The Classical Period (1730s-1810s)

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    Jean-Philippe Rameau

    French composer and theorist Tried to establish a rational foundation for harmonic practice
    “Treatise on Harmony” (1722) the beginning of the ideas of modern music theory
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    Frederick the Great

    Military victories
    Reorganization of Prussian armies
    Patronage of Prussian Arts
    A gifted musician: played flute.
    Composed at least 100 sonatas and 4 symphonies
    Spoke German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Latin, ancient and modern Greek, and Hebrew
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    The Rococo Style

    Rococo” derives from the French word, “rocaille” meaning “scroll”
    Ornate style: scrolls were often featured
    Francois Couperin (1668-1733), French composer, wrote in this new charming and entertaining style
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    The style of Empfindsamkeit desired to be, above all, simple and expressive of “natural” feeling
    The translation does not reflect the true meaning: “Sensitive style” or “Sentimental style”
    The primary composer of this style was the eldest son of J.S. Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-88)
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    Classical era

    characterized by the qualities of:
    Harmonic proportion
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    Franz Joseph Haydn

    credited as the primary mover within the new classic style concerning instrumental music but he did not invent the style.
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    Giovanni Paisiello

    was a very good Italian composer
    He spent time in Naples, St. Petersburg, and Paris, ending his career back in Naples
    He wrote 94 operas
    In 1816 he was offended when Rossini set the story, “The Barber of Seville” (Il barbiere di Siviglia) because Paisiello had set the story back in 1776
  • The First String Quartets

    The First String Quartets
    The inventor of the string quartet genre was Franz Xaver Richter (1709-89)
    First composed in the 1750s
    It was a prestigious chamber music genre; appealed to aristocratic social life
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    Antonio Salieri

    One of the successful court composers in Vienna; very popular and talented
    Composed many operas in Italian, German, and French
    Often used to accompany celebrations, masked balls and banquets
    Simple, cheerful compositions were preferred
    Mozart’s music was far more complex: he was not a good fit for this sort of entertaining, light music
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    Maria Anna Mozart

    Mozart’s older sister: 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
    When she retired to raise a family, Mozart wrote several works for her and sent her his piano cadenzas to play and critique
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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

    A child prodigy, as was his sister, Nannerl (Maria Anna) (1751-1829)
    They were taken on tours of Europe by their musician/teacher/ violinist /author/father, Leopold Mozart (1719-87)
    1762-1773: went on tours with his father through the Austrian-Hungarian countries, Germany, France, England, Holland, and Italy
    Performed in aristocratic homes, courts, and in public
    Always tested by older musicians who wanted to see the extent of his talent and skill
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    Maria Theresa von Paradis

    Excellent pianist and organist
    Renowned for her remarkable musical memory (60 concertos at a time)
    Composed two concertos, a piano trio, songs, cantatas, operas, and other chamber music
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    The American Revolution

    The American Revolution—also called the U.S. War of Independence—was the insurrection fought between 1775 and 1783 through which 13 of Great Britain's North American colonies threw off British rule to establish the sovereign United States of America, founded with the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
  • Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453

    Mozart wrote 27 piano concertos, most of which he played himself
    K. 453 was written for a student of his named Babette (Barbara von Ployer)
    He wrote 2 concertos for her
    He was proud of her and wrote to his father: “I am fetching Paisiello in my carriage, as I want him to hear both my pupil and my compositions
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    The French Revolution

    The French Revolution was a period of radical political and societal change in France that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended with the formation of the French Consulate in November 1799.