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One of the many historical periods of western art music that is widely recognized by various individuals throughout the span of time would be European Art music: Classical, which was also known as the Enlightenment Period. During this time, it consisted of “classicists” who wanted to achieve being able to express and share a vast amount of universal beauty ideas, as well as through the use of their idealized forms in their artwork with others. The 18th century was known as the age of reason solely due to a variety of individuals such as Voltaire, Diderot, and Lessing who went on to write about “the ideals of reason, objectivity, and scientific knowledge” which they would go on to spread throughout both “european society and culture”. This includes other well-known individuals such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin who agreed on the topic of natural rights for individuals rather than that of state rights. Thus this led up to the American Revolution and French Revolution taking place, and so forth.  Furthermore, during this classical period it resulted in composers discarding what they once knew and moving toward learning “compositional techniques such as fugal imitation, and grandeur in favor of transparent textures, a single melody supported by a subordinate accompaniment, and somewhat superficial sentiments.” It had become an important time when performers began to expand their orchestra from about “thirty or forty players”. This led to the orchestra receiving positive feedback from the public after each concert. 

When it comes to the classical historical period, what I find most interesting is that when the orchestra decided to increase the number of performers they would used to strengthen their sound. I find this interesting because compared to the smaller orchestra they possibly had before it’s compelling to see how they wanted to expand the number of instruments used and the increased amount of support they had gotten from the public. Even before having the ability to read the information within the article I was not really knowledgeable about this time period regarding the classical music era. The textbook describes the classical music from this period as switching to a new way of doing music and different styles compared to earlier classical music and mature classical music. For example, the article, states “composers of the early classical period discarded complex textures, learned compositional techniques such as fugal imitation, and grandeur in favor of transparent textures, a single melody supported by a subordinate accompaniment, and somewhat superficial sentiment”.  While “In the mature classical style of Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven, counterpoint, processes of rigorous development, and depth of expression reappear, but in the context of classical ideals of clarity, proportion, and refined taste.” The music did sound like what I had expected from the textbook and to my own knowledge. It sounded like a soft melody for many of them but would lead up to a more intense tune and back to a soothing sound for the three different songs. For example, Surprise by Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto, and Beethoven- Moonlight Sonata. 

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July 2024

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