Classical Music Europe: 1750 CE-1830 CE
What is classical music? Although some people refer to serious music as “classical” it’s really the music of the second half of the 18th century. During this time period, many of the standard forms of music such as symphony, sonata, and concerto were developed. The development can best be seen in the work of Mozart and Beethoven.
Where did classical music begin? • The city of Vienna, Italy was the most important center of classical music. • Most of the famous composers of this period lived or worked there at least for a time.
Forms of classical music Symphony- means “sounding together” in Italian. Describes any kind of music for instruments (not voices). They are meant to be played by orchestras. Concerto- means “playing together” in Italian. Played by single soloist (no longer group of soloists like in Baroque). Sonata- Music for a single keyboard instrument and one other instrument. String Quartet- Group of musicians made up of two violins, a viola and a cello. This was a form of chamber music- music designed to be played at home. (you had to have lots of $ to hear string quartets in the 1800s!)
Famous composers Franz Joseph Haydn Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Franz Schubert Ludwig van Beethoven
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Born in 1756 in Salsburg, Austria. His father was a choir master, a minor composer and teacher. Considered a musical genius. He began playing piano at 4, composing music at 5, and was 6 when he gave his first concert and played for the Emperor, Francis I in Vienna! When he was 9, he wrote his first symphony. Although he died at 35, he wrote over 600 compositions. Fun fact: Many believe he wrote Ah vousdirais-je, Maman (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) hen he was only 4 or 5 years old!
Ludwig van Beethoven Born in Germany in 1770. His father and grandfather were both musicians. He played for Mozart who was very impressed. Was the first composer to make a good living from selling his compositions. Sadly, he became deaf. He still composed music 20 years while being deaf. His two most popular pieces are “Ode to Joy” and “5th Symphony”.