MUSIC100 Chapter 7 - M USIC100 Chapter 7 T HE CLASSIC ERA:...

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Unformatted text preview: M USIC100 Chapter 7 T HE CLASSIC ERA: 1750 – 1800- The term “ classic” is usually used to describe something with an appeal that is both very broad and very long-lasting- This signals the continual process of attracting enthusiasts long after they first appeared - It also means that they appeal to a wide range of people- Both of these things are true of Classic music- The music of the greatest composers of the Classic era has been popular with audiences ever since it was written F rom Absolutism to Enlightenment to Revolution- The eighteenth century was a time of profound social and political change- It began with the death in 1715 Louis XIV of France, the most powerful absolute ruler in Europe, and it ended with two of the most significant revolutions in modern history: the American War of Independence (1775-83) and the French Revolution (1789-94)- The whole period was coloured by the philosophical movement known as the Enlightenment- This movement, led by the great French philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau, who both died in 1778, attempted to apply the principles of scientific objectivity to issues of social justice- Its adherents tried to improve education, eliminate superstition and prejudice , and break down the rigid class structure that separated people from one another The Musical Public- Even the type of music composed in the Classic era was affected by the new musical public- The complex rhythms and counterpoint of Baroque music, with its heavy bass line and emotional intensity, were no longer in fashion- Music was now designed to appeal to a broader public- It had to be lighter, clearer, and more accessible- It had to be easier to listen to and easier to play- This was the era of several new genres, including the divertimento – a piece played as a “diversion” – and comic opera- A com mon musical language developed, one that could be understood by a broad range of society- In this language – the “ classic” language of music – enormous amounts of music were composed- All of it is pleasant and accessible General Characteristics of Classic Music- Balance and proportion, clarity and accessibility: these are the primary features of Classic music- It is designed to be “ easy on the ear.”- Yet that does not mean it cannot also be very beautiful, very moving, and very profound- Mozart once wrote to his father that his latest compositions would appeal to the most experienced listeners and to amateurs alike- The experts would appreciate all the subtleties, and the amateurs would be pleased “ without knowing why.”- Classic music usually has just a melody and an accompaniment, and the accompaniment is light and simple- Imitative counterpoint is used only rarely, and then only for special effect- The melodies are pleasing and tuneful- Mozart was delighted when he was told that everyone on the streets of Prague was singing the tunes from his latest opera- There are some technical aspects to the special sound of Classic music...
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This note was uploaded on 01/01/2011 for the course MUSIC 100 taught by Professor J during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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MUSIC100 Chapter 7 - M USIC100 Chapter 7 T HE CLASSIC ERA:...

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