Empires and Monarchies
   The late 17th century witnessed the rise of the absolute monarchs, like King Louis XIV of France.  This period though was not one-sided, with the Netherlands very much resisting Louis and England beginning its rise to dominance.  Both western and eastern Europe developed forms of these monarchs, with the east continuing its stagnation in the "medieval" period.
Important Links

Music of the Age of Absolutism

Baroque music describes a period or style of European classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1750.[1] This era is said to begin in music after the Renaissance and was followed by the Classical music era. The word "baroque" came from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl",[2] a strikingly fitting characterization of the architecture of this period;later, the name came to be applied also to its music. Baroque music forms a major portion of the classical music canon, being widely studied, performed, and listened to. It is associated with composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni and Johann Sebastian Bach. The baroque period saw the development of functional tonality.During the period, composers and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation; made changes in musical notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music expanded the size, range and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established opera as a musical genre. Many musical terms and concepts from this era are still in use today.

You are listening to one of those composers, Antonio Vivaldi, Opus 3-8, performed by the Milan Baroque Soloists.