The Classical Era of Music

Classical Music (with a capital C) is defined as music composed specifically between the years of 1750-1820.

The era falls between the Baroque and Romantic eras and is characterized by elegant, stylized forms.

If you hear music spoken about in more general terms - "classical" music can then be any music that is in opposition to pop or folk music - the more serious music of a culture.

The purpose here is to learn about the characteristics of the Classical Era of music.

Composers of the Classical Era 

Of course, there are too many composers of the Classical Era to list here, so let's just stick to the big three:


Franz Joseph Haydn 

Born in Austria in 1732, Haydn was known as the "Father of the Symphony". He composed 104 symphonies, proba

bly the most famous of them being the "Surprise" Symphony. 

Haydn was also referred to as "Papa Haydn" - as a term of affection given to him by those who worked with him. 

He was a court music, and spent most of his life in service to Prince Esterhazy of Austria. 


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The name Mozart is synonymous with Classical music. He is perhaps the most well-known and loved composer of all time.

He was also an Austrian composer - born in 1756. He composed everything from opera to symphonies. Perhaps his most famous work is Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music).


Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven is most well known for his tempestuous personality and his deafness at the end of his life.

Ludwig was born in Germany in 1770 and died in 1827. He actually would make advancements in the Classical Era and become a bridge to the Romantic Era of music

Perhaps his most famous work is Fur Elise, a work for piano.


Other Elements of Classical Music

Classical Era Music also includes strict FORMS, such as the symphony, sonata, and concerto. 

Compared to the more ornate Baroque Era, the Classical Era reigned things in and focused on structure, predictability, and order. 

The ORCHESTRATION in Classical Era Music was also changing. The orchestra was getting larger and a conductor was now being utilized.




Learn more about the Classical Era of music with the following resources from SQUILT Music:

Volume 2 - The Classical Era

SQUILT Composer Spotlights (Handel, Mozart)

SQUILT LIVE! Membership - includes dozens of archived lessons, many of them featuring Classical Era composers! 



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