A Brief History of Classical Music
At present, many people regard classical music as medicine either for a tensed mind or for a depressing soul. Even a prolific composer Johann Sebastian Back said, “Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.”
However, from a technical point of view, classical music refers to musical compositions from a clearly stated period of history. That is the main reason why students face certain difficulties while writing a classical music essay. Since this particular topic has a strong link to history, completing such a challenging college assignment requires thorough research and significant efforts to be taken. However, if the individuals know the boundaries of classical music, they can find music they like without taking any efforts.
Evolution of classical musicOrder now
Music in the Middle Ages (400-1400 A.D.)
In the Middle Ages, music had mainly religious nature. Being chant-like, classical music of this particular period is considered to be monophonic. It is common knowledge that monophonic music does not imply an accompaniment, it consists solely of a melody.
Meditative and relaxing Gregorian Chants are considered to be the most famous illustration of classical music in the Middle Ages.
Music in the Renaissance Period (1400-1600 A.D)
During this time, polyphony became more popular since music was written for a variety of different stringed, percussion, keyboard, and woodwind instruments. The most common stringed musical instruments include the rebec, the viol, the hurdy-gurdy, the guitar, the harp-like lyre, the cittern, the bandora, the lute, and the orpharion. While numerous percussion instruments including the tambourine, the Jew’s harp, the bells, the triangle, and different kinds of drums, the keyboard musical tools involved harpsichord and virginals. Finally, a list of woodwind instruments included the reed pipe, the bagpipe, the double reed showed, the transverse fleet, the dulcian, the recorder, and the crumhorn. In general, during the period of Renaissance, music was written for accompaniment to entertain the representatives of nobility at the ballroom dances.
Baroque Music (Sometimes Rococo) (1600-1750 A.D)
During a given historical period, music had a specific aristocratic context being considered important in courts and palaces. In the 1600s, the concepts of the sonata, concerto, and symphony emerged. One of the brightest examples of Baroque’s concerto is considered to be Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons.’
The Classical Period
During this period, the position of classical music in the current society changed dramatically. First of all, the general population began to pay for attending the concerts of classical music. Hence, since the composers did not have to entertain the nobility anymore, they had a chance to write their unique compositions in a way they wanted.
A balance was the cornerstone of Classical music composition. As a result, the gaudy and overly ornate style was left in the Baroque age. Such dramatic changed could be noticed when we pay attention to the titles of the classical music pieces. The composers did not use various flowery titles like, for instance, ‘The Four Seasons.’ In turn, the compositions appeared during that period were titled as “Piano Concerto No. 3.”, “Piano Concerto No. 9.”, and the others.
The Romantic Period
The Romantic Period in the history of Classical music can be characterized by complex rhythms, rich textures, use of syncopation, full chords, and chromatic harmony.
What is more, during this time, the piano gained great importance. As the researchers say, “it was the subject of much of the compositions of this period, including nocturnes, impromptus and, etudes.”
21st Century-classical period of music
Classical music of the 21st century is nothing but a genuine masterpiece since it does not have any limitations. The only limitation was the composers’ own imagination. The harmony of classical music of a given historical period can be characterized by “increased dissonance and use of chromatic, pentatonic and modal scales.”
The important thing to be mentioned is the fact that classical music of the 21st century tends to be polyrhythmic, unpredictable and atonable. What is more, the examples of classical music compositions tend to have a vague melody as well as a strong sense of dissonance.
“I loved ‘Fantasia’ as a kid because it filled me with wonder, enchantment, and awe. It was my first real introduction to classical music.’
“I used to like to set different film clips to classical music, not even my own songs and conclusion, but make little movies.”
– Lana Del Rey
“What is classical music if not the epitome of sensuality, passion, and understated erotica that popular music, even with all of its energy and life, cannot even begin to touch?”
– Lara St. John
“I think a life in music is a persuasive life beautifully spent, and this is what I have devoted my life to.”
– Luciano Pavarotti