Music-Making in the Classical Era: What You Need to Know

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about music-making in the classical era. This includes the various instruments used, the composers of this time period, and the types of music that were popular. We’ll also be giving you a few tips on how to get started with making classical music yourself.


In the classical era, art music was created for performance in public concert halls and theatres. It was written by professional composers who were trained in the traditions of Western art music. These composers wrote using traditional tonality (the system of major and minor keys that dominated Western music from 1650 to 1900) and formal structures (including sonata form and symphonic form). The music of the classical era is characterized by balance, symmetry, and clarity of form.

The classical era began in 1750 and ended in 1820. The most important composers of the classical era were Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Instruments of the Classical Era

The classical era was a period of music history that spanned from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. The classical era is known for its highly refined and elegant music. The music of the classical era is characterized by its use of beautiful melodies, rich harmonies, and elaborate orchestrations. The instruments of the classical era are some of the most refined and sophisticated instruments in all of music history.

The Piano

While the piano had existed in some form for centuries, it was not until the early 1700s that Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori created the first “fortepiano,” an instrument that could be played with both loud and soft dynamics. The fortepiano quickly gained popularity among other composers and performers of the time.

One of the most important classical composers and pianists was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Born in 1756 in Salzburg, Mozart began performing in public at the age of six and composed his first opera at age twelve. His genius was widely recognized during his lifetime, and he went on to create masterworks in every genre of composition, including symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and opera. Unfortunately, Mozart did not live to see his greatest success—he died at the age of 35, before his masterpiece opera Don Giovanni could premiere.

Today, the piano is one of the most popular instruments in the world and continues to be a staple of classical music repertoire.

The Violin

The violin is a string instrument that has four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is played with a bow and held under the chin. The violin is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the string family, which also includes the viola, cello, and double bass.

The violin first appeared in northern Italy in the 16th century. It was derived from earlier bowed instruments such as the lira da braccio and rabab. These instruments were played with a bow, held under the chin, and had three strings tuned in thirds.

By 1500, some Italian makers were experimenting with violins with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. This configuration became standard, and the instrument has remained largely unchanged since then.

The earliest known maker of violins is Andrea Amati of Cremona, who lived from 1511 to 1577. His instruments were the basis for those made by his sons Antonio and Girolamo Amati, and by Nicolò Amati, who was Andrea’s nephew. These makers are known as the Cremonese school of violin making.

During the 17th century, other schools of violin making emerged in Brescia, Venice, Mantua, Rome, and Naples. The most famous maker of this period was Stradivari of Cremona (1644-1737), whose instruments are highly prized even today.

During the 18th century, makers in Austria and Germany began to produce instruments that were more evenly balanced and had greater tonal resonance than those made by the Italians. The most famous maker from this period was Jakob Stainer (1617-1683) of Absam in Tyrol.

The Flute

The flute is a soprano member of the orchestral woodwind family. It is the oldest and highest-pitched instrument in the family (after the piccolo). The flute is played by blowing across a hole in the mouthpiece, producing a pure and gentle tone.

The classical flute was developed in the early 18th century by a German instrument maker named Johann Georg Tromlitz. Tromlitz’s design was based on that of an earlier flute made by another German named Bartholomeus Bock. Bock’s design, in turn, was based on an even older type of flute called a recorder.

The classical flute has a range of about three octaves, from C4 (middle C) to C7 (high C). It is usually made of wood, although there are also flutes made of metal and plastic. Flutes are often played in pairs, with one player Piccolo and the other Flute.

The Music of the Classical Era

The Classical era was a time of great change in music. New styles and forms were developed, and the level of technical virtuosity increased. If you’re interested in learning about music from this period, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the music of the Classical era and give you a few resources to help you get started.

The Symphony

The Symphony is the most important type of orchestral music from the Classical era. It is usually in four movements, with each movement in a different key. The four movements are:
-fast, in sonata form
-slow, in a theme and variations form
-a minuet and trio
-fast, in rondo form.

A typical Classical symphony would have about 45 to 50 players. The instruments used would be: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.

The Concerto

During the Classical era, the concerto—a work for a solo instrument or instruments and orchestra—became increasingly popular. The first great composer of concerti was Antonio Vivaldi, who wrote hundreds of them. As the name suggests (the Italian word concerto means “agreement” or “unity”), concerti are designed to show off the virtuosity of the soloist(s) while also showcasing the skills of the orchestra.

One of the most important early works in the concerto genre is Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major. This work, composed around 1721, is for violin, harpsichord, and orchestra. It is in three movements: fast-slow-fast. The opening movement features a series of virtuosic solos for the violin that are interrupted by brief tutti (orchestra only) sections. In the second movement, the solo instrument is joined by a second—in this case, a harpsichord—and they share equally in the melodic material. The final movement is a lively dance featuring both soloists and orchestra.

Other important early composers of concerti include Georg Philipp Telemann and Arcangelo Corelli. In the second half of the eighteenth century, as orchestral music became more complex and expressive, so too did the concerto genre. The greatest composer of concerti during this period was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who wrote more than 50 works in this form, including his well-known Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major (K. 218).

The Opera

The opera was a very popular musical form in the Classical Era. The first operas were written in the early 1600s, and they quickly became a favorite form of entertainment for the upper classes. Opera houses were built all over Europe, and composers such as Mozart and Haydn wrote some of their most famous works in this genre.

Opera is a dramatic musical form that tells a story through music. The action is sung instead of spoken, and the music often reflects the emotions of the characters. A typical opera is made up of several different types of musical pieces, including recitative (speech-like singing), arias (solos), duets, trios, choruses, and ensembles.

One of the most famous operas from the Classical Era is Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” This opera tells the story of a young man who trying to keep his fiancée from marrying another man. The music is light and playful, with some beautiful arias and duets.

The Composers of the Classical Era

The Classical era was a time of great change for Western music. The composers of this era were influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment and looked to the past for inspiration. They wrote music that was meant to be enjoyed by everyone, not just the elite. This article will give you a brief overview of the Classical era and its most important composers.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was one of the most prominent composers of the classical era. His output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire and are widely known, popular and invaluable contributions to Western music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer and pianist of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. He remains one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western classical music. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late thirties his hearing began to deteriorate; yet he continued to compose, albeit while deeply unhappy. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing altogether after a series of personal disasters, including the deaths of his brother Kaspar Anton Karl van Beethoven in 1815, nephew Karl van Beethoven in 1819, and brother Johann in 1824. The last decade of his life was spent increasingly in isolation as his condition worsened; during this time he completed some of his most important works, including Missa Solemnis (1823) and Symphony No. 9 (1824), pains that exacerbated conflicts with collaborators and prevented him completing other works such as a 10th Symphony.

Beethoven is regarded as one of history’s greatest composers, and his groundbreaking compositions expanded the boundaries of what was considered possible in music. His work Für Elise became a staple for piano students around the world while Moonlight Sonata inspired classical music fans for generations to come.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685 – July 28, 1750) was a German musician and composer of the Baroque era. He is remembered for his highly inventive works, many of which are still performed today. Bach was an extremely talented keyboardist and organist, and his works reflect his ability to combine different musical styles into a cohesive whole. He is often considered one of the greatest composers of all time.


Classical music is a timeless genre that has been enjoyed by listeners for centuries. Though the music-making process has changed over time, the core principles of the style remain the same. If you’re interested in learning more about classical music, or how to make it yourself, there are plenty of resources available. With a little bit of effort, you can be making beautiful music in no time!

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