Classical music

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String quartet performing for the Mozart Year 2006 in Vienna Altes AKH Vienna June 2006 583 cropped.jpg
String quartet performing for the Mozart Year 2006 in Vienna

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. [1] The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1650 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Contents

Overview

European art music is largely distinguished from many other non-European classical and some popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 11th century. [2] [3] Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. Western staff notation is used by composers to indicate to the performer the pitches and durations for a piece of music. [2] In contrast to most popular styles that adopted the song (strophic) form or a derivation of this form, classical music has been noted for its development of highly sophisticated forms of instrumental music such as the symphony, concerto, fugue, sonata, and mixed vocal and instrumental styles such as opera, cantata, and mass. [4] Alongside traditional musical attributes, Classical music is conscientious about drawing from and re-purposing its formal and social tradition with forms such as the Mass evolving and communicating through over a thousand years. [5]

The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age. [6] The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1829. [1] [7]

Timeline

The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:

Characteristics

Given the wide range of styles in European classical music, from Medieval plainchant sung by monks to Classical and Romantic symphonies for orchestra from the 1700s and 1800s to avant-garde atonal compositions from the 1900s, it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. Nonetheless, a universal characteristic of classical music written since the late 13th century is [9] [ incomplete short citation ] the invariable appliance of a standardized system of precise mensural notation (which evolved into modern bar notation after 1600) for all compositions and their accurate performance. [10] Another is the creation and development of complex pieces of solo instrumental works (e.g., the fugue). The first symphonies were produced during the Classical period; beginning in the mid 18th century, the symphony ensemble and the compositions became prominent features of Classical-period music. [11]

Complexity

Works of classical repertoire often exhibit complexity in their use of orchestration, counterpoint, harmony, musical development, rhythm, phrasing, texture, and form. Whereas most popular styles are usually written in song form, classical music is noted for its development of highly sophisticated instrumental musical forms, [4] like the concerto, symphony and sonata. Classical music is also noted for its use of sophisticated vocal/instrumental forms, such as opera.[ citation needed ] In opera, vocal soloists and choirs perform staged dramatic works with an orchestra providing accompaniment.

Longer instrumental works are often divided into self-contained pieces, called movements, often with contrasting characters or moods. For instance, symphonies written during the Classical period are usually divided into four movements:

  1. an opening Allegro in sonata form,
  2. a slow movement,
  3. a minuet or scherzo (in a triple metre, such as 3
    4
    ), and
  4. a final Allegro.

These movements can then be further broken down into a hierarchy of smaller units: first sections, then periods, and finally phrases.

Performance

Youth concert band in performance Concertband.jpg
Youth concert band in performance

Performers who have studied classical music extensively are said to be "classically trained". This training may come from private lessons from instrument or voice teachers or from completion of a formal program offered by a Conservatory, college or university, such as a Bachelor of Music or Master of Music degree (which includes individual lessons from professors). In classical music, "...extensive formal music education and training, often to postgraduate [Master's degree] level" is required. [12]

Performance of classical music repertoire requires a proficiency in sight-reading and ensemble playing, harmonic principles, strong ear training (to correct and adjust pitches by ear), knowledge of performance practice (e.g., Baroque ornamentation), and a familiarity with the style/musical idiom expected for a given composer or musical work (e.g., a Brahms symphony or a Mozart concerto).[ citation needed ]

The key characteristic of European classical music that distinguishes it from popular music and folk music is that the repertoire tends to be written down in musical notation, creating a musical part or score. [5] This score typically determines details of rhythm, pitch, and, where two or more musicians (whether singers or instrumentalists) are involved, how the various parts are coordinated. The written quality of the music has enabled a high level of complexity within them: fugues, for instance, achieve a remarkable marriage of boldly distinctive melodic lines weaving in counterpoint yet creating a coherent harmonic logic. [13] The use of written notation also preserves a record of the works and enables Classical musicians to perform music from many centuries ago.

Although Classical music in the 2000s has lost most of its tradition for musical improvisation, from the Baroque era to the Romantic era, there are examples of performers who could improvise in the style of their era. In the Baroque era, organ performers would improvise preludes, keyboard performers playing harpsichord would improvise chords from the figured bass symbols beneath the bass notes of the basso continuo part and both vocal and instrumental performers would improvise musical ornaments. [14] Johann Sebastian Bach was particularly noted for his complex improvisations. [15] During the Classical era, the composer-performer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was noted for his ability to improvise melodies in different styles. [16] During the Classical era, some virtuoso soloists would improvise the cadenza sections of a concerto. During the Romantic era, Ludwig van Beethoven would improvise at the piano. [17]

Instrumentation and vocal practices

The instruments currently used in most classical music were largely invented before the mid-19th century (often much earlier) and systematized in the 18th and 19th centuries. They consist of the instruments found in an orchestra or in a concert band, together with several other solo instruments (such as the piano, harpsichord, and organ). The symphony orchestra includes members of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion families of instruments. The concert band consists of members of the woodwind, brass, and percussion families. It generally has a larger variety and number of woodwind and brass instruments than the orchestra but does not have a string section. However, many concert bands use a double bass. The vocal practices changed over the classical period, from the single line monophonic Gregorian chant done by monks in the Medieval period to the complex, polyphonic choral works of the Renaissance and subsequent periods, which used multiple independent vocal melodies at the same time.

History

Music notation from an early 14th-century English Missal, featuring the head of Christ. Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. Head of Christ1.jpg
Music notation from an early 14th-century English Missal, featuring the head of Christ. Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church.

The major time divisions of classical music up to 1900 are the Early music period, which includes Medieval (500–1400) and Renaissance (1400–1600) eras, and the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque (1600–1750), Classical (1750–1820), and Romantic (1810–1910) eras. The current period encompasses the 20th century and the 21st-century to date and includes the Modernist musical era and the Contemporary or Postmodern musical era, the dates of which are often disputed.

The dates are generalizations, since the periods and eras overlap and the categories are somewhat arbitrary, to the point that some authorities reverse terminologies and refer to a common practice "era" comprising baroque, classical, and romantic "periods". [19] For example, the use of counterpoint and fugue, which is considered characteristic of the Baroque era (or period), was continued by Haydn, who is classified as typical of the Classical era. Beethoven, who is often described as a founder of the Romantic era, and Brahms, who is classified as Romantic, also used counterpoint and fugue, but the romantic and sometimes yearning qualities of their music define their era.

The prefix neo- is used to describe a 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century composition written in the style of an earlier era, such as Classical or Romantic. Stravinsky's Pulcinella , for example, is a neoclassical composition because it is stylistically similar to works of the Baroque era.[ clarification needed ]

Roots

Burgh (2006), suggests that the roots of Western classical music ultimately lie in ancient Egyptian art music via cheironomy and the ancient Egyptian orchestra, which dates to 2695 BC. [20] The development of individual tones and scales was made by ancient Greeks such as Aristoxenus and Pythagoras. [21] Pythagoras created a tuning system and helped to codify musical notation. Ancient Greek instruments such as the aulos (a reed instrument) and the lyre (a stringed instrument similar to a small harp) eventually led to several modern-day instruments of a classical orchestra. [22] The antecedent to the early period was the era of ancient music before the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD).

Early period

Medieval era

Musician playing the vielle (fourteenth-century Medieval manuscript) Vielle.jpg
Musician playing the vielle (fourteenth-century Medieval manuscript)

The Medieval era includes music from after the fall of Rome to about 1400. Monophonic chant, also called plainsong or Gregorian chant, was the dominant form until about 1100. [23] Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. [18] [24] [25] Polyphonic (multi-voiced) music developed from monophonic chant throughout the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, including the more complex voicings of motets.

Johannes Ockeghem, Kyrie "Au travail suis" excerpt White mensural notation.gif
Johannes Ockeghem, Kyrie "Au travail suis" excerpt

A number of European classical musical instruments have roots in Eastern instruments that were adopted from the medieval Islamic world. [26] For example, the Arabic rebab is the ancestor of all European bowed string instruments, including the lira, rebec and violin. [27] [28]

Many of the instruments used to perform medieval music still exist, but in different forms. Medieval instruments included the flute, the recorder and plucked string instruments like the lute. As well, early versions of the organ and fiddle (or vielle) existed. Medieval instruments in Europe had most commonly been used singly, often self accompanied with a drone note, or occasionally in parts. From at least as early as the 13th century through the 15th century there was a division of instruments into haut (loud, shrill, outdoor instruments) and bas (quieter, more intimate instruments). [29] During the earlier medieval period, the vocal music from the liturgical genre, predominantly Gregorian chant, was monophonic, using a single, unaccompanied vocal melody line. [30] Polyphonic vocal genres, which used multiple independent vocal melodies, began to develop during the high medieval era, becoming prevalent by the later 13th and early 14th century.

Notable Medieval composers include Hildegard of Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut, Léonin, Pérotin, Philippe de Vitry, Francesco Landini, and Johannes Ciconia.

Renaissance era

The Renaissance era was from 1400 to 1600. It was characterized by greater use of instrumentation, multiple interweaving melodic lines, and the use of the first bass instruments. Social dancing became more widespread, so musical forms appropriate to accompanying dance began to standardize. It is in this time that the notation of music on a staff and other elements of musical notation began to take shape. [31] This invention made possible the separation of the composition of a piece of music from its transmission; without written music, transmission was oral, and subject to change every time it was transmitted. With a musical score, a work of music could be performed without the composer's presence. [23] The invention of the movable-type printing press in the 15th century had far-reaching consequences on the preservation and transmission of music. [32]

An illuminated opening from the Chigi codex featuring the Kyrie of Ockeghem's Missa Ecce ancilla Domini Chigi codex.jpg
An illuminated opening from the Chigi codex featuring the Kyrie of Ockeghem's Missa Ecce ancilla Domini

Many instruments originated during the Renaissance; others were variations of, or improvements upon, instruments that had existed previously. Some have survived to the present day; others have disappeared, only to be re-created in order to perform music on period instruments. As in the modern day, instruments may be classified as brass, strings, percussion, and woodwind. Brass instruments in the Renaissance were traditionally played by professionals who were members of Guilds and they included the slide trumpet, the wooden cornet, the valveless trumpet and the sackbut. Stringed instruments included the viol, the rebec, the harp-like lyre, the hurdy-gurdy, the lute, the guitar, the cittern, the bandora, and the orpharion. Keyboard instruments with strings included the harpsichord and the clavichord. Percussion instruments include the triangle, the Jew's harp, the tambourine, the bells, the rumble-pot, and various kinds of drums. Woodwind instruments included the double-reed shawm (an early member of the oboe family), the reed pipe, the bagpipe, the transverse flute, the recorder, the dulcian, and the crumhorn. Simple pipe organs existed, but were largely confined to churches, although there were portable varieties. [33] Printing enabled the standardization of descriptions and specifications of instruments, as well as instruction in their use. [34]

Vocal music in the Renaissance is noted for the flourishing of an increasingly elaborate polyphonic style. The principal liturgical forms which endured throughout the entire Renaissance period were masses and motets, with some other developments towards the end, especially as composers of sacred music began to adopt secular forms (such as the madrigal) for their own designs. Towards the end of the period, the early dramatic precursors of opera such as monody, the madrigal comedy, and the intermedio are seen. Around 1597, Italian composer Jacopo Peri wrote Dafne , the first work to be called an opera today. He also composed Euridice, the first opera to have survived to the present day.

Notable Renaissance composers include Josquin des Prez, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, John Dunstaple, Johannes Ockeghem, Orlande de Lassus, Guillaume Du Fay, Gilles Binchois, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Giovanni Gabrieli, Carlo Gesualdo, John Dowland, Jacob Obrecht, Adrian Willaert, Jacques Arcadelt, and Cipriano de Rore.

Common-practice period

The common practice period is typically defined as the era between the formation and the dissolution of common-practice tonality. The term usually spans roughly two-and-a-half centuries, encompassing the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.

Baroque era

Baroque instruments including hurdy-gurdy, harpsichord, bass viol, lute, violin, and baroque guitar Baschenis - Musical Instruments.jpg
Baroque instruments including hurdy-gurdy, harpsichord, bass viol, lute, violin, and baroque guitar

Baroque music is characterized by the use of complex tonal counterpoint and the use of a basso continuo, a continuous bass line. Music became more complex in comparison with the simple songs of all previous periods. [35] The beginnings of the sonata form took shape in the canzona, as did a more formalized notion of theme and variations. The tonalities of major and minor as means for managing dissonance and chromaticism in music took full shape. [36]

During the Baroque era, keyboard music played on the harpsichord and pipe organ became increasingly popular, and the violin family of stringed instruments took the form generally seen today. Opera as a staged musical drama began to differentiate itself from earlier musical and dramatic forms, and vocal forms like the cantata and oratorio became more common. [37] Vocalists for the first time began adding extra notes to the music. [35]

The theories surrounding equal temperament began to be put in wider practice, especially as it enabled a wider range of chromatic possibilities in hard-to-tune keyboard instruments. Although J.S. Bach did not use equal temperament, as a modern piano is generally tuned, changes in the temperaments from the meantone system, common at the time, to various temperaments that made modulation between all keys musically acceptable, made possible his Well-Tempered Clavier . [38]

Baroque instruments included some instruments from the earlier periods (e.g., the hurdy-gurdy and recorder) and a number of new instruments (e.g., the oboe, bassoon, cello, contrabass and fortepiano). Some instruments from previous eras fell into disuse, such as the shawm, cittern, rackett, and the wooden cornet. The key Baroque instruments for strings included the violin, viol, viola, viola d'amore, cello, contrabass, lute, theorbo (which often played the basso continuo parts), mandolin, Baroque guitar, harp and hurdy-gurdy. Woodwinds included the Baroque flute, Baroque oboe, recorder and the bassoon. Brass instruments included the cornett, natural horn, Baroque trumpet, serpent and the trombone. Keyboard instruments included the clavichord, the tangent piano, the harpsichord, the pipe organ, and, later in the period, the fortepiano (an early version of the piano). Percussion instruments included the timpani, snare drum, tambourine and the castanets.

One major difference between Baroque music and the classical era that followed it is that the types of instruments used in Baroque ensembles were much less standardized. A Baroque ensemble could include one of several different types of keyboard instruments (e.g., pipe organ or harpsichord), [39] additional stringed chordal instruments (e.g., a lute), bowed strings, woodwinds, and brass instruments, and an unspecified number of bass instruments performing the basso continuo,(e.g., a cello, contrabass, viola, bassoon, serpent, etc.).

Vocal developments in the Baroque era included the development of opera types such as opera seria and opéra comique, and related forms such as oratorios and cantatas. [40] [41]

Important composers of this era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, Claudio Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi, Domenico Scarlatti, Georg Philipp Telemann, Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Heinrich Schütz.

Classical era

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) portrayed by Thomas Hardy (1791) Haydn portrait by Thomas Hardy (small).jpg
Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) portrayed by Thomas Hardy (1791)

Though the term "classical music" includes all Western art music from the Medieval era to the 2000s, the Classical Era was the period of Western art music from the 1750s to the early 1820s—the era of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Classical era established many of the norms of composition, presentation, and style, and was also when the piano became the predominant keyboard instrument. The basic forces required for an orchestra became somewhat standardized (although they would grow as the potential of a wider array of instruments was developed in the following centuries). Chamber music grew to include ensembles with as many as 8 to 10 performers for serenades. Opera continued to develop, with regional styles in Italy, France, and German-speaking lands. The opera buffa , a form of comic opera, rose in popularity. The symphony came into its own as a musical form, and the concerto was developed as a vehicle for displays of virtuoso playing skill. Orchestras no longer required a harpsichord (which had been part of the traditional continuo in the Baroque style), and were often led by the lead violinist (now called the concertmaster). [42]

Classical era musicians continued to use many of instruments from the Baroque era, such as the cello, contrabass, recorder, trombone, timpani, fortepiano (the precursor to the modern piano) and organ. While some Baroque instruments fell into disuse (e.g., the theorbo and rackett), many Baroque instruments were changed into the versions that are still in use today, such as the Baroque violin (which became the violin), the Baroque oboe (which became the oboe) and the Baroque trumpet, which transitioned to the regular valved trumpet. During the Classical era, the stringed instruments used in orchestra and chamber music such as string quartets were standardized as the four instruments which form the string section of the orchestra: the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Baroque-era stringed instruments such as fretted, bowed viols were phased out. Woodwinds included the basset clarinet, basset horn, clarinette d'amour, the Classical clarinet, the chalumeau, the flute, oboe and bassoon. Keyboard instruments included the clavichord and the fortepiano. While the harpsichord was still used in basso continuo accompaniment in the 1750s and 1760s, it fell out of use at the end of the century. Brass instruments included the buccin, the ophicleide (a replacement for the bass serpent, which was the precursor of the tuba) and the natural horn.

Wind instruments became more refined in the Classical era. While double-reed instruments like the oboe and bassoon became somewhat standardized in the Baroque, the clarinet family of single reeds was not widely used until Mozart expanded its role in orchestral, chamber, and concerto settings. [43]

Major composers of this period include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Christian Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Muzio Clementi, Antonio Salieri, and Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

Romantic era

The music of the Romantic era, from roughly the first decade of the 19th century to the early 20th century, was characterized by increased attention to an extended melodic line, as well as expressive and emotional elements, paralleling romanticism in other art forms. Musical forms began to break from the Classical era forms (even as those were being codified), with free-form pieces like nocturnes, fantasias, and preludes being written where accepted ideas about the exposition and development of themes were ignored or minimized. [44] The music became more chromatic, dissonant, and tonally colorful, with tensions (with respect to accepted norms of the older forms) about key signatures increasing. [45] The art song (or Lied) came to maturity in this era, as did the epic scales of grand opera, ultimately transcended by Richard Wagner's Ring cycle. [46]

In the 19th century, musical institutions emerged from the control of wealthy patrons, as composers and musicians could construct lives independent of the nobility. Increasing interest in music by the growing middle classes throughout western Europe spurred the creation of organizations for the teaching, performance, and preservation of music. The piano, which achieved its modern construction in this era (in part due to industrial advances in metallurgy) became widely popular with the middle class, whose demands for the instrument spurred many piano builders. Many symphony orchestras date their founding to this era. [45] Some musicians and composers were the stars of the day; some, like Franz Liszt and Niccolò Paganini, fulfilled both roles. [47]

European cultural ideas and institutions began to follow colonial expansion into other parts of the world. There was also a rise, especially toward the end of the era, of nationalism in music (echoing, in some cases, political sentiments of the time), as composers such as Edvard Grieg, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Antonín Dvořák echoed traditional music of their homelands in their compositions. [48]

Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.jpg
Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra

In the Romantic era, the modern piano, with a more powerful, sustained tone and a wider range took over from the more delicate-sounding fortepiano. In the orchestra, the existing Classical instruments and sections were retained (string section, woodwinds, brass, and percussion), but these sections were typically expanded to make a fuller, bigger sound. For example, while a Baroque orchestra may have had two double bass players, a Romantic orchestra could have as many as ten. "As music grew more expressive, the standard orchestral palette just wasn't rich enough for many Romantic composers." [49]

The families of instruments used, especially in orchestras, grew larger; a process that climaxed in the early 20th century with very large orchestras used by late romantic and modernist composers. A wider array of percussion instruments began to appear. Brass instruments took on larger roles, as the introduction of rotary valves made it possible for them to play a wider range of notes. The size of the orchestra (typically around 40 in the Classical era) grew to be over 100. [45] Gustav Mahler's 1906 Symphony No. 8, for example, has been performed with over 150 instrumentalists and choirs of over 400. [50] New woodwind instruments were added, such as the contrabassoon, bass clarinet and piccolo and new percussion instruments were added, including xylophones, snare drums, celestas (a bell-like keyboard instrument), bells, and triangles, [49] large orchestral harps, and even wind machines for sound effects. Saxophones appear in some scores from the late 19th century onwards, usually featured as a solo instrument rather than as in integral part of the orchestra.

The Wagner tuba, a modified member of the horn family, appears in Richard Wagner's cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen . It also has a prominent role in Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E Major and is also used in several late romantic and modernist works by Richard Strauss, Béla Bartók, and others [51] Cornets appear regularly in 19th century scores, alongside trumpets which were regarded as less agile, at least until the end of the century.

Prominent composers of this era include Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Frédéric Chopin, Hector Berlioz, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg, and Johann Strauss II. Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are commonly regarded as transitional composers whose music combines both late romantic and early modernist elements.

20th and 21st centuries

Modernist era

Igor Stravinsky, by Pablo Picasso, collaborators on Pulcinella (1920) Stravinsky picasso.png
Igor Stravinsky, by Pablo Picasso, collaborators on Pulcinella (1920)

Encompassing a wide variety of post-Romantic styles, modernist classical music includes late romantic, impressionist, expressionist, and neoclassical styles of composition. Modernism marked an era when many composers rejected certain values of the common practice period, such as traditional tonality, melody, instrumentation, and structure. Some music historians regard musical modernism as an era extending from about 1890 to 1930. [52] Others consider that modernism ended with one or the other of the two world wars. [53] Still other authorities claim that modernism is not associated with any historical era, but rather is "an attitude of the composer; a living construct that can evolve with the times". [54] Despite its decline in the last third of the 20th century, there remained at the end of the century an active core of composers who continued to advance the ideas and forms of modernism, such as Pierre Boulez, Pauline Oliveros, Toru Takemitsu, George Benjamin, Jacob Druckman, Brian Ferneyhough, George Perle, Wolfgang Rihm, Richard Wernick, Richard Wilson, and Ralph Shapey. [55]

Two musical movements that were dominant during this time were the impressionist beginning around 1890 and the expressionist that started around 1908. It was a period of diverse reactions in challenging and reinterpreting older categories of music, innovations that lead to new ways of organizing and approaching harmonic, melodic, sonic, and rhythmic aspects of music, and changes in aesthetic worldviews in close relation to the larger identifiable period of modernism in the arts of the time. The operative word most associated with it is "innovation". [56] Its leading feature is a "linguistic plurality", which is to say that no single music genre ever assumed a dominant position. [57]

The orchestra continued to grow in size during the early years modernist era, peaking in the first two decades of the 20th century. Saxophones that appeared only rarely during the 19th century became more commonly used as supplementary instruments, but never became core members of the orchestra. While appearing only as featured solo instruments in some works, for example Maurice Ravel's orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances , the saxophone is included in other works such as Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suites 1 and 2 and many other works as a member of the orchestral ensemble. In some compositions such as Ravel's Boléro , two or more saxophones of different sizes are used to create an entire section like the other sections of the orchestra. The euphonium is featured in a few late Romantic and 20th century works, usually playing parts marked "tenor tuba", including Gustav Holst's The Planets , and Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben .

Prominent composers of the early 20th century include Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Arnold Schoenberg, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Cécile Chaminade, Paul Hindemith, Aram Khachaturian, George Gershwin, Amy Beach, Béla Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich, along with the aforementioned Mahler and Strauss as transitional figures who carried over from the 19th century.

Post-modern/contemporary era

Postmodern music is a period of music that began as early as 1930 according to some authorities. [58] [59] It shares characteristics with postmodernist art – that is, art that comes after and reacts against modernism.

Some other authorities have more or less equated postmodern music with the "contemporary music" composed well after 1930, from the late 20th century through to the early 21st century. [60] [61] Some of the diverse movements of the postmodern/contemporary era include the neoromantic, neomedieval, minimalist, and post minimalist.

Contemporary classical music at the beginning of the 21st century was often considered to include all post-1945 musical forms. [62] A generation later, this term now properly refers to the music of today written by composers who are still alive; music that came into prominence in the mid-1970s. It includes different variations of modernist, postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. [63]

Timeline of composers

Giovanni GabrieliTomás Luis de VictoriaWilliam ByrdOrlande de LassusGiovanni Pierluigi da PalestrinaCipriano de RoreThomas TallisNicolas GombertAdrian WillaertPierre de la RueJosquin Des PrezJohannes OckeghemGuillaume Du FayJohn DunstapleFrancesco LandiniGuillaume de MachautPhilippe de VitryAdam de la HalleWalther von der VogelweidePérotinLéoninBernart de VentadornHildegard of BingenClassical music
Esa-Pekka SalonenLudovico EinaudiKaija SaariahoJohn Adams (composer)Philip GlassSteve ReichArvo PärtKrzysztof PendereckiToru TakemitsuKarlheinz StockhausenEinojuhani RautavaaraPierre BoulezLuigi NonoGyörgy LigetiIannis XenakisMilton BabbittWitold LutosławskiBenjamin BrittenJohn CageSamuel BarberOlivier MessiaenElliott CarterDmitri ShostakovichAaron CoplandFrancis PoulencPaul HindemithSergei ProkofievAlban BergAnton WebernEdgard VarèsePercy GraingerIgor StravinskyBéla BartókMaurice RavelCharles IvesGustav HolstArnold SchoenbergSergei RachmaninoffRalph Vaughan WilliamsAlexander ScriabinJean SibeliusRichard StraussClaude DebussyFrederick DeliusCarl NielsenGustav MahlerGiacomo PucciniEdward ElgarLeoš JanáčekGabriel FauréNikolai Rimsky-KorsakovEdvard GriegAntonin DvorakPyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyModest MussorgskyGeorges BizetCamille Saint-SaënsJohannes BrahmsAnton BrucknerGiuseppe VerdiRichard WagnerFranz LisztRobert SchumannFrederic ChopinFelix MendelssohnHector BerliozGaetano DonizettiFranz SchubertGioacchino RossiniCarl Maria von WeberNiccolo PaganiniLudwig van BeethovenWolfgang Amadeus MozartAntonio SalieriJoseph HaydnJohann StamitzChristoph Willibald GluckCarl Philipp Emanuel BachGiovanni Battista PergolesiDomenico ScarlattiJohann Sebastian BachGeorge Frideric HandelJean-Philippe RameauGeorg Philipp TelemannAntonio VivaldiFrançois CouperinAlessandro ScarlattiHenry PurcellArcangelo CorelliJohann PachelbelDieterich BuxtehudeJean-Baptiste LullyGiacomo CarissimiHeinrich SchützGirolamo FrescobaldiClaudio MonteverdiClassical music

Women in classical music

Almost all of the composers who are described in music textbooks on classical music and whose works are widely performed as part of the standard concert repertoire are male composers, even though there has been a large number of women composers throughout the classical music period. Musicologist Marcia Citron has asked "[w]hy is music composed by women so marginal to the standard 'classical' repertoire?" [64] Citron "examines the practices and attitudes that have led to the exclusion of women composers from the received 'canon' of performed musical works". She argues that in the 1800s, women composers typically wrote art songs for performance in small recitals rather than symphonies intended for performance with an orchestra in a large hall, with the latter works being seen as the most important genre for composers; since women composers did not write many symphonies, they were deemed not to be notable as composers. [64] In the "...Concise Oxford History of Music, Clara S[c]humann is one of the only[ sic ] female composers mentioned." [65] Abbey Philips states that "[d]uring the 20th century the women who were composing/playing gained far less attention than their male counterparts." [65]

Historically, major professional orchestras have been mostly or entirely composed of musicians who are men. Some of the earliest cases of women being hired in professional orchestras was in the position of harpist. The Vienna Philharmonic, for example, did not accept women to permanent membership until 1997, far later than the other orchestras ranked among the world's top five by Gramophone in 2008. [66] The last major orchestra to appoint a woman to a permanent position was the Berlin Philharmonic. [67] As late as February 1996, the Vienna Philharmonic's principal flute, Dieter Flury, told Westdeutscher Rundfunk that accepting women would be "gambling with the emotional unity (emotionelle Geschlossenheit) that this organism currently has". [68] In April 1996, the orchestra's press secretary wrote that "compensating for the expected leaves of absence" of maternity leave would be a problem. [69]

In 1997, the Vienna Philharmonic was "facing protests during a [US] tour" by the National Organization for Women and the International Alliance for Women in Music. Finally, "after being held up to increasing ridicule even in socially conservative Austria, members of the orchestra gathered [on 28 February 1997] in an extraordinary meeting on the eve of their departure and agreed to admit a woman, Anna Lelkes, as harpist." [70] As of 2013, the orchestra has six female members; one of them, violinist Albena Danailova became one of the orchestra's concertmasters in 2008, the first woman to hold that position. [71] In 2012, women still made up just 6% of the orchestra's membership. VPO president Clemens Hellsberg said the VPO now uses completely screened blind auditions. [72]

In 2013, an article in Mother Jones stated that while "[m]any prestigious orchestras have significant female membership—women outnumber men in the New York Philharmonic's violin section—and several renowned ensembles, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the Minnesota Symphony, are led by women violinists," the double bass, brass, and percussion sections of major orchestras "...are still predominantly male". [73] A 2014 BBC article stated that the "...introduction of 'blind' auditions, where a prospective instrumentalist performs behind a screen so that the judging panel can exercise no gender or racial prejudice, has seen the gender balance of traditionally male-dominated symphony orchestras gradually shift." [74]

Relationship to other music traditions

Classical music has often incorporated elements or material from popular music of the composer's time. Examples include occasional music such as Brahms' use of student drinking songs in his Academic Festival Overture , genres exemplified by Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera , and the influence of jazz on early and mid-20th-century composers including Maurice Ravel, exemplified by the movement entitled "Blues" in his sonata for violin and piano. [75] Some postmodern, minimalist and postminimalist classical composers acknowledge a debt to popular music. [76] [ failed verification ]

Numerous examples show influence in the opposite direction, including popular songs based on classical music, the use to which Pachelbel's Canon has been put since the 1970s, and the musical crossover phenomenon, where classical musicians have achieved success in the popular music arena. [77] In heavy metal, a number of lead guitarists (playing electric guitar), including Ritchie Blackmore and Randy Rhoads, [78] modeled their playing styles on Baroque or Classical-era instrumental music. [79]

Folk music

Composers of classical music have often made use of folk music (music created by musicians who are commonly not classically trained, often from a purely oral tradition). Some composers, like Dvořák and Smetana, [80] have used folk themes to impart a nationalist flavor to their work, while others like Bartók have used specific themes lifted whole from their folk-music origins. [81]

Commercialization

Certain staples of classical music are often used commercially (either in advertising or in movie soundtracks). In television commercials, several passages have become clichéd, particularly the opening of Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra (made famous in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey ) and the opening section "O Fortuna" of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana ; other examples include the "Dies irae" from the Verdi Requiem, Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt , the opening bars of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walküre , Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee", and excerpts of Aaron Copland's Rodeo .[ citation needed ] Several works from the Golden Age of Animation matched the action to classical music. Notable examples are Walt Disney's Fantasia , Tom and Jerry's Johann Mouse , and Warner Bros.' Rabbit of Seville and What's Opera, Doc?

Similarly, movies and television often revert to standard, clichéd excerpts of classical music to convey refinement or opulence: some of the most-often heard pieces in this category include Bach´s Cello Suite No. 1, Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik , Vivaldi's Four Seasons , Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain (as orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov), and Rossini's "William Tell Overture". Shawn Vancour argues that the commercialization of classical music in the early 20th century may have harmed the music industry through inadequate representation. [82]

Education

During the 1990s, several research papers and popular books wrote on what came to be called the "Mozart effect": an observed temporary, small elevation of scores on certain tests as a result of listening to Mozart's works. The approach has been popularized in a book by Don Campbell, and is based on an experiment published in Nature suggesting that listening to Mozart temporarily boosted students' IQ by 8 to 9 points. [83] This popularized version of the theory was expressed succinctly by the New York Times music columnist Alex Ross: "researchers... have determined that listening to Mozart actually makes you smarter." [84] Promoters marketed CDs claimed to induce the effect. Florida passed a law requiring toddlers in state-run schools to listen to classical music every day, and in 1998 the governor of Georgia budgeted $105,000 per year to provide every child born in Georgia with a tape or CD of classical music. One of the co-authors of the original studies of the Mozart effect commented "I don't think it can hurt. I'm all for exposing children to wonderful cultural experiences. But I do think the money could be better spent on music education programs." [85]

In 1996/97, a research study was conducted on a population of preschool through college students in the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colorado, US. The study showed that students who actively listen to classical music before studying had higher academic scores. The research further indicated that students who listened to the music prior to an examination also had positively elevated achievement scores. Students who listened to rock-and-roll or Country music had moderately lower scores. The study further indicated that students who used classical music during the course of study had a significant leap in their academic performance; whereas, those who listened to other types of music had significantly lowered academic scores. The research was conducted over several schools within the Cherry Creek School District and was conducted through the University of Colorado.[ citation needed ] This study is reflective of several recent studies (i.e. Mike Manthei and Steve N. Kelly of the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Donald A. Hodges and Debra S. O'Connell [86] of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and others.[ full citation needed ]

See also

Nation-specific:

Related Research Articles

Classical period (music) Genre of Western music (c.1730-1820)

The Classical period was an era of classical music between roughly 1730 and 1820.

Music Form of art using sound and silence

Music is an art form, and a cultural activity, whose medium is sound. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Opera Artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Orchestra Large instrumental ensemble

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass, brass instruments such as the horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba, woodwinds such as the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and percussion instruments such as the timpani, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, and mallet percussion instruments each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.

Symphony Type of extended musical composition

A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are almost always scored for an orchestra consisting of a string section, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30 to 100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their own instrument. Some symphonies also contain vocal parts.

A concerto is, from the late Baroque era, mostly understood as an instrumental composition, written for one or more soloists accompanied by an orchestra or other ensemble. The typical three-movement structure, a slow movement preceded and followed by fast movements, became a standard from the early 18th century.

Orchestration

Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the assignment of different instruments to play the different parts of a musical work. For example, a work for solo piano could be adapted and orchestrated so that an orchestra could perform the piece, or a concert band piece could be orchestrated for a symphony orchestra.

Musical composition

Musical composition, music composition or simply composition, can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called composers. Composers of primarily songs are usually called songwriters; with songs, the person who writes lyrics for a song is the lyricist. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing typically includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score," which is then performed by the composer or by other musicians. In popular music and traditional music, songwriting may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is typically done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop or traditional songwriter may not use written notation at all and instead compose the song in their mind and then play, sing or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable sound recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written or printed scores play in classical music.

Music is found in every known society, past and present, and is considered to be a cultural universal. Since all people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music, it may be concluded that music is likely to have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. Consequently, the first music may have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life, using various different materials to make various instruments.

Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of musical notation that uses musical symbols to indicate the pitches, rhythms, or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic, or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.

Composer Musician who is an author of music in any form

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Recitative

Recitative is a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms and delivery of ordinary speech. Recitative does not repeat lines as formally composed songs do. It resembles sung ordinary speech more than a formal musical composition.

Piano concerto

A piano concerto is a type of concerto, a solo composition in the Classical music genre which is composed for a piano player, which is typically accompanied by an orchestra or other large ensemble. Piano concertos are typically virtuoso showpieces which require an advanced level of technique on the instrument, including melodic lines interspersed with rapid scales, arpeggios, chords, complex contrapuntal parts and other challenging material. When piano concertos are performed by a professional concert pianist, a large grand piano is almost always used, as the grand piano has a fuller tone and more projection than an upright piano. Piano concertos are typically written out in music notation, including sheet music for the pianist, orchestra parts for the orchestra members, and a full score for the conductor, who leads the orchestra in the accompaniment of the soloist.

Mannheim school

Mannheim school refers to both the orchestral techniques pioneered by the court orchestra of Mannheim in the latter half of the 18th century and the group of composers of the early classical period, who composed for the orchestra of Mannheim. The father of the school is considered to be the Bohemian composer Johann Stamitz. Besides him, two generations of composers wrote compositions for the orchestra, whose reputation was due to its excellent discipline and the individual skill of its players; the English traveler Charles Burney called it "an army of generals". Their performance style included new dynamic elements, crescendos and diminuendos. Composers of the Mannheim school played an important role in the development of the classical period's genres and of the classical symphony form.

Historically informed performance Approach to the performance of classical music

Historically informed performance is an approach to the performance of classical music, which aims to be faithful to the approach, manner and style of the musical era in which a work was originally conceived.

Serenade

In music, a serenade is a musical composition and/or performance delivered in honor of someone or something. Serenades are typically calm, light pieces of music. The term comes from the Italian word serenata, which itself derives from the Latin serenus. Sense influenced by Italian sera "evening," from Latin sera, fem. of serus "late."

French classical music began with the sacred music of the Roman Catholic Church, with written records predating the reign of Charlemagne. It includes all of the major genres of sacred and secular, instrumental and vocal music. French classical styles often have an identifiably national character, ranging from the clarity and precision of the music of the late Renaissance music to the sensitive and emotional Impressionistic styles of the early 20th century. Important French composers include Pérotin, Machaut, Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Lully, Charpentier, Couperin, Rameau, Leclair, Grétry, Méhul, Auber, Berlioz, Alkan, Gounod, Offenbach, Franck, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Bizet, Chabrier, Massenet, Widor, Fauré, d'Indy, Chausson, Debussy, Dukas, Vierne, Duruflé, Satie, Roussel, Hahn, Ravel, Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc, Auric, Messiaen, Françaix, Dupré, Dutilleux, Boulez, Guillou, Grisey, and Murail.

A natural trumpet is a valveless brass instrument that is able to play the notes of the harmonic series.

Classical music of the United Kingdom

Classical music of the United Kingdom is taken in this article to mean classical music in the sense elsewhere defined, of formally composed and written music of chamber, concert and church type as distinct from popular, traditional, or folk music. The term in this sense emerged in the early 19th century, not long after the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence in 1801. Composed music in these islands can be traced in musical notation back to the 13th century, with earlier origins. It has never existed in isolation from European music, but has often developed in distinctively insular ways within an international framework. Inheriting the European classical forms of the 18th century, patronage and the academy and university establishment of musical performance and training in the United Kingdom during the 19th century saw a great expansion. Similar developments occurred in the other expanding states of Europe and their empires. Within this international growth the traditions of composition and performance centred in the United Kingdom, including the various cultural strands drawn from its different provinces, have continued to evolve in distinctive ways through the work of many famous composers.

Transition from Classical to Romantic music

The transition from the classical period of Western art music, which lasted around 1750 to 1820, to Romantic music, which lasted around 1815 to 1910, took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Composers began transitioning their compositional and melodic techniques into a new musical form which became known as the Romantic Era or Romanticism due to the implementation of lyrical melodies as opposed to the linear compositional style of Classical music.

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Sources

Further reading