Around the mid-1700s,the Baroque style of music began to seem old-fashioned. There was a growing interest in music due to the growth ofthe European middle class. Many people began to prefer a style of music that was more balanced, and this led to the classical style of music. The style was given its name because the characteristics that people preferred in music were very similar to those qualities exhibited in the art of ancient Greece and Rome. This style of music was dominant from about 1750 to 1820.
A few musical forms also became popular during this time period including the solo concerto. The solo concerto was a piece of music that was written for an orchestra but featured one specific instrument. It usually had four contrasting movements. The solo concerto was developed and perfected by Franz Haydn. The symphony, as well as the solo concerto, attraced very large audiences to public concerts. Mozart, one of the most famous classical composers, wrote twenty-one piano concertos. Another musical form that was developed in this age was the opera buffa, a comic form of opera.
Famous People: In addition to Haydn and Mozart who were both Austrian, Ludwig van Beethoven of Germany was one of the greatest composers of the classical period. Beethoven was born in 1770 into a world that was changing rapidly. During his lifetime, there was a new interest in the heroic figure and it is, therefore, not surprising that the only opera that Beehoven wrote was about heroism and the fight for freedom. His other works also dealt with nonmusical ideas such as a glorification of the ideal of human brotherhood (his ninth symphony). Beethoven concentrated on piano sonatas, string quartets, and symphonies.
Top Music Styles | Music Theory | Music History | Musical Instruments | Music Professions | Music Links | Music Games | Glossary | Guestbook | Message Board | Search Music Notes | Meet the Treble Rebel Team | Music Notes Home