The Classical Period (1730s-1810s)

  • Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)

    French composer and theorist. Tried to establish a rational foundation for harmonic practice, "Treatise on Harmony" (1722) which was the beginning of the ideas of modern music theory.
  • Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782)

    Court poet in Vienna, primary librettist for opera seria in the late Baroque and Classic periods.
  • Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700-1775)

    Innovator of the symphony in Milan.
  • Emergence of Comic Operas (1700s)

    Serious and comic opera were invented in Italy. The first operas were based on mythology, with very few comic elements. Comic operas made their way into Italy. Audiences liked comedies.
  • Franz Xavier Richter (1709-1789)

    Inventor of string quartets, prestigious chamber music genre consisting of two violins, a viola, and a cello. All of the voices are considered equal.
  • Frederick the Great (1712-1786)

    Composed at least 100 sonatas and 4 symphonies; military victories. Employed C.P.E Bach in his court. Dedicated his life to supporting music and the arts.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)

    Empfindsamkeit style, a reaction against the strict and learned style of counterpoint. Moved German speaking areas towards the classical style.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

    Wrote lyric dramatic opera, brought about operatic reform in Italian opera seria.
  • Prince Nikolaus J. Eszterhazy (1714-1790)

    Haydn's patron and employer until 1790.
  • Johann Stamitz (1717-1757)

    Galant, symphonic innovator in Mannheim. Conductor, violinist, and teacher, helped to establish symphonic genre.
  • Charles Burney (1726-1814)

    Organist, amateur composer, writer, and scholar. All books are primary sources, as he personally knew the composers.
  • Niccolò Piccinni (1728-1800)

    Founder of opera buffa.
  • Emergence of Classical Era

    Developed in Italy.
    Singable melodies, symmetrical phrasing, easier harmonies, simple relationships of V to I. Slower harmonic rhythms, easy accompanimental figures. *Functional harmonies
  • The Rococo Style (1730s-60s)

    "Rococo" derived from the French word meaning scroll. Ornate style, an over the top decoration. Many ornaments, such as turns, trills, and grace notes. In the classical period, everything simplified
  • Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

    Haydn is credited as the primary mover within the classical style concerning instrumental music, but did not invent the style.
  • Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

    Viennese choirboy at St. Stephen's Cathedral, kicked out of choir after his voice changed at age 16 and was homeless. Esterhazys (1761) hired Haydn. Haydn was liked by the household, and even after the passing of Nikolaus, received pension. Lived under the patronage system for most of his adult career. Haydn's works were considered property of the court, but was allowed more freedom in 1780.
  • Johann Schobert (ca. 1735-1767)

    Influence of Mozart, simulated orchestral effects in harpsichord writing.
  • J. C. Bach (1735–1782)

    Musical influence of Mozart, used contrasting themes in concertos and sonata-form movements, melodies, chromaticism, church music, and orchestral works.
  • Invention of the Symphony (1740s)

    In the 1740s, Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700-75) invented the symphony in Milan, Italy. Emerged out of Italian overture, originally containing three movements alternating fast, slow, fast. The 4th movement was added in the 1740s in Mannheim, Germany. Standard classical symphony is four movements.
  • Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)

    Italian composer, wrote 94 operas.
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

    Italian composer and cellist, prolific
  • William Billings (1746-1800)

    One of the first American composers, tanner, taught himself to compose music. Hymnals were the primary focus and his first publication was "The New-England Psalm-Singer" (1770).
  • Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)

    Italian composer, central figure in opera in the late 18th century.
  • Antonio Salieri (1750-1825)

    Composer in the court of Vienna. Composed many operas in Italian, German, and French.
  • Emergence of String Quartets (1750s)

    Prestigious chamber music genre, no conductor, voices treated equally.
  • Maria Anna Mozart [Nannerl] (1751-1829)

    Mozart's older sisten, often described as equal in talent and skill. Toured with Mozart during her childhood. When she was twelve, Leopold Mozart said that she was one of the most skillful players in Europe and played with incredible precision.
  • Muzio Clementi (1752-`832)

    English composer of Italian birth, keyboardist, teacher, music publisher, and piano manufacturer.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

    Born in Salzburg, died in Vienna. Known most for his opera and symphonies. His music is noted for it's lyrical melodic lines, colorful orchestration, and dramatic content. Keyboard virtuoso, could improvise, sightread, play. Went on tours with his father through the Austrian-Hungarian countries, Germany, France, England, Holland, and Italy.
  • Maria Theresa von Paradis (1759-1824)

    Blind pianist and organist, renowned for her memory. Composed two concertos, a piano trio, songs, cantatas, operas, and other chamber music. Most of her music is lost, Mozart composed K. 456 for her, and Salieri composed his only organ concerto in her honor.
  • Emergence of Opera Buffa (c. 1760)

    More mature comic operas, used more realistic characters and serious topics.
  • Period: to

    Industrial Revolution (1760s-1790s)

    A time of significant advances in science and ideas.
  • Emergence of the Chamber Sonata

    Three or four movements common. Popular genre for composers performing their own music. The piano would take the leading role in sonatas for a iano and soloiist.
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201 (1774)

    "K." stands for Kochel, who catalogued Mozart's works. Mozart composed this symphony when he was 18 years old. Four movements, Allegro moderato, Andante, MenuettoL Allegretto and Trio, and Allegro con spirito.
  • Period: to

    The American Revolution (1775-1783)

  • Invention of the Piano (1777)

    The first patented version of a piano was in London in 1777. The difficult portion was creating a hammer return that would allow rapid repetition of notes. It was called a pianoforte (“soft-loud”) because it could play contrasting dynamics.
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453 (1784)

    Written for a student of his named Barbara von Ployer. Three movements: Allegro, Andante-Allegretto, Presto. The piano was not as sturdy as modern day instruments. Clear indication of sonata principles within the ritornello structure.
  • Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (1786)

    Dramma giocoso in four acts, based on a play that had been banned in France.
  • Mozart: Don Giovanni (1787)

    Considered the best opera ever composed. No slapstick, but some physical comedy and intensified social tensions between the classes. Advanced plot during the ensemble
  • Period: to

    The French Revolution (1789-1799)

  • Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte (1790)

  • Symphony No. 100 in G Major (Military) (1794)

    Played with the idea of retuning musical themes when and where they are expected and suprised with Janissary elements. Turkish culture was popular in Europe during the 1780s and 1790s.
  • Weidinger's Trumpet (c. 1796)

    Similar to woodwind instruments, full range of notes with chromatic and diatonic pitches. Did not catch on, and the valved trumpet was invented shortly after.
  • Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major (1796)

    3 movements, Allegro, Andante, Allegro. Sonata rondo form (A B A B A C (develop.) A B A))
  • Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3, Mvt. 2 (1797)

    Theme and variations. Theme and variation I are homophonic. Variations II, III, and IV are polyphonic.
  • Haydn: The Creation (1798)

    Oratorio. The last music that Haydn attended before his death.
  • Invention of the Valved Trumpet (1801)

    Preferred over the key trumpet.
  • Haydn: The Seasons (1801)