The Classical Period

The term 'classical' is often loosely applied to all orchestral music. The orchestra became respected as a stand-alone ensemble, though most no longer included a harpsichord. The lead violinist (concertmaster) often led the orchestra. Opera continued to develop, with regional styles developing in centers of musical development, including Italy, France, and Germany.


BUILDING UPON THE PAST

The classical period is often referred to as the "golden age of music", because many of the major composition forms were developed during this period. Many compositions included multiple sections that were different in tempo and style, as opposed to the smooth transitions in Baroque music.

QUESTION #1: Which type of opera became popular during the Classical period?

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COMPOSERS DURING THE CLASSICAL PERIOD

Several of the most recognizable names in musical history came from the Classical period. Joseph Haydn composed hundreds of symphonies. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote in many forms, including the opera 'The Marriage of Figaro". Ludwig van Beethoven was crucial in the transition into the romantic period, composing many of his great works after becoming deaf.

QUESTION #2: Which of Beethoven's works featured a chorus singing the tune known as 'Ode to Joy'?

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CLASSICAL PERIOD INSTRUMENTS

Woodwind instruments became more refined in the Classical period. Mozart expanded the role of the clarinet in orchestral music. Most instruments used during this period were invented in previous time periods. The string quartet became a standard ensemble.

QUESTION #3: The string quartet of the classical period was made up of what instruments?

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Cantigas de Santa Maria - Playing Lutes
 

Mozart's
"The Marriage of Figaro"
Act 1

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org


Haydn
"Symphony No. 101"
Second Movement

Audio Credit: Wikimedia

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Beethoven
"Symphony No. 5"
1952 - NBC Orchestra

Video Credit: YouTube
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