Classical Music


Meaning

In the field of music, and more specifically, in that of Western music, the word "classicism" has three main meanings:

  1. Classical music "in the broadest sense": in this first sense, classicism refers to Western music composed from the late Middle Ages to the present day - as opposed to traditional and popular music. It is then referred to as classical music.
  2. Music of the classical period: in a narrower sense, classicism refers to a specific period of Western art music, namely the second half of the 18th century. This is known as the classical period. It begins with the death of Bach (1750) and ends with the death of Beethoven (1827). Beethoven, however, is a pre-romantic and can even be considered the father of Romanticism, the transition between Classicism and Romanticism.
  3. The term 'classicism' applies to works with an established reputation and implies the notion of a model of excellence. Here we are talking about music from the classical period (i.e. the 2nd point).

Characteristics

The Classical period is marked by philosophical rationalism in which the aesthetic ideal is a search for balance. Clarity, rationality, sobriety, simplicity and coherence are the key words. Classicism is also characterised by a mastery of expression and a harmonic ideal of order, naturalness and symmetry. Public concerts appeared. There is great admiration for the Ancients (Greeks and Romans). Finally, the search for verisimilitude was an important concept in classical music.

The Viennese Classical style covers the years 1775-1825. The preceding period (1725-1775), a transition from Baroque to Viennese Classicism (the city of Vienna in Austria was the basis for the development of the Classical style), is called the 'Gallant style'.

Instrumental Genres

The main instrumental genres of Classical music are:

  • Symphony
  • String quartet
  • Sonata (mainly for piano)
  • Concerto for soloist
  • Opera

Musical Forms

The main musical forms of Classical music are:

  • Sonata
  • Minuet
  • Rondo
  • Lied
  • Theme and variation
Manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28 by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Representative Composers

Some of the most notable composers of classical music are Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Together, these three composers of the Classical period in late-18th-century are referred to as the First Viennese School.

Portrait painting of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy in 1792.
Portrait painting of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy in 1792.
Portrait painting of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler in 1820.
Portrait painting of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler in 1820.
Posthumous painting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Barbara Krafft in 1819.
Posthumous painting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Barbara Krafft in 1819.

Other notable composers of the Classical period include:


  • Franz Schubert;
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach;
  • Johann Christian Bach;
  • Luigi Boccherini;
  • Domenico Cimarosa;
  • Joseph Martin Kraus;
  • Muzio Clementi;
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck;
  • Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf;
  • André Grétry;
  • Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny;
  • Leopold Mozart;
  • Michael Haydn;
  • Giovanni Paisiello;
  • Johann Baptist Wanhal;
  • François-André Danican Philidor;
  • Niccolò Piccinni;
  • Antonio Salieri;
  • Georg Christoph Wagenseil;
  • Georg Matthias Monn;
  • Johann Georg Albrechtsberger;
  • Mauro Giuliani;
  • Christian Cannabich;
  • Chevalier de Saint-Georges;


Media

Visit our media section for a complete overview.



Keywords

Andrea Palladio
Baroque
Classical Antiquity
Classical Period
Classicism
Dutch Classicism
Klassizismus
Literary Classicism
Neo-Classicism
Palladianism
Renaissance

Cite

DeepDove: Style Network (2021-09-21). Classicism | Classical Music. Retrieved , from

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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.