Spanning more than seventy years, the Classical Era introduced some of the greatest classical music composers of all time. From 1750 to 1820, these composers become prodigies in their own right and continue to have a huge following in modern times. Classical musicians, such as Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Franz Joseph Haydn, composed some of the world’s most well-known songs. Stunning in their orchestration, these songs have stood the test of time. Music has been a vital part of human society since the beginning of time. What we now call classical music has greatly evolved over centuries.
The term ‘classic music’ refers to a western tradition that spans as far back as 1100 to present day. Classical music is considered a form of art, distinct from the ceremonial, military, and folk music of previous eras and the jazz, rock, and pop of our own. While classical music has changed over time, it can generally be divided into six main periods of time: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. Each of these important eras helped to shape the art and music of modern times.
The roots of Western classical music are thought to lie in early liturgical Christian music. Its influences also date back to Ancient Greece as developments of individual tones and scales were done by Pythagoras and Aristoxenus. Ancient Greek instruments, such as the aulos and the lyre, eventually led to modern instruments of the classical orchestra. Proceeding the early period was an era of ancient music that lasted until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. Little music from that period survived.
Today, the compositions from many European composers, such as Richard Strauss and Bach Via Handel, are played all over the world. The term “classical music” no longer applies only to the Vienna classical school of Haydn and Mozart, but also to Late Romantic, Romantic, and Baroque music. During the heyday of 17th century rationalism, European music was rationalistic, but later became romantic, enlightened, idealistic, and modern. Alongside the growth of Europe, music helped to initiate many a movement.
Classical music has survived century after century due to its versatility and adaptability. Music during the classical period held simple titles, such as “Symphony No. 1” and allowed the music to paint a picture on its own. Classical works were referred to as absolute music and were performed in recital halls or concerts. Classic composers, such as Richard Wagner, Igor Stravinsky, and Giuseppe Verdi, became known by people all over the world. In Europe, Vienna had become the music center and many serious composers spent much of their life there.
Many influential classical music composers changed the course of history with their musical masterpieces. Notable classical composers, such as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, went on to become one of the finest orchestrators and melody writers of all time. With inspiration from prestigious composers like Mozart, Tchaikovsky wrote the world-famous: “Sleeping Beauty,” “Nutcracker,” and “Swan Lake.” He wasn’t the only composer of his time to change the course of music. The following classical composers remain well-publicized due to their contributions to music.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Johann Sebastian Bach
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
George Frideric Handel