Monday, September 06, 2010

Basics of Music

Apropos of not much, here is an outline sketch of what is colloquially called "Classical Music":

Early Period: Voice, Gregorian chant, Choral church music. until about 1400.

Medieval Period: More instrumentation, Renaissance period -- introduction of bass instruments and musical transcription. 1400 - 1600.

Common Practice Period:

Baroque Period: 1600 - 18th C. Continuous bass line, use of counterpoint (independent musical voices enunciated together that are harmonically interrelated), distinction of maj/minor motifs. More ensemble, chamber music. eg Bach, Handel.

Classical Period: 18th C - 1820's. Symphonies. More order to music, use of single reed instruments. eg. WA Mozart, Haydn.

Romantic Period: 1820 - 1910. Nationalist (eg Wagner, Dvorak). Less order, even as orchestras began forming for classical period music. Nocturnes, preludes -- free-form. Piano in present form. Romantic, emotional motives and themes. Grand opera. Eg. Beethoven (really straddles Classical and Romantic), Shubert.