Early Music Backing Tracks

MP3 files of accompaniments to solo instrumental and vocal works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. 

  • Each 'Album' contains multiple tracks of the same work accommodating a variety of pitches, temperaments and tempi - perfect for learning a piece!

  • Backing tracks played on historically appropriate instruments, played by real musicians. 

  • Suitable for beginner, student or professional musician.

  • If there's nothing suitable at the moment please make a suggestion via our Repertoire Poll, below.

  • Subscribe to our mailing list to receive notifications of new backing tracks and editions here.

  • Learn more about these backing tracks at our FAQ section.

Backing Track demos
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Tuning Tracks
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Backing Tracks

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Frequently asked questions

Which instruments am I hearing on the backing tracks?

Most of the instruments used are ‘virtual’; sample sets of historical instruments run via the innovative Hauptwerk software. Most of the harpsichord and organ sounds were sampled by Sonus ParadisiTo add a new question go to app settings and press "Manage Questions" button.

So, am I hearing a computer?

Yes … and No! The performances are by a real person, skilled in the art of continuo playing. The recordings are then manipulated to produce versions in varying tempi, temperaments and tempi.

What’s the difference between continuo and accompaniment?

‘Continuo’ refers to the form of accompaniment used from the late 16th to late 18th centuries where a chordal instrument such as organ, harpsichord or lute would play the bass line of a work, filling in the harmonies. Musicians used numbers to indicate which harmonies to play (‘figured bass’) and the chordal instruments were often joined by melodic bass instruments on the bass line (e.g. cello, viola da gamba, bassoon). Whereas modern accompaniments indicate the exact pitches for the keyboard player’s right hand, they don’t allow for the huge variety and freedom expected by musicians of the time.

Why are there different pitches available for the pieces?

In today’s world of music-making there are many different approaches to performing early music: the variety of pitches available in each album accommodates beginners, students, as well as professionals who choose to play using historically appropriate pitches and temperaments.

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