The early fifteenth century was dominated initially by English and then Northern European composers. The Burgundian court was especially influential, and it attracted composers and musicians from all over Europe. The most important of these was Guillaume Du Fay (1397–1474), whose varied musical offerings included motets and masses for church and chapel services, many of whose large musical structures were based on existing Gregorian chant. His many small settings of French poetry display a sweet melodic lyricism unknown until his era. With his command of large-scale musical form, as well as his attention to secular text-setting, Du Fay set the stage for the next generations of Renaissance composers.
An Italian harpsichord maker, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), invented the fortepiano and continued to develop this instrument until the 1720s. In the 1730s, Gottfried Silbermann, a German constructor of keyboard instruments, took up the work of Cristofori and built several grand pianofortes based on Cristofori’s design. The classical fortepiano has lighter, thinner, less emphatic, more transparent and sustained tone color than the modern piano we have now. The lightness of its construction produced a crisper sound that is characteristic of the music written of this day. Cristofori’s pianos were not treasured in the beginning since his pianofortes were still very similar to the clavichords.
The Dominant Style of the 18th Century The eighteenth century is characterized by the period of Enlightenment. It was during this period that music and culture flourished across Europe as people everywhere promoted universal education, individual faith, practical morality, and social equality. Amidst the cultural and musical shift that took place during this time, two styles, known as galant and empfindsam, stood out as two of the dominant musical styles of the Classical Period. This paper will use Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Sonata in A Major and the first movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sonata in F Major, K.332 to explain the galant and empfindsam style as well as discuss the ideals of the Enlightenment and the social developments of the period as they relate to music making. Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach was one of the most influential musicians of the Enlightenment.
Amati added two more strings and changed not only it's size, but also the shape of the violin. Amati invented or perfected one of the most popular and beautiful instruments in the history of music. The violin Amati had perfected, immediately became popular among both street musicians and nobility. Because of it's popularity, the French King Charles IX ordered Amati to create 24 violins in 1560. One of the 24 violins that the king had made for himself is now called Charles IX and is the oldest violin in the world.
Haydn was able to begin immediately his pursuit of a career as a freelance musician. During this arduous time, Haydn worked at many different jobs: as a music teacher, as a street serenader, and eventually, in 1752, as valet–accompanist for the Italian composer Nicola Propora, from whom he later said he learned "the true fundamentals of composition" Franz Joseph Haydn is the composer who, more than any other, epitomizes the aims and achievements of the Classical era. Perhaps his most important achievement was that he developed and evolved in countless subtle ways the most influential structural principle in the history of music: his perfection of the set of expectations known as sonata form made an epochal impact. In hundreds of instrumental sonatas, string quartets, and symphonies, Haydn both broke new ground and provided durable models; indeed, he was among the creators of these fundamental genres of classical music. His influence upon later composers is immeasurable; Haydn's most illustrious pupil, Beethoven, was the direct beneficiary of the elder master's musical imagination, and Haydn's shadow lurks within (and sometimes looms over) the music of composers like Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.
Vivaldi was a master of the violin and is widely known as the composer of concertos which is a form of music with a small orchestra and solo lead instrument. He was a prolific composer and is well known for composing over 500 concertos, 46 Operas, 73 sonatas, chamber music, and sacred music. Vivaldi was the first composer to use ritornello form regularly in fast movements, and his use of it became a model for later composers. Vivaldi repeatedly looked for contrasting harmonies, creating new melodies and themes. His main goal was to create a musical piece that was meant to be appreciated by a large population opposed to only a certain group of people.
The art form known as Opera had originated in Italy in the early sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, even though it put the squeeze on older traditions of medieval and Renaissance courtly entertainment. The word opera, meaning "work" in Italian, was first used in the modern musical and theatrical sense in 1639 and soon spread to the other European languages. The earliest operas were unassertive productions compared to other Renaissance forms of sung drama, but they soon became more extravagant and took on the remarkable staging of the earlier genre known as intermedio. The earliest operas, including Claudio Monteveredi’s Orpheus were performed in private theatres at the courts of nobility and royals. The first public opera house opened in Venice, Italy in 1637, and by the eighteenth century public doors began charging the public for admission into these opera houses.
The two arrangements are important in that it is a glimpse into the early developments of Baroque keyboard music. The two arrangements are both for the harpsichord, and shed light to the development of the Baroque style of keyboard music. While the music of each of these composers is different, they all share qualities that bind them together. The lute was a very popular instrument when the Baroque era began. It had a place in many ensembles and also as an accompanying instrument for pieces such as the Italian frottola.
They may contrast moods within movements and also within themes (Pg. 302).” The piano took the place of the harpsichord during the classical era and was favored by the composers of the time. Mood plays a big part of Classical music with its fluctuation of movement within each piece of music. Classical music is said to have five basic characteristics according to Sporre (2013), “1. Variety and contrast in mood, 2.
Franz was like Mozart in that he was somewhat of a child prodigy. He showed remarkable talent with the piano as well as in sight reading music. Franz had a turning point in his career when at nineteen he came across the great violinist Paganini. Paganini would bedazzle audiences with his abilities on the violin. Franz vowed then, and there to be the pianist version of Paganini.