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History of Music

Brief history of Baroque, Classical and romantic to introduce them to the FHSA students

Matthew Robinson

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of History of Music

The History of Music
from 1600 to 1910.

Famous Baroque Composers
The Classical Period
The Baroque period of music was between 1600 and 1750. Music of this time was very flamboyant, like the fashions and the architecture.
The most famous composers of this time include JS Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. Bach in particular was very interested in texture and developing melodies using techniques such as the fugue and the canon.
The harpsichord was replaced by the piano allowing more use of dynamics and expression. The orchestra was also much larger in size, incorporating the woodwind section and brass sections as 2 separate entities.
The music of this era echoed the trend for all things flamboyant and decorative. The music was full of elaborate trills and turns. The texture was very polyphonic, with lots of repetition. Canons, fugues and the use of sequences, imitation and contrapuntal devices helped the composers to develop, elaborate pieces which showed off great attention to detail.
Contrasting dynamics
Polyphonic texture
Lots of decoration
Mostly string instruments
Harpsichords and Organ
Music played in concert halls
The Classical period of music was between 1750 and 1820. Music of this time was in complete contrast to the Baroque period and became much more simple and 'classic'.
The sound of the Classical Period is much lighter and clearer in texture than the Baroque. The parts are less complicated, less contrapuntal (Melody and harmony lines which weave in and out of each other) and more homophonic (melody line with choral accompaniment). There is an emphasis on grace and beauty of melody and form. Everything is much simpler and balanced.
More subtle use of dynamics
Homophonic texture
Simple melody lines
Brass and woodwind now seperate sections
Piano replaced the harpsichord.
The Romantic period of music was between 1820 and 1920. Music of this time was all about story telling and creating atmosphere and imagery. It was called Programme Music
The sound of the Romantic Period is much more descriptive. The melodies are punctuated by emotion created by a more imaginative use of articulation, dynamics, tonality and texture. Motives were used to portray characters and expressed in a variety of ways in order to tell a story. There is an emphasis on exploration and innovation of new musical ideas. The industrial revolution helped develop a number of new instruments during this time which meant the Romantic Orchestra was much bigger and diverse than ever before.
The Romantic Period
Composers such as Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky wrote works called Symphonic Poems ( or tone poems) they told stories and created imagery in the mind of the listener, rather than being simply pleasant to listen to.
Intricate melodies developed to create atmosphere
Very descriptive
Huge use of dynamics and articulation
Much bigger orchestra now includes many new brass and woodwind instruments.
J.S. Bach
Chopin-Prelude in E Minor
Full transcript