The Baroque period in music history encompasses approximately 150 years, from the end of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th century.The bass line with its harmonic connotations is fundamentally important in the music of this period. It is assigned to the continua instruments. The basso continua (thorough bass, foundation) is played by at least one instrument which fills in the harmonies (e.g. the harpsichord, the organ or a lute instrument) and by a melody instrument (e.g. the viola da gamba, the violoncello or the bassoon) which plays the bass line.The basso continua provides the basis not only for vocal and instrumental music written for a small number of voices (chamber cantatas, lieder, church and chamber sonatas, some dance arrangements, suites and variations) but also for larger groups (cantatas, passions, masses, motets, concertos, concerti grossi, overtures and orchestral suites).The instruments of the Basel collection are, for the most part, from Germany and date from the first half of the 18th century. Such instruments figure prominently in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), George Frideric Handel (1685 -1759) and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767).