History III: Classical to Romantic – September 5 2013
1730-1740: new compositional ideas are coming. The bridge between Baroque and Classical.
Age of Enlightenment (18 century): new ways of thoughts regarding church and science.
Power of God vs. Power of the mind and the individual’s choice. “The light of reason”
• Church: There is skeptism of the motivation of the church. Religion is becoming almost
like a mythology. The people are more readily turning to science to explain the world
rather than assuming God made everything exactly perfect. There is a loss in faith for
• Science: scientists and philosophers suggest that the creation of the world can be
explained and rationalized. They want to quantify, organize and measure the universe.
Philosophers who influenced the Age of Enlightenment:
ψ Renee Descartes: “I think therefore I am” promoted self-awareness and the power of the
ψ Isaac Newton: laws of gravity and science, beginning to explain the way the world works
in scientific terms.
The Age of Enlightenment’s impact on art, questions that begin to be asked: How do we
experience the arts? How does it move our emotions?
The church had used art, music, sculptures to get ideas across (The reason for the
Reformation: to make the music clearer so that the message could be understood)
Two main ideas of art in the 18 century:
1. Morality is learned. Art teaches and influences our morality.
2. (Aristotle) Art imitates nature. Art can be used spiritually but this is not its sole purpose.
Art’s purpose is to reveal: truth, beauty, nature. Because of this, composers adjusted
their styles to become effortless and natural.
Intellectualism favored over emotions: Classical thought.
Emotional responses can’t be trusted
Composers need to compose with a rational mind rather than emotion. Their actions
need to make sense not just sound