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Classical Period and Romantic Period - Research Paper Example

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In this essay a discussion of the various aspects of classical period, a brief comparison with the Baroque era, as well as the contribution of popular composers of this time will be done. …
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Classical Period and Romantic Period
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Classical Period and Romantic Period

When we talk about classical music it is important to know that the term is applicable to music that was composed in a particular style from the 1740s to 1820. The composition of music during these years comprised of a distinct sense of proportion. Initially it was somewhat difficult for listeners to derive pleasure and enjoyment from, however after a certain time the music began to dominate their music preferences. Initially the perception modern listeners have of the classical era is that it was either too serious or plain music; however to the listeners in that era, the music was unique and very different from that of the Baroque era. The key distinction between classical era and that of the Baroque era was that the classical music had more variety when it came to divergent rhythms throughout a piece. Melodies which were introduced in the classical era were a lot more balanced, easier to sing and to remember. It was in this era that numerous nursery songs were written. It was in the classical era that the social function of music started to evolve from that of its prior aristocratic and religious affiliations towards the public and secular sphere with its middle class connections. The gradual increase in public concerts, the growth of commercial opera houses, the increase of publishing of music, and the increase in the number of musical pieces that were composed as well as played were all implications of the change in musical times. Form was of critical importance to the composers of the classical era, and this period had a lasting effect as far as form is concerned, especially when it came to the various instrumental music forms. Previously composers had already begun to pay special attention to the various musical instruments and their capabilities. Hence the move to writing not just solo music for one specific instrument, but focusing on music which had mixed ensembles with a variety of instruments. The modern orchestra was of key importance here. It was in the classical era that the common instruments like the toccata, concerto grosso, and fugue became replaced by forms which had matured as a result of the classical period. This is where the roots of the sonata, concerto and symphony can be traced. Even though each of these forms had significant precursors prior to the classical era, but it is this version of the form that came to become the most influential through the course of the other following eras, the romantic and modern era, and even today it is still highly recognized by a multitude of art music audience and performers (Jones, 2006). Among the many kinds of music of this period, the classical era is well known for symphonies, which is a type of a large orchestral ensemble. These pieces of symphonies primarily had three movements; the first of these was the sonata, followed by the minuet, and the finale. Taking inspirations from earlier composers, Haydn and Mozart took symphonies to their peak in the late 18th century. While Haydn concentrated on achieving rhythmic excellence and the composition of theme based music Mozart contributed to the symphonies by a contrast of memorable lyric themes which made use of a full sounding orchestral settings (Roger, 2008). To cater to the middle-class, classic composers came up with a ton on new chamber music which made use of a magnitude of combinations. The piano sonata became one of the important forms of chamber music. This was mainly after the refinement it received at the hands of composers like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The string quartet played an ... Read More
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