Classical Era

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    Franz Joseph Haydn

    A primary Austrian composer who served as innovator and mover within the new classic style; teacher, keyboardist, and violinist
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    Johann Christian Bach

    Worked in Milan and London; son of J. S. Bach; friend and influence to Mozart; set up concert series in London with Abel
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    With the onset of the Romantic era in the wake of the French Revolution, composers began to view their own role in society as well as the social function of their work, and hence also its aesthetic prerequisites, in a radically different light. With respect to social function, Beethoven was actually the first musician of stature to achieve emancipation in the sense that his work reflected, with relatively few exceptions, purely personal artistic concerns.
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    Luigi Boccherini

    Italian composer and cellist; prolific
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    William Billings

    Most prominent composer in the New America; singing teacher; not a strong composer
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    The Art of the Fugue

    An incomplete musical work of unspecified instrumentation by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). Written in the last decade of his life, The Art of Fugue is the culmination of Bach's experimentation with monothematic instrumental works. Bach died while writing Contrapunctus XIV
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    Domenico Cimarosa

    Italian composer; a central figure in opera in the late 18th century; extraordinarily successful in his day
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    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    German poet and writer; he was a literary force behind Romanticism; composers continue to set his works to music
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    Lorenzo Da Ponte

    Italian librettist and poet; collaborated with Mozart
  • String Quartets

    Invented by Franz X Richter: musical composition for two violins, viola, and cello in several movements. It has been the predominant genre of chamber music since about 1750.
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    Antonio Salieri

    Italian composer and teacher; he functioned in the transitional periods between the galant and the classic and then again between the classic and the romantic; extremely successful
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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Austrian composer; child prodigy; wrote in all genres; best innovations were in opera; he represents to many today the epitome of the classic style
  • Opera Buffa

    Genre of comic opera originating in Naples in the mid-18th century
  • 1st Industrial Revolution

    Began in the 18th century, when agricultural societies became more industrialized and urban. The transcontinental railroad, the cotton gin, electricity and other inventions permanently changed society
  • Modern Piano Invented

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    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Instrumental in moving music towards Romanticism; he is an icon in our present culture; he established the heroic topic in orchestral music and was the transitional composer between classicism and romanticism.
  • Boston Tea Party

    American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of British tea into the harbor.
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    American Revolution

    Arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown.
  • U.S. Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule.
  • London: First Patented Piano

  • Absolute Music

    Instrumental music composed purely as music, and not intended to represent or illustrate something else.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Ended the American Revolutionary War.
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    Carl Maria von Weber

    Founder of German Romantic Opera; studied with Michael Haydn; important conductor
  • Don Giovanni

    Opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that premiered at the original National Theatre in Prague on October 29, 1787
  • Mozart Became Imperial Royal Court Composer

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    French Revolution

    The revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there in 1789.
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    Franz Schubert

    Austrian composer who created a genre of artistic and dramatic Lieder; expansive melodies; frequent modulations; many unfinished works; romanticized after his early death
  • Valved Trumpet Invented

    The first piston-valved musical instruments were developed just after the start of the 19th century.
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    Hector Berlioz

    French composer, conductor, writer, and innovator; he was the leading French musician in his day; his works embody the notions of Romanticism
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    Mikhail Glinka

    The father of Russian music; European trained; prolific
  • Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5"

    Widely recognized by the ominous four-note opening motif—often interpreted as the musical manifestation of “fate knocking at the door”—that recurs in various guises throughout the composition.
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    Richard Wagner

    Creator of German Music Drama; conductor; writer; musical innovator; wrote about music of the future; Anti-Semite; profoundly influenced Western harmony; strove for endless melodies
  • Congress of Vienna

    Reorganized Europe after the Napoleonic Wars