The Classical Period in Music Ranged From Approximately 1740 to 1810
Music historians have divided the history of Western classical music into different periods. The dates of these periods are usually given as rough starting and ending points, though there is some overlap at the edges. The Classical period in music ranged from approximately 1740 to 1810.
The Classical Period
The Classical period in music ranged from approximately 1740 to 1810. This period is known as the Golden Age of Viennese Classicism. The following composers were part of this musical period: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
The Baroque Period
The term “Baroque” is derived from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning “misshapen pearl”. The Baroque period in music lasted from approximately 1600 to 1750. It was a time of great creativity, and composers produced a wealth of masterpieces in a wide range of musical genres.
The early years of the Baroque period saw the development of two new musical styles: the concerto and the sonata. These innovative forms quickly became popular, and by the mid-1700s they were firmly established as the two most important types of instrumental music.
The late Baroque period was marked by the rise of opera, a new form of musical theatre that rapidly became enormously popular. Many of the greatest composers of the time, including George Frideric Handel and Antonio Vivaldi, wrote operas that are still performed today.
Instrumental music also continued to flourish in the late Baroque period. The most important form was the concerto, which featured a solo instrument or group of instruments pitted against an orchestra. The best-known composer of concertos was Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote more than 200 concertos for a wide variety of instruments.
The Rococo Period
Rococo, chiefly associated with the 18th century, is a style of art, decoration and architecture that developed in Europe, especially in France, as a reaction against the more formal and geometric approach of the Baroque style. It was characterized by lightness, elegance and an increasing interest in naturalism and exuberance.
The Major Composers of the Classical Period
The Classical period in music ranged from approximately 1740 to 1810. The major composers of the Classical period were Franz Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, in 1685. He was a composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose craftsmanship and musical intellectualism exerted a pivotal influence on the course of Western music. His surviving works, some 1,100 compositions in all including around 850 cantatas, reveal a artist of extraordinary technique and musical imagination. The Well-Tempered Clavier (1722), the Goldberg Variations (1741), the English Suites (1720-23), French Suites (1722-25), Partitas for keyboard (1726), Sonatas for violin and keyboard (1720), The Musical Offering (1747) and the Mass in B Minor (completed in 1748 but not performed until 1859) are only a few examples of his output.
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany, to aBarber-Surgeon and his wife. Self-taught in music, he quickly became a fineOrganist and Harpsichordist. In 1703 he set out for Hamburg, where he tooka job as Violinist and Composer for the Opera house. He stayed there forover a year, gaining invaluable experience. The following year he journeyedto Italy, where he spent three years soaking up the country’s rich musicalculture.
In 1706, he settled in London and quickly became one of the city’s mostsought-after musicians. He composed operas, oratorios, and other vocalworks, as well as instrumental pieces. His most famous works include theMessiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Handel was a gifted and prolific composer who left a lasting mark on thedevelopment of Western music. He died in London in 1759 at the age of 74.
Considered one of the most popular Baroque composers, Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy in 1678. He is best known for his compositions The Four Seasons and Gloria, both of which were written for the violin. Vivaldi’s music is characterized by its melodic lines and use of pizzicato, or plucked strings.
Vivaldi was a talented violinist and began his musical career playing in orchestras in Venice. He later held positions as a maestro di violino at two girl’s schools in the city, where he composed much of his instrumental music. Many of Vivaldi’s compositions were written for specific students at these institutions and show off their individual strengths as performers.
In 1703, Vivaldi was ordained as a priest but continued to compose music throughout his life. He traveled widely, spending time in Vienna, Mantua, and Amsterdam. In 1740, he returned to Venice, where he died three years later.
The Characteristics of Classical Music
The Classical period in music ranged from approximately 1740 to 1810. The music of this period is characterized by its use of a small number of instruments, mostly strings, and by its limited harmony. The music of this period is also characterized by its use of a small number of repeated themes and its use of counterpoint.
The Importance of Melody
Melody is an important aspect of music from the Classical period. A melody is a succession of notes that the listener perceives as a single entity. In music from the Classical period, melodies are often easily discernible, and they play an important role in the overall structure of a piece.
In earlier periods, such as the Baroque, melodies were often obscured by counterpoint, or the intertwining of multiple melodic lines. In contrast, Classical composers frequently wrote melodies that were clearly delineated and uncomplicated. These tunes were usually easy to remember and hum, which made them popular with audiences.
One famous example of a clear and memorable melody from the Classical period is the theme from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor. This melody is four measures long and utilizes only eight different pitches. Despite its simplicity, it is one of the most recognizable tunes in all of Western music.
The Importance of Rhythm
Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.
The Importance of Harmony
Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), usually in a vertical combination. Two or more tones sounding together produce a harmony. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is “the use of simultaneous pitched sounds” (Blades, 2011, p. 8). Classical music uses a lot of harmony because it helps create a sense of order and structure. The harmonies in classical music are often based on the major or minor scales, which gives the music a certain mood or feel.