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THE CLASSICAL PERIOD

Original in Spanish by PAOLA OLIVA CASTRO


Translation by CRISTINA MARTÍNEZ PECES
CHRONOLOGY
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
• The Classical period in music begins with the
death of J. S. Bach in 1750 and ends in 1827,
approximately, with the death of Beethoven.
• In music, this era is understood as the time of
Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. It coincides
with the so-called Neo-Classicism in the other
arts.
• A great cultural movement, the Enlightenment,
promotes the ideal of equality and prosperity for
everyone through education.
SOCIETY
• Absolute monarchy is giving way to
Enlightened Despotism ("Everything for the
people but without the people").
• There is a process of popularization of art
and education. Naturally, this amateur
audience demands and buys an easy to
understand and play music.
• REASON is the tool that will change the
world, and will guide humanity.
• The break with the Old Regime comes with
the French Revolution (1789).
ART
Classicism (Neo-Classicism in the other
arts) is balance, moderation and
serenity.

• Architecture returns to the


straight line and gives up
unnecessary adornments.
• In sculpture, they look for models
of the classical antiquity.
• In painting, sculptural models
predominate, and drawing is more
important than color.
DISCOVER HOW IT SOUNDS
a) The melodies are not as ornamented as in the Baroque.
They are based on simplicity, elegance and clarity and
structured in symmetrical phrases, organized into two
parts (question and answer). They are usually easy to
remember.
b) The gradual dynamic appears, with many crescendos
and diminuendos which are combined with sudden
changes.
c) The rhythm is regular, but not mechanic, looking for
making easier the musical phrasing.
d) The predominant textures are homorhythmic and
melody with accompaniment.
INSTRUMENTS

• Instrumental music becomes more and more


important.
• As the figured bass disappears, the harpsichord
is abandoned. A new key instrument that will
become very important, comes up: the piano.
• Another new instrument comes into fashion: the
clarinet.
• The french horn now takes on more
importance.
THE CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA

• There is an enlargement in the


orchestra, especially in the strings
family, which is composed of the
same instruments, but increases
their number.

• Compared to a current orchestra,


the classical orchestra would have
half the components, but for that
time, was awesome.
Vocal Music
SERIOUS

VOCAL PROFANE
CLASSICAL
MUSIC OPERA

BUFFA
RELIGIOUS

MASS
REQUIEM
ORATORIO
COMPARISON between BAROQUE
and CLASSICAL OPERA

Baroque Opera Classical Opera

• Solemnity. • Sense of humor.


• Musical virtuosity. • Musical and scenical
• Boring plots. simplicity.
• Stereotyped characters. • Entertaining plots.
• Intended for the • Close and believable
aristocracy and nobility characters.
• Intended for the bourgeois
audience.
Instrumental Music
SONATA

For 1 to 3 instruments For an orchestra For soloist and orchestra For 4 instruments
SONATA SYMPHONY CONCERTO QUARTET

The sonata is a form that appears in the classical period and has 3 parts:
Exposition - Development - Recapitulation and 2 themes, A and B. These
2 themes in the Exposition "are presented", in the Development "are
varied", and in the Recapitulation "say goodbye".
COMPOSERS

Haydn Mozart Beethoven


-41 symphonies -9 symphonies
-104 symphonies
-18 piano sonatas -32 piano sonatas
-60 piano sonatas
- Some String quartets - Some String quartets
-68 string quartets -21 piano concertos -5 piano concertos
- Some masses and - Some masses and religious - Some masses and religious
oratories music music
-25 operas (10 lost ) -20 operas -1 opera : “Fidelio”

The contents in this presentation have only a
didactic nature.

The images have been obtained using the
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If you have any problem with the copyright of the
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they will be deleted.

Of course, this presentation can be used by any
intererested person, provided that it will be with
pedagogical purposes.

Cristina Martínez Peces


Music teacher in IES Rafael Alberti,
Cádiz, Spain