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  1. Classical music - Wikipedia › wiki › Classical_music

    Though the term "classical music" includes all Western art music from the Medieval era to the 2000s, the Classical Era was the period of Western art music from the 1750s to the early 1820s—the era of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

  2. Classical music - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia › wiki › Classical_music
    • Meaning of "Classic"
    • Contrast with Pop Music and Jazz
    • Religious and Non-Religious Music
    • Use of The Term "Classical Music"
    • Form (Shape) of Classical Music Pieces
    • Musical Training and General Use of Classical Music
    • Outline of The History of Classical Music
    • Conclusion

    The word “classic” tends to mean: an art which is so good that it will always be enjoyed by future generations. It is something that has become a model for future artists. The period of Ancient Greece and Rome is known as the Classical Period because, many centuries later, people looked back to those ancient civilizations and thought they were perfect. In recent European history the 18th century was known as the Classical Period because musicians, artists, writers and philosophers were inspired by the art forms of the Classical Period of Ancient Greece and Rome. Something that is a “classic” is therefore something that will always be remembered as something great. Famous books such as the novels of Charles Dickensare called "classics". “Classical music” therefore tends to mean music that will not be forgotten soon after it is written, but is likely to be enjoyed by many future generations.

    Although people sometimes think of classical music as the opposite of pop music, it can still be very popular. Like all kinds of music, classical music can be in many different moods: happy, sad, scary, peaceful, thoughtful, simple etc. Mozart wrote his serenades and divertimentos to entertain people at parties. Classical pieces of music can be quite short, but they can also be very long, like a big, musical story. A symphony by Mahler or Shostakovich can last for nearly an hour, and an operais a whole evening’s entertainment. Classical music is also different from jazz because true jazz is improvised. However, the differences are not always obvious. Classical music has often been inspired by jazz, and jazz by classical music. George Gershwin wrote music which is both jazz and classical. Classical music, too, can be improvised. The great composers Bach, Mozart and Beethoven often improvised long pieces of music on the organ, harpsichord or piano. Sometimes they wrote these improvist...

    In Western countries a vast amount of music was written for Christian worship in churches and cathedrals. This is called “sacred” (religious) music. All other music is “secular” music. The word “secular” means things that are not sacred. Sacred and secular music have influenced one another in many ways during the course of music history. Secular music was largely influenced by dance, and this in turn changed the style of scared music. For example: the church music of the 16th century composer Giovanni da Palestrina has nothing to do with dance music, but both the sacred and secular music of Johann Sebastian Bach two centuries later is full of dance rhythms. At some times in music history there have been different styles of composing for sacred and for secular music. Claudio Monteverdiuses two different styles for his church and for his non-church music. When composers were experimenting with new ways of writing music they usually did this with secular music, and sacred music caught...

    The term "classical music" was not used until the early 19th century. People then started talking about classical music in order to praise the great composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. In the 20th century many different ways of composing were used, including music played by electronic instruments or very modern music using strange sounds (experimental or "avant garde" music), for example the music of John Cage. Some people feel that this kind of music cannot really be described as "classical music".

    Most popular music is based on song form, but classical music has many different forms, some of which can be used over a long time span to make big compositions. Classical music can have many forms, including the symphony, concerto, oratorio, opera, sonata, fugue or any combination of dance movements such as suites. In many of the longer compositions, short tunes are developed and changed during the course of the piece. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphonyis a good example of a piece which develops from just four notes into a large piece lasting about half an hour.

    People who want to be good at performing classical music have to practice hard for many years. They normally have formal training at a music college or conservatoireand have lessons from well-known music teachers. Classical musicians often spend a lot of time thinking carefully about pieces of music, especially about pieces of music that they perform. They study such things as harmony and counterpoint to help them understand the way that the composers were thinking when they put the piece together. When they look at pieces of music in this way this is called “musical analysis”. People who specialize in thinking and writing about music may become professors or lecturers of music at universities. Classical music is often heard in popular culture. It is used as background music for movies, television programs, advertisements and even for mobile phone ringing tones. Most people in the Western world recognize many classical tunes, possibly without even realizing it. Some classical pieces...

    Middle Ages

    The history of classical music really started in the late Middle Ages. Music written for the church was almost always vocal (singing), because instruments were thought to be wicked. This is because the devil played them, and because they were used for dancing. There was a lot of dance music, but most of it is lost because it was never written down. Medieval composers who are remembered today include Léonin, Pérotin and Guillaume de Machaut


    The Renaissance was from the 15th century until the 17th century. This period saw a massive increase in the composition of music, both sacred and secular. Many great cathedrals had been built in Europe and composers wrote music for them, mostly vocal music. Secular music also became extremely popular, especially songs and madrigals, which would sometimes be accompanied by instruments. The greatest composers of this period include: Giovanni da Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Thomas Tallis and Wi...

    Baroque period

    The Baroque period was from about the 17th century until the mid-18th century. This was the time when the modern orchestra was formed, more or less as we know it. It was also the time when opera was invented. Most musicians worked either for the church or for rich people who had their own orchestras. Many of them also started to work for opera houses. The greatest composers of this time include: Claudio Monteverdi, Heinrich Schütz, Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Johan...

    It has never been possible to say exactly what is meant by “classical music”. Many different kinds of music influence one another. Since 1970 it has been even harder to make clear dividing lines between rock, pop, classical, folk, jazz and world music. This shows that classical music, like other kinds of music, continues to develop and reflect the society from which it comes.

  3. Classical period (music) - Wikipedia › wiki › Classical_period_(music)

    The Classical period was an era of classical music between roughly 1730 and 1820.. The Classical period falls between the Baroque and the Romantic periods. Classical music has a lighter, clearer texture than Baroque music and is less complex.

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  5. The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music - Wikipedia › wiki › The_50_Greatest_Pieces_of

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music is a selection of classical works recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor David Parry.

  6. Classical music of the United States - Wikipedia › wiki › Classical_music_of_the
    • Overview
    • Beginnings
    • Second New England School
    • 20th century

    American classical music is music written in the United States in the European classical music tradition. In many cases, beginning in the 18th century, it has been influenced by American folk music styles; and from the 20th century to the present day it has often been influenced by American folk music and sometimes jazz. The Lincoln Center houses nationally and internationally renowned performing arts organizations including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Cit

    The earliest American classical music consists of part-songs used in religious services during Colonial times. The first music of this type in America were the psalm books, such as the Ainsworth Psalter, brought over from Europe by the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first music publication in English-speaking North America — indeed the first publication of any kind — was the Bay Psalm Book of 1640.

    During the mid to late 19th century, a vigorous tradition of home-grown classical music developed, especially in New England. Academics view this development as pivotal in the history of American classical music because it established the characteristics that set it apart from its European ancestors. This initiative was driven by musicians who wanted to produce American indigenous music. John Knowles Paine is recognized as the leader of this group.

    In the early 20th century, George Gershwin was greatly influenced by African American music. He created a convincing synthesis of music from several traditions. Similarly inclined was Leonard Bernstein, who at times mixed non-tonal music with Jazz in his classical compositions. Leroy Anderson, Ferde Grofe and Morton Gould also composed pieces in the "symphonic jazz" vein.

  7. Classical period (music) - Simple English Wikipedia, the free ... › wiki › Classical_music_period

    The Classical music period is the time from about 1750 to 1820 when Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert were the most famous living composers. We often talk about “classical music” meaning European music which is not pop music or jazz or folk music. It is music which has been written by composers who have studied the art of composition.

  8. List of classical music composers by era - Wikipedia › wiki › List_of_classical_music
    • Summary
    • Medieval era
    • Renaissance era
    • Classical era

    This is a list of classical music composers by era. With the exception of the overview, the Modernist era has been combined with the Postmodern.

    See List of Medieval composers and Medieval music.

    See List of Renaissance composers and Renaissance music.

    See List of Classical era composers and Classical period.

  9. Music - Wikipedia › wiki › Music

    Classical music from the Romantic era (written from about 1820–1900) often contains multiple keys, as does jazz, especially Bebop jazz from the 1940s, in which the key or "home note" of a song may change every four bars or even every two bars. Rhythm. Rhythm is the arrangement of sounds and silences in time.

    • Various
    • Paleolithic era
  10. 20th-century classical music - Simple English Wikipedia, the ... › wiki › 20th-century_classical
    • Reaction to Romanticism
    • Impressionism
    • Late Romanticism
    • Symphonic Tradition
    • Avant Garde Experiments
    • Jazz Influence
    • Minimalism
    • Other Paths Based on Tradition

    Many European composers at the beginning of the 20th century felt that the system of tonality (music in major and minor keys) had been used for so long that it was time to do create a new approach and try something different. Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinskywere two of the most important composers at that time, and they had very different ideas about how to compose music. Schoenberg's music became very atonal (not in any key). Eventually he developed what he called twelve tone music. This was atonal music which was organized by putting the notes of a musical idea in a particular order which could be changed in many ways during the piece. This way of organizing music is called “serialism” (a “series” is a “row of things”). Many composers were influenced by Schoenberg, especially Alban Berg and Anton von Webern. Stravinsky came from Russia. He was inspired by Russian culture. He wrote some music for a ballet called Rite of Spring. This music was very new. It had very irregular rh...

    In France a movement called Impressionism was popular with painters. Composers were very interested in these paintings. Claude Debussy wrote music which is often called “Impressionistic”. The ideas of clear tonality (being clear about which key the music is in) are often deliberately blurred. He uses interesting chords just for the sound that they make. He used the whole tone scale and pentatonic scale and was inspired by Javanese music. Maurice Ravel’s music is sometimes similar, although he developed his own style. Later French composers include Olivier Messiaen who used a system of new scales which he called Modes of limited transposition. He was also interested in music from around the world, and he also used birdsong in his music.

    While all this was happening there were some composers who continued to write in a style which was basically Romantic. Edward Elgar ‘s music is often described as “Edwardian” (from the period of King Edward VII). Other British composers of the time were also inspired by English folkmusic, i.e. Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth, Roger Quilter and Gerald Finzi. Frederick Delius wrote Romantic music which was also quite Impressionistic. The Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff and the German Richard Strauss continued to write in a Romantic style until their deaths in the 1940s. The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and the Dane Carl Nielsen wrote great symphonies which were still in a tonal style, and in Italy Pucciniwas writing operas in a Romantic style, often called “verismo” (“like real life”).

    In Russia, which became the Soviet Union after the 1917 Revolution, composers were not allowed to be experimental. It was difficult for them because they had to please the politicians who told them that their music should reflect “Socialist realism” (meaning the workers’ struggle against capitalism). The great tradition of writing symphonies continued with Sergei Prokofiev (who spent some time in exile) and Shostakovich(who remained in the Soviet Union). The Hungarian composer Béla Bartók developed a modern style influenced by folk music from his country and other East European countries. His music is often quite neoclassical, for example the famous Concerto for Orchestra.

    In the mid-20th century a group of composers known as the “Darmstadt School” (because they often met in Darmstadt) continued to write music which was based on serialism. This included Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Many of them, including both Boulez and Stockhausen, also experimented with electronic music. The term Avant Garde is often used to describe their music. It means that it expands the limits, or pushes ahead into new ground (literally the “front guard”, a military analogy). Other American composers were experimental, e.g. Charles Ives and John Cagewho is famous for using a “prepared piano” (a piano which makes strange sounds because strange objects are put inside it).

    In America jazz was a big influence on classical composers. George Gershwin’s music is halfway between jazz and classical. Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein used jazz elements in their music. In Europe many composer used ideas from jazz, e.g. Maurice Ravel and Kurt Weill.

    Around the 1960s some composers thought that a lot of music was getting too complicated. Music of the avant garde school such as Edgard Varèse, Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt was becoming too difficult for people to understand. People found it too mathematical and intellectual. They wanted music with feeling and emotion. A group of composers developed a style called Minimalism which uses music based around a simple idea which repeats itself again and again but gradually changes. Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, John Cage and to some extent John Adamsall used minimalist techniques. It was a reaction against music that had become too complicated.

    While all these different schools of thought were coming and going there were still some composers who managed to keep to a more traditional path and find new ways to use tonality in their music. The greatest figure in British music was Benjamin Britten who was an eclectic composer (i.e. he took ideas from many different people). Two other great composers were Michael Tippett and William Walton, who each developed their own style. In America there were composers such as Samuel Barber, Roy Harris and Alan Hovhaness. In Germany Paul Hindemith was one of the most important composers. Like Kurt Weill, he often wrote music which had a political purpose, but Weill's music is more jazz-inspired. Some contemporary composers (alive today) write music which is deeply religious. These include John Tavener and Arvo Pärt. John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, who write music for choirs which sounds fresh and attractive to new audiences. Other composers have found various ways of creating their own style...

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