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Classical music (1400-2000)

Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th century classical music

Tim Bradshaw

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Classical music (1400-2000)

Renaissance music is that written in Europe between the 1400s and 1600s. Great influence came from Early Modern period developments: the recovery of art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, humanistic philosophy, innovation, discovery, trade, the rise of the bourgeois class and the development of printing. Music education was mainly gotten through churches and cathedrals, however, it became increasingly for personal expression.

Main characteristics: based on
, rich texture over 4/5 parts, blending opposed to contrasting sections / harmonic progression,
. Until the Renaissance the 3rd had been considered
so were used extensively.
William Byrd (1540-1623) - "Agnus Dei"
Consort - Instruments of the same family
Prelude - a short introductory piece (usually on the lute)
Tocatta - virtuoso piece on piano or plucked instrument
Choral - motets / chansons / masses
Homophonic - moving in chords
Polyphonic - parts move independently
Girolamo Diruta - 'Tocatta del XI et XII Tono'
Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina (1525-1594) - 'O Magnum Mysterium'
Claudio Monteverdi - 'L'Orfeo' (1607)
Marks the move from Renaissance to Baroque
The Baroque period falls between 1600 and 1750 producing many famous composers: Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, Rameau... It's most noticeable characteristics are the long flowing melodies with decorative
, loud and soft contrasts, use of harpsichord (
Basso Continuo
) and
melodies. Orchestral pieces either fall under Concertos or Suites:

A Concerto is a large-scale composition for an orchestra and soloist(s). There are two types:
Grosso Concerto
which is a group of soloists ('concertino') and a larger ensemble ('ripieno')
[see Bach's Brandenburg]
Solo Concerto
[see Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the violin solo]
. Concertos usually come in three sections: fast, slow, fast.

A suite is a collection of dances, mostly in
binary form
, starting with an overture (opening) followed by a combination of:

Allemande: first dance of an instrumental suite, moderate tempo
Courante: lively, moderate speed, in 3
Gavotte: in 2 or 4, always starts on beat 3 at a moderate tempo
Minuet: best-known, moderate speed, in 3/4
Gigue (lively, compound time - 6, 9 or 12 - see Bach's No. 3 Gigue)
Sarabande: one of the slowst dances, in 3, with emphasis on 2nd beat
(Folk music) Cambiate - 'Courante Pavanede'
Jean-Philip Rameau
'Hippolyte et Aricie'
Georg Friedrich Händel
'Suite No. 4 in D minor - Sarabande'
The Classical Era is noted as being from 1750-1820), the cultural move towards new forms of architecture, literature and art referred to as 'classicism'. Best-known composers from the era include Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. It is much clearer than Baroque music, characterized by its much larger use of dynamics, the strings usually playing the melody, mainly being homophonic, brass are limited due to lack of valves and melodic phrases tend to be long, clear and balanced. A variety of keys, changes of mood and timbre were more common than in Baroque too.

The main formats were:

Sonata (1st: Allegro, 2nd: Slow/Adagio, 3rd, Minuet Trio/Scherzo, 4th: Allegro)
String quartet (2 violins, viola, cello)
Symphony (1st: opening sonata/allegro, 2nd: slow/adagio, 3rd: minuet with trio, 4th: an allegro/rondo/sonata)
Serenade (calm, light piece in someone's honor)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D - Gigue
Antonio Vivaldi
'The Four Seasons - Autumn'
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, Movement 1
Larghissimo — very, very slow (20 bpm and below)
Grave — slow and solemn (20–40 bpm)
Lento — slowly (40–60 bpm)
Largo — broadly (40–60 bpm)
Larghetto — rather broadly (60–66 bpm)
Adagio — slow and stately (66–76 bpm)
Adagietto — rather slow (70–80 bpm)
Andante moderato — a bit slower than andante
Andante — at a walking pace (76–108 bpm)
Andantino – slightly faster than andante
Marcia moderato - moderate, march-like
Moderato — moderately (108–120 bpm)
Allegretto — moderately fast (but less so than allegro)
Allegro moderato — moderately quick (112–124 bpm)
Allegro — fast, quickly and bright (120–168 bpm)
Vivace — lively and fast (≈140 bpm) (quicker than allegro)
Vivacissimo — very fast and lively
Allegrissimo — very fast
Presto — very fast (168–200 bpm)
Prestissimo — extremely fast (more than 200bpm)
Despite the simplicity of the style, the orchestra became much bigger: strings (violins, violas, cellos, double bass), woodwind (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons), Brass (2 French horns, 2 trumpets), Percussion (timpani). The piano replaced the harpsichord too (often heard playing
Alberti Bass
'Sonata form' has three sections: exposition, where the main two melodies are exposed (the first being in the tonic key, the second in another, usually dominant or the relative minor), development (including modulation) and recapitulation (recapped in shorter form)
“The big difference between the three is the amount of people performing them. A sonata is written for one or two instruments, the concerto for a soloist/s with an orchestra and a symphony is for the entire orchestra.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto No. 21 - Andante
Frederice Chopin
Prelude No. 15 in D flat major Op. 28
Industrial Revolution (1750-1850)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 40 - 1st Movement
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67
Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 45 - 1. Allegro
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Romeo and Juliet Overture
Pietro Mascagni
Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo
The Romantic period is classed as having been between 1815 and 1910. It signifies movement towards more story like music in which a sense of fantasy, imagination or adventure are of importance. Characteristics include use of modulation, further harmonic exploration, use of chromatics, larger range of dynamics, the introduction of valves to the brass section, greater technical vurtuosity, lacking strict pulse (rubato), larger orchestra, larger texture and a wider range of the types of pieces (long, short, solo, tutti). The piccolo, cor anglais, bass clarinet and double bassoon were added as was a larger variety of percussion. With such a larger pallet to work with this aided in the ability to form the range of expression found in the Romantic period.
Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 3 in D minor
I. Kräftig, entschieden
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Swan Lake Ballet, op. 20
No. 1 Scène: Allegro giusto +
No. 2 Waltz: Tempo di valse
Igor Stravinsky
Le Sacre du Printemps (Ballet)
Claude Debussy
'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune'
By the turn of the 20th century, influence was that of late-Romanticism but more so with the mentality of experimentalism. Arnold Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, dissonance was encouraged (especially by the Expressionism movement) as was atonality and pieces were generally more schizophrenic (large dynamic, tonal and textural changes). At the same time as Expressionism, Minimalism was also being developed (c. 1960), with quite an opposite basis, based on layers of ostinato, gradual change with interlocking parts, diatonic opposed to chromatic and with a general overriding pulse in which rhythmic displacement and canon extended from.
Arnold Schoenberg
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint
I. Fast
John Adams
'Short Ride in a Fast Machine'

Left 410AD
Anglo-Saxons and Norse (410AD-1066) (Catholic)
Normans (1066-1216) (Catholic)
Plantagenets (1216-1485) (Catholic)
Tudor (1485-1603) (Catholic / Protestant)
Stuarts (1603-1714) (Protestant)
Hanover (1714-1901) (Protestant)
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Windsor) (1901-Present) (Protestant)

Dark Ages:



Charles I (1625-1949) King of England. English Civil War, lost, Charles II went in to excile, Oliver Cromwell takes over as Lord Protector. 1649-1660 England was Puritan (Fun = Misery in Afterlife). Music banned. Cromwell dies, son is inadequate so given the boot! Republic ends and the 'Restoration' begins wit Charles II - Party Time!
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