

 43 John Bull

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

 44 Leonardo Vinci

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

 45 Antonio Caldara

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

 46 Christian Petzold

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

 47 Alessandro Stradella

Alessandro Stradella
1
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 3, 1643
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: February 25, 1682

 48 Johann Joachim Quantz

Johann Joachim Quantz
1
Famous As: Composer, Musicologist, Music theorist, Musical instrument maker
Birthdate: January 30, 1697
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Scheden
Died: July 12, 1773

 49 Alessandro Marcello

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

 50 Michelagnolo Galilei

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