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The Classical Era of Music: An in-depth Analysis

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Nicholas Curtis

on 2 September 2013

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Transcript of The Classical Era of Music: An in-depth Analysis

Transition from Baroque to Classical
The Classical Era of Music: 1750-1820
The Baroque Era of music was rejected by many composers because they preferred the stylistic qualities of the Enlightenment, which were considered more "natural". Additionally, the Baroque Era's styles were too complex and too formal for the composers of the Classical Era.
Stylistic Qualities
Historical Connection and its Influence
Famous Composers of the Era
Transition from Classical to Romantic
The Classical Era was not rejected like the Baroque Era was. Composers gradually became more confident during the Classical Era, which led to them to explore, expand, and develop the forms, ensembles, and melodic and harmonic vocabulary of Classical music.
The earliest type
of piano. Hammers
strings, unlike the
which plucked
This allowed
music to be
played loud
(forte) or
soft (piano).
Sonata Form:
Classical Forms
A form of a movement consisting of three sections, the exposition, development, and recapitulation, often followed by a coda.
-Standard symphony has
have several forms.
for a dance. The outer two
a slow piece and one based
-Inner two pieces include
four movements
-Soloist playing with an orchestra.
-Typically three movements; slow
inner movement and two fast outer
Also referred to as the "first-movement form," because it is often used as the first movement of multi-movement works.
-Dominated by homophony (single
melodic line and an accompaniment).
-Rise in dominance of instrumental
-Large increase in community concert
-Music had greater stress on clarity and
instrumental color.
-Emotional restraint
-Clear and precise formal structure
-Simplicity (in comparison to Baroque music)
-Music was tonal (in major or minor keys)
How classical music stylistically differs from...
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Franz Joseph Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Born: December 16th, 1770 in Bonn, Germany.
Died: March 26th, 1827 in Vienna, Austria.
Childhood was very difficult and filled with many struggles.
Many of his compositions portray these and other later struggles.
3 career phases:
Stage 1: Composed First and Second Symphonies, Opus 18, six string quartets, and 15 of 32 piano sonatas.
Stage 2: His most expressive stage, in which he composed his famous Third Symphony (also known as Eroica).
Stage 3: His most creative stage, in which he broke the traditional forms of classical music.
Due to his work during the third stage of his career, he is considered the composer who transitioned music from classical style to romantic style.
Beethoven is the first composer who was appreciated for his work during his lifetime.
Complex polyphony
Tonal harmony
Major and minor used in chord progressions
Rise in the bass line
Fast then slow then Dance-like then fast movements
Contrasting themes
Followed styles of the Enlightenment
Beethoven's Third Symphony
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Haydn's Trumpet Concerto
Complex polyphony(one or more melody is playing at the same time)
The highest line (melody) and the lowest line(bass line were most important)
Born: 1732 in Rohrau, Austria.
Died: 1809 in Vienna, Austria.
Haydn began his music career as a choir boy in Vienna.
His first patron was Count Furnberg, and while working with him, he wrote his first 18 quartets.
Later on, he directed for Count Morzin and composed his Symphony No. 1.
He would later write over 100 more.
During the 30 years in which he spent with the family of Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy, he composed:
5 masses
40 string quartets
60 symphonies
30 clavier pieces
105 cello trios
The Morzin palace in Dolní Lukavice
Forms, melodies, and harmonies were most important in Romantic Era.
Kept most of the same rules from the Classical Era.
Haydn's Symphony No. 1
In the Romantic Era, composers kept most of the same "rules" from the Classical Era. The only difference is that they just put more emphasis on some rules than others.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Born: January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria.
Died: December 5, 1791 in Vienna, Austria.
Considered one of the most talented, yet most tormented, composers.
Composed several famous works, including:
The Marriage of Figaro
Don Giovanni
Cosi Fan Tutte
The Magic Flute
Requiem Mass
Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1
Mozart's The Magic Flute
The Enlightenment
The general ideal behind the Enlightenment is that through reason and logic, man can accomplish anything.
With the focus shifting from the church to the individual, the mindsets of composers also changed.
Composers made sure that their music was more simplistic and that it met the individual on their level. They did not feel as if the listener should have to make a great effort to understand their music.
The Revolutions: American, French, and Industrial
These three revolutions not only advocated common sense, but feeling of individual freedom.
As a result, the concept that the nobility equated to the almighty was opposed. Music was no longer composed in their interest; rather, it was done so based on the ideas and feelings of the people
The aforementioned ideals tied in with those of the Enlightenment and further aided composers and their efforts to produce crowd-pleasing music.
Classical music was characterized by a single melodic line, as opposed to the multiple melodic lines seen in Baroque music.
The three most common classical forms are sonata, symphony, and concerto.
Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are the most famous composers of the Classical Era of music.
The American, French, and Industrial Revolutions, in combination with The Enlightenment, greatly impacted Classical music.
The transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic Era of music was largely a shift in the rules from the Classical Era that were considered the most important.
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