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List of musical forms by era

This is a list of musical forms and genres organized according to the eras of Classical music. The form of a musical composition refers to the general outline of the composition, based on the sections that comprise it or on specific details that are unique to a certain type of composition. For example, a rondo is based on alternation between familiar and novel sections (ABACA); a mazurka is defined by its meter and rhythm; a nocturne is based on the mood it creates, required to be inspired by or evocative of night. This list summarizes these broadly defined forms and genres within the musical periods that they arose or became common.

Medieval

Renaissance

Baroque

Classical and Romantic

20th and 21st Century