Music History (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century)

Baroque Music Period

Music has roughly started some thousand years back and it has traveled a long way before reaching us. It includes emotions, ideology, art, and portrays the culture. The styles and sound of music compositions have progressed and emerged with assorted tapestries since the evolution of mankind. Music also speaks about its creators and its time. The artists have divided classical music into famous historic eras and genres. Among these eras, Baroque was a very famous musical period. And we’re here to tell you amazing information about the baroque music period and how it has contributed to modern music. 

Baroque Music

The Baroque genre got the name from the Portuguese language in which the word means “broken pearl”. It was essentially a term used to define this style of music. In music, the word “Baroque” means complex or intricate, and also ornamental. The baroque music also mirrors the trends of its period of decorative wigs, outfits, and especially coats. In this music, genre simplicity was swapped by composite harmonic touches. 

Years of Baroque Music Period

The Baroque Music Era started from the very beginning of the 17th century and ended in the mid of 18th century. From the year 1600 to 1750 it was the baroque music period that included amazing baroque composers who created and established new music styles like sonata and the concerto. The Baroque Period was conventionally separated into three major overlapping time segments that are Early (1580-1650) Middle (1630-1700) Late (1680-1750).

Characteristics of Baroque Music Period

The Baroque Era is usually known for its intricate music pieces and complex compositions and harmonies, but still, this period has provided the groundwork for the next three centuries of music. For its followers, the glory of the Baroque Era represented sophistication and majestic style. Baroque music was very popular for marriages, celebrations, and festive occasions. Here we have mentioned some characteristics of Baroque Music. 

  1. In the Baroque Period, upper and lower tones were the center of focus and orchestra size was increased.
  2. Baroque compositions also emphasized greatly on layered melodies, which inteded that the similar notes would be repetitive in a composition. 
  3. Various parts of music and instruments’ size increased considerably during this period. 
  4. The composers required a variety of violins to play different pieces of compositions.
  5. The most significant qualities commonly linked with the Baroque are emotional liveliness, vitality, and sensuous richness. 
Baroque Period is Best Known for

This music period extended the range, size, and involvedness of instrumental acts, and also founded some new musical genres such as concerto, oratorio, and sonata. Listen to the inspiring and spirited works by eminent composers and you will love it for sure. The Baroque Period is famous and well-known for its evergreen musical terms and impressions that are still in use. And are also a part of modern classical compositions. 

The Most Important Instrument

The variations and upgrades in musical instruments are still under practice in modern music eras. Similarly, the baroque period also improved the instruments from the previous era for different musical notes. The chief instrument of this era was the harpsichord. It was primarily a music keyboard instrument. However, important instruments from the 16th century were continued and remained in use which included viol and lute.

Famous Composers and their Work

The fame and importance of the Baroque period are due to its finest composers and creators. This musical era has a list of amazing composers that gave notable services in terms of new compositions and reformations of tunes and the invention of new instruments. Here we will discuss some of the most renowned composers that appeared during the Baroque period. 

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643, 76 years)

Monteverdi was an Italian composer who was born in the Italian City of Cremona and published his first compositions at the age of fifteen. His significant contributions to the Baroque include his pioneering books on secular vocal composition.

Henry Purcell (1659-1695, 36 years)

Purcell was an English composer and was one of England’s supreme ever composers. He died at the age of 36 and no musician of his level was born until the 20th century. He was recognized for his Dido and Aeneas work which is considered as one of the founding parts of the Baroque. 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750, 65 years)

Bach was the finest composer from any music period. He composed a thousand music pieces and his most famous composition was Brandenburg Concertos. Bach’s excellence could be compared to brilliant artists from other disciplines such as Shakespeare in literature and Leonardo da Vinci in visual art. He was an organist of the Baroque period. At first, his compositions and talent were considered outdated, but a rediscovery of his works led to the Bach renewal. And he was seen as a great composer. His most contributions to the classical period include “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” and “The Well-Tempered Clavier”.,

Classical Music Period

Whether you are a pop or rap enthusiast, the effect of the classical era on today’s music cannot be masked. Though music history has different periods of progress, classical music extended more than just a phase in music’s evolution. Europe started adopting new trends in art, architecture, and literature. This change was known as classicism. The change in trends was brought to match the classical Greek style. Classical music was developed to bond with classical antiquity trending at that time. In this article, we will discuss the emergence of classical music and its distinction from the Baroque period. Furthermore, we will investigate the major characteristics of classical music and its composers. 

Classical Music and its Years

The main qualities that differentiate classical music from the Baroque period include clear and light texture. It was also less complex than Baroque music. Classical music was primarily composed of homophonic tunes. There was also the use of the Galant style in the classical period which was antagonistic to the baroque style. Galant style followed light elegance, on the other hand, the baroque music dignity and seriousness were practiced. 

Commonly, in western music, the years of Classical music are believed between 1750 and 1820. However, the term classical is used in an informal sense as a synonym for antique art and music from history, especially from the seventeenth to nineteenth century. 

Striking Features of Classical Music Period

Distinctive features of music vary from era to era and every music period has some specific characteristics. Similarly, the classical music period is famous for its sense of proportion, balance, and synchronization in the melodies. This music perfectly describes the subject in an emotionally neutral style. 

Important characteristics of music in the Classical period include:

  • This music period was greatly focused on tonal harmony, simple and short melodies, and synchronization. 
  • Classicism and public accessibility to music were common throughout Europe, which permitted middle-class people to participate in music.
  • A strong emphasis on the sense of balance and sophistication
  • Single-line balanced tunes and definite melodies with simplicity and diatonic harmony were trending. Diatonic means the use of melodies and notes that are not outside the key.
  • In classical music, homophonic textures were mainly practiced but different moods were symbolized by the combination of two or more melodies. 
What makes the classical Music Period Unique?

Classical music signifies the cordial feelings of western civilization. Through the music, their composers portrayed the image of the time and culture in which they had lived. One can feel the greatness and triumphs of this generation through classical music. Scientific research has shown that classical music untangles mental blockades and encourages true communication of emotions. Listening to classical music provides a diversity of benefits to your mind. Playing classical music amazingly relieves stress.

Eminent Composers and their Contributions

It was the period of music when composers started defying the rules of the Baroque musical styles and created strict compositional “guidelines”. However, under such strict rules and regulations, some great composers like Mozart and Haydn managed to make some of the greatest classical music compositions that are still known to the world. Moreover, the composers of the classical period diverged in innovation and style which started debates among music scholars determining who is the best. But the composers listed below are one of the most significant.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791, 35 years)

He was an Austrian composer of the Classical Period, who was well-known as one of the supreme composers of Western music during the classical times. An amazing fact about Mozart is that he was the only music composer who could excel and write all the genres of his period. His work consists of numerous successful operas, including Don Giovanni (1787) and The Marriage of Figaro (1786).

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827, 57 years)

Beethoven was a famous German pianist and composer who was renowned as one of the greatest composers ever lived in the history of Germany. He extended the Classical backgrounds of his teacher Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Beethoven encountered deafness at the age of 28. But he didn’t give up and produced 722 major works, consisting of 35 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, and 9 symphonies. 

Romantic Period

The music portrays the interests and of the people and the values of their culture. It is evident from history that music has progressed with time and each period of music has its imprint. Like other music eras, the Romantic period was also led by bright and intelligent composers who created expressive and impressive melodies. You might be familiar with the music from the romantic period because it is very often used in movies and television shows. This article will focus on how music evolved syulistically in this period and we will talk about the Romantic music composers and some of their most imperative contributions.

Romantic Music and its Dates

The Romantic music period began roughly from 1830 and ended in the early 1900s. The compositions kept developing and becoming innovative and expressive during the period. 

Romantic music appeared due to the influence of the Romantic movement in literature and art started at the end of the eighteenth century. The romantic music symbolized the significance of the emotional experiences of humans. And among all the emotional experiences the most common was unattainable love and desire for a return to the homeland. 

Key Characteristics of Romantic Music

The emotional expression became the center of focus and important formal structure in the romantic period. Composers didn’t defy all the old phrases and melodies from the classical period but modified them into new and improved harmonies. The Romantic Era music and art also echoed the war, tension, and revolution that brushed across Europe in 1789. Here are some key characteristics of the romantic music period described below. 

  1. Programme Music was introduced which was a type of narrative music to describe an idea, person, or specific item. This music was only instrumental without any lyrics. 
  2. Orchestra size undertook a big expansion and other related instruments were also enlarged. 
  3. New forms and structures such as nocturne, rhapsody, and song cycle explained the harmonic developments.
  4. Longer melodies and phrases than the classical music period were introduced.
  5. Nationalism was incorporated in music; some composers used their musical compositions for the celebrations of their country. For example, Sibelius Finlandia.
The Distinctiveness of the Romantic Period

The Romantic Period was well-known for its logical orientation in the melodies. This music was vastly expressive and it reverberates with the emotional feelings of the world. This trait makes the romantic period lasting and evergreen. Moreover, independence of form and harmony in melodies made it more unique. Lyrical melodies and many chromatic (outside the key) harmonies differentiated it from the classical period of music. 

Important Instruments

In every music period, there are some instruments that not only symbolize that period but also act as prime tools for music creation. In the romantic music period, the size of the orchestra had increased and it became one of the major instruments. Other important instruments from the romantic music era include; strings with a bigger string section, flutes and clarinets made of wood, trumpets and trombones made from bras, and piano. 

Composers of the Romantic Period and their Works

Composers of the romantic music era are still known today due to their worthy contributions and legendary works. Romantic composers didn’t discard the music from the Classical period. Moreover, they also practiced the same basic rules of melody, harmony, and rhythm that were established in the Classical time. Here we have enlisted some of the famous composers and highlighted their contributions to romantic music. 

Richard Wagner (1813-1883, 70 years)

Not only in the romantic era but also before or since no music composer had such an amazing influence on the development of his music. He was a philosopher, poet, and one of the main composers in music history and notable men of the 19th century. Wagner was a genius composer of this period. “Ride of the Valkyries” is one of Wagner’s most celebrated pieces of music. 

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849, 39 years)

Rarely have composers shown such expertise as Chopin. And only a handful of composers from the romantic period are still known for their active compositions in music stock. He was the only composer who didn’t write operas, symphonies, or ballets. Chopin was a Polish-born pianist and he was famous for his incomparable and genius keyboard music.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856, 46 years)

Schumann was one of the most important figures in the Romantic period. Not a single music artist investigated the Romantic’s thing with a pure feeling of obsession and  passion as Robert Schumann did. Schumann’s famous piano work is “Carnaval, Op.9 (1834)”.

20th Century

At the beginning of the 20th century, the romantic era of music reached a turning point. The composers started ignoring the ethnicities and traditions from the Romantic period. And began to create a range of entirely new music. All western music eras before the 20th century had clearly defined conventions and styles. And composers were convinced to follow these pre-defined rules. That is why a lot of compositions appeared similar in sound. However, composers of the 20th century started to neglect previous styles from the classical and romantic eras. In this article, we will examine the diverse strands of the 20th Century music period and some major trends of this period. 

20th Century Music

In the 20th century music developed differently with many large changes. It was repetitive and rhythmic. This music was danceable and with time some sub-types of jazz music advanced into other categories such as free jazz and cool jazz. The beat speed touched both higher and lower extremes. These compositions were less clear, with many crude parts.

Start and End of 20th Century Music

The music of the 20th century was not made up of any definite style. It is essentially made up of diverse traditions and rules that were described by different composers and at different times in the history of the 20th century period. Down here we’ll take a look at some significant features of 20th-century music. 

  1. Impressionism was a movement in art and music that started at the end of the 19th century. It was focused on the description of atmosphere and mood in music. And it was in contrast to the serious and heavy compositions made in the Romantic period.
  2. Modernism and Atonalism were among the major rules of 20th-century music. A lot of music was created following modernism and rejecting the old music ethos. Modernism promoted the independence and uniqueness of individual composers.
  3. Political Turmoil and War had an inevitable impact on music. With two major wars WWI and WWII, the 20th Century was the period of important changes in every aspect of life including music. Emotional restraint was focused more due to the trauma from the Wars.
  4. Jazz Music was introduced by the African American creators and it is considered as the biggest musical progress of the 20th Century music period.
  5. Minimalism was introduced which focused on using nominal musical equipment. Technology was integrated into music for the first time and the compositions were created with the help of electronic techniques. 20th century music became more coherent and harmonized with the incorporation of technology.
20th Century Music is Best-Known for

20th Century Music observed dramatic inventions and revolutions in musical forms and compositions. This period of music carries the most dynamic and significant impact on the present musical styles. This era is best known for its amazing songwriters and composers who discovered new forms after they defied the rules of earlier periods.

Some famous composers and their works

Composers of the 20th century music period discovered and invented powerful and distinctive compositions of music. Their works were recognized because they matched the pace of revolution and change that describes the 20th century. Here we have the names of some famous composers and their important contributions to the 20th century music period.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937, 62 years)

Ravel was considered anti-Wagnerian and an Impressionist. At the age of only 14, he displayed talent and was admitted to the Paris Conservatory. When he was at the peak of his success world war started and most of his projects didn’t appear. Ravel’s most celebrated composition was Bolero.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918, 56 years)

He is known for his exceptionally designed compositions and non-traditional styles. His unique talent took him to the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11. He was well-known for his orchestral works and his most eminent piece was Clair de Lune.

Summary

We have learned about the music period of the 20th century, modernism in music, the influence of politics, war, and technology on music, and how new composers rejected the old styles established in former music eras. Also, the 20th century music period is the most important among all because it has a major impact on today’s music.

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ILIL
2 years ago

Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: Menuet
is the best of Bach to me.

Thank you for your great effort to give us stories of famous musician.

summer
summer
2 years ago

Wow, very professional music sharing, collect it for friends who like music

jinhan
jinhan
2 years ago

Originally Baroque meant broken pearls
Thanks for helping me with a lesson

GTing
2 years ago
Thank you for sharing these great musicians☺☺☺
Bella
Bella
2 years ago

好奇~~~不知道版主能不能做個比較的小結論,讓我這個外行人可以更清楚的看出兩個音樂類型的差異~~~~

Kaika
2 years ago

好認真的文章~
以前學音樂史都囫圇吞棗
剛好來複習一下!

斗梯
2 years ago

有聽過一個說法”近代古典無大師”
目前的樂團演奏還是以古典為主,但似乎沒有什麼嶄新的突破
不知道版主怎麼看?

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