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Brief Introduction to Classical Period

Music and Culture
Course Code
Andy Lee

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Classic Period
century is often called the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment
-classical refers to the mature styles of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven
-their music is classic because it shares many attributes with the art and architecture of antiquity
-classical music possessed the qualities of noble simplicity, balance, perfection of form, diversity
within unity, seriousness of purpose, and restrained use of ornamentation
-Galant was used in the 18
century to describe literature that was elegant and courtly
-describe painting in which the subject matter was light and flirtatious
-thing that was modern, smart, chic, smooth, easy, sophisticated
-marked by more chordal, gallant style, emphasis on naturalness, simple melody with light
-Empfindsam style is associated with intimate, sensitive, and subjective tendencies of 18
century literature and art
Europe in the Eighteenth Century
-as manufacturing and trade increased, middle class grew in size
-as city became more urbanized, nature was idealized
-nostalgia for an idyllic rural life was resulted
-social and political issues were analyzed through reason and science
-Enlightenment embraced rationalism, the view that reason combined with experience and
knowledge could solve problems
-individual faith and practical morality were valued over supernatural and the Church
-philosophes, French leaders of the Enlightenment were social reformers more than philosophers
-in response to inequalities between condition of common people and privileged classes, they
developed doctrines about individual human rights
-the social criticism set the stage for the French Revolution and the downfall of the old political
-humanitarianism and the idea of universal brotherhood were popular in the Classical period
-Figaro is a fictional character who symbolizes the challenge to the old order
-he’s a clever servant who outwits his aristocratic master in romance and makes him look
ridiculous in bargain
-he was the spokesperson and hero of the new age
From Baroque to Classic
-aim of Classicism was to construct an ideal vision of life and nature in tune with Enlightenment
goals of realism, restraint, harmony, and order
The Place of Music in the Classic Era
-composers and publishers began to make music that addressed a general public rather than the
select group of expert
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