History of Classical Music


Classical Music – This term describes orchestral music, choral music, chamber music, and solo permanence piece, however, several distinct periods exist within this broad genre. These eras are all differentiated from classical music at large by certain characteristics.

Eras Of Classical Music

Classical music is divided by musicologists into historical eras and stylistic subgenres. It has been divided into seven periods.

1. Medieval Period (1150 to 1400): This era is the time most music historians start to catalog Medieval music is famous for monophonic chant – otherwise called Gregorian Chant because it is mainly used by Gregorian monks. Medieval musicians also played instrumental music on instruments in addition to singing, like flute, butt, e, and recorder.

2. Renaissance Period (1400 to 1600): This era of classical music introduced polyphonic music to a large number of audiences, particularly via choral music, which is commonly performed in a liturgical setting. The musician of the Renaissance era in addition to the lute also played rebec, viol, lure, and guitar among other string instruments. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Thomas Tallis, and John Downland are perhaps the most notable renaissance composers of this era.

3. Baroque Period (1600 to 1750): Classical Music boomed in terms of its complexity during the baroque era. Tonal music gained total acceptance in the baroque period – this is music based on major and minor scales rather than modes. – and it perfected the polyphony of thr Renaissance era.  Henry Purcell and Alessandro Scarlatti are the most renowned composer of this early baroque era. Composers like Dominico Scarlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, and Georg Philip Telemann also came to fame in this late era.

4. The Classical Period (1750–1820); The defining moment of this era was the public performance of the symphony, the instrumental concerto, and the sonata form for the first time. The most famous composer of this era was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, although there were also other major figures like Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn, and the J.S. Bach Sons. Opera composers like Mozart and Christoph Willibald Gluck contributed to the development of the operatic genre into a style that is still vivid in our minds today. Ludwig Van Beethoven launched his career during the classical era, but his inventions also helped pave the way for the succeeding musical age.

5. The Modern period (1900–1930): At the beginning of the 20th century, art and music entered a new phase. Early twentieth-century classical composers thrived in defying the harmonic and structural norms that had guided earlier genres of classical music. In compositions like The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky aggressively pushed instruments to their physical limits, welcomed mixed meter, and questioned conventional ideas of tonality. Impressionism was a style of music popularized in the 20th century by French artists like Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Others, such as Béla Bartók, Paul Hindemith, and Dimitri Shostakovich, committed to classical structures like the piano concerto and the sonata while questioning long-held harmonic conventions. The German composer Arnold Schoenberg, along with students like Alban Berg and Anton Webern, forgo tonality altogether and welcome the serial tone.

6. Postmodern period (1930–present): Beginning in the 1930s and extending into the post–World War II era, the art music of the twentieth century underwent a change that gave rise to a genre of music that is sometimes referred to as postmodern or contemporary. Olivier Messiaen was a pioneer of postmodern music, fusing traditional styles with novel instruments like the ones martenot. The distinctions between tonal and atonal music have been muddled by postmodern and contemporary composers like Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Górecki, György Ligeti, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, and Christopher Rouse, as well as by the boundaries between classical music and other genres like rock and jazz.