2 The Classical PeriodCommonly, all Art music is called “Classical Music,” but properly speaking, the period of Classical music took place:J. S. Bach died in 1750Beethoven died in 1827After the Baroque period… Before the Romantic Period.
3 The Age of ReasonThe Classical period coincided with the 18th Century “Enlightenment” or “Age of Reason.”The Enlightenment was a cultural movement that believed that the power of reason and the goodness of the common man could solve mankind’s problems.Intellectual leaders: Voltaire, Rousseau, MontesquieuThey believed that governments had the responsibility to ensure the quality of life and happiness for all its citizens.They strongly opposed tyranny and intolerance from the Church and state.
4 The Industrial Revolution The Classical period also coincided with the Industrial Revolution ( )The Industrial Revolution was a shift from direct manpower to using machines, tools, coal and steam power to increase productivity.Changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation profoundly affected the social conditions of the time by increasing the supply of food and goods to the middle class and raising their standard of living.This empowered the middle class to participate more in the economy and social/political scene.
5 Age of RevolutionsWith new ideas of the rights of man and self-government, the “old regimes” were overthrown in favor of new democratic governments that favored social justice and the pursuit of happiness for all.American Revolution 1776French RevolutionNapoleonic WarsLes Misèrables: How do you remove the social injustices that keep whole classes of people poor, ignorant, and miserable?
6 Changes in MusicThe 18th century focus on reason and the common man profoundly changed music.The stylized and emotionally-charged Baroque music became the calmer, simpler, restrained Classical music.Music, like all of the arts, tried to emulate the art of ancient Greece and Rome in its balanced structure, clarity, and universality.The result was music that anyone could understand and appreciate, that promoted calm and rational thought.
7 Shift in Musical Textures The complex counterpoint and polyphony of the Baroque was abandoned for simpler homophony: just one melody and accompaniment.Review:Polyphony: Multiple simultaneous melodies weaving together in counterpoint.Homophony: One melody part with the rest playing background accompaniment parts.PolyphonyHomophony
8 Changes in ExpressionDuring this time, more refined and controlled emotions were valued in music.Songs no longer had to be locked into only one powerful “affect,” but were allowed to be subtle and change during the course of a song.Gradual shifts in dynamics and tempo:Crescendo (cresc.) or : gradually get louderDiminuendo (dim.) or : gradually get softerAccelerando (accel.): gradually get fasterRitardando (rit.): gradually get slower.
9 Music for the MassesMusic was still being written for church and nobility, but more and more the rising middle class became new consumers.Composers began to frequently give public concerts, produce operas and publish music geared towards the new middle class.
10 Classical ComposersPopular early Classical composers included Gluck, Boccherini, and three of Bach’s sons: C.P.E Bach., W.F Bach, J.C. Bach (the London Bach).Later Classical powerhouses were:Franz Joseph HaydnWolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van BeethovenFranz SchubertEach of these four influential composers lived in Vienna, Austria, which became the new center of Classical music in the world.