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The Classical Era

The Classical Era

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The Classical Era

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  1. The Classical Era 1750-1825

  2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Rousseau was very critical of Baroque Opera. He claimed the storyline was too complicated. • He wanted real stories about real people. • Praised Pergolesi for his opera La Serva padrona (The Maid as Mistress) 1733-about a servant girl who tricks a rich old man to marry her.

  3. Inventions of Note • Music boxes become popular • The Novel as we know it today becomes popular. • The symphony becomes an often written for style of music • Composers start writing “Divertimentos”(which are pieces designed to divert, amuse, and entertain).

  4. Comic Opera • It is because of Rousseau, Pergolesi, and Mozart that comic opera becomes popular. • Mozart writes Don Giovanni-Don Juan Giovanni is a ladies man with a catalog of conquests numbering about 2,065 and he is looking for more. He invites death (in the form of a statue) to join him for a feast where he becomes consumed by the fires of hell.

  5. Famous Novels • Jane Austin writes “Pride and Prejudice” • Henry Fielding writes “Tom Jones”

  6. Neoclassicism • Neoclassicism is the return to what is simple. People of the sub-group of the classical period reject the complex art and entertainment from the Baroque and Rococo periods for what they considered to be natural and simple art forms.

  7. Public Concerts • Public concerts began to grow in number. • 1748 Europe’s first concert hall is built in Oxford holding 150 people. • Because of the rise in concert halls, Orchestral music starts to move to the forefront. In the past there was not a venue for it so it has not been as prominent. • Mozart wrote most of his piano concertos to be performed in these new halls.

  8. Features of Classical Music • The goal of classical music was to be natural and have enough variety to keep from being bored. It becomes less predictable. • Tempo and meter remain constant throughout pieces but the rhythms change between themes. • Composers began to call for many different levels of dynamics rather than either being just loud, or just soft. They would also change during a piece or movement over a couple of measures. They were not instant changes like before.

  9. The Orchestra • With the classical period the Orchestra became standardized.

  10. Melody…. • The melody in the Baroque period was too complex. The people called for simple tunes that were clear and easily identified. • Compositions were written using homophony. (Melody with supporting harmony)