Classical Era Music (1730-1820) - An Introduction

Classical period in music is defined as the era when music scaled higher on the standards set by the masters of the Baroque era. This music is considered a polished version of Baroque, sans the bulk. The composers were disciplined extensively in the various nuances of music (either through private schooling or through dedicated conservatories) and were armed with technical mastery of tonal and harmonic principles, harmonization, modulation, etc. Because the composers were highly literate even complex repertoire was entirely written down which helped greatly in preserving their work for generations to come. It is also thanks to their training that they were able to portray emotions intelligently with the right notes. Beethoven, Clementi, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert are considered the crown jewels from the many eminent composers of that era.

In this era also it was upper-class society that formed the majority of the audience for Classical music. But, it was the working class that contributed greatly to its abridgment. Ancient themes and myths became a thing of the past and styles such as gallant, sentimental and comic opera were ushered in. The music is expressed as symphony, concerto, sonata, etude, fugue, opera, overture, waltz, etc. Based on the genre the tune changed in tempo or in key (major to minor).

Some of the most famous composers of the Classical period in music are:



Composer Thumbnail ISBNBest PriceDescription
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments 978-0393097160$42.98Musical literature classic
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) Keyboard Sonatas B003IEAMF8$13.65Composed during the 1740s
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)Gluck - Iphigénie en TaurideB00005RTSS$27.90work of extraordinary beauty of operatic drama
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)The Best of HaydnB0000014HJ $3.49 Mix of Haydn's best symphonies, string quartets, and concertos
Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)Boccherini: Fandango, Sinfonie & La Musica Notturna di Madrid B000E42MPS 15.99 Masterpieces of Boccherini
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) Clementi: Complete Orchestral Works B000VBIEZ6 $13.97 The set contains two overtures, six symphonies, and the C major piano concerto.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart: The Piano Concertos B0000041KA $42.15 Boxed Set of 10 CDs
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart: The Violin Sonatas B00004SA87 $16.97 Box set, Collector's Edition
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart: Violin Concertos Complete B000004166 $10.46 Two Disc Set
Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) Jan Ladislav Dussek: Selected Piano Works 978-0895791238 $47.00 Recent Researches in Music of the 19th & Early 20th Centuries Series
Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) Jan Ladislav Dusik: Piano Concerto; Sonatas B00008GQ8Z $6.76 Concertos and Sonatas
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Beethoven: The Piano Trios B0000CE7FJ $6.77 Box set
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 B000001GPX $5.72 8 recordings
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Piano Trio in E Flat B000069CVC $14.19 Audio CD




Pianoforte and organ gained in popularity and were instrumental for the enduring keyboard layout. Violin and the clarinet family became a mainstay at orchestral, chamber and concerto settings. Other instruments were basoons, flutes, horns and oboes.




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