Everyone knows that classical music has been with us for decades, but they don’t realise the different eras that pertain to it. By knowing what these are, it is easier to follow the subtle changes that have taken place with it. Particularly when it comes to the different sub-categories of this music genre.
Classical Music by Time
It is interesting to follow the timeline for this category of music. It is broken down into three distinct time frames which are:
- Medieval and Renaissance Era between 550 to 1600
- Common Practice Period, which is the Baroque era from 1600 to 1750, Classical from 1750 to 1820 and Romantic from 1810 to 1910.
- Current classical which has the time frame of 1901 to the current 2020
These three distinct time periods can be further broken down into sub-categories, such as:
- 1890 to 1930 -The early modern music era
- Mid-twentieth century – High modern era
- 1945 to date – Postmodern era.
The Medieval and Renaissance Category
The music in this era was highlighted with chants commonly practised by the monks of the Catholic religion. The favoured instruments for this time as it pertains to this music was the flute along with the violin. This changed though as it transitioned into the Renaissance period. Then the instruments expanded to percussion instruments along with portable pipe organs as well as brass and bass instruments.
The structure of the music became more complex, and the introduction of the Sonata began. Variations of the music remained formal with themes becoming prominent. It was the time of the keyboard, and new instruments were experimented with successfully like the bassoon and oboe as well as the cello.
This was the time for Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn along with several other notable artists to shine. The music became standard during this era. This is in reference to its style and composition. It was the period of time where orchestras started to become apparent, and the piano became the instrument of choice. Opera continued to grow, but symphony was taking on a separate role.
Melodies became more frequent during this era, and listeners related to it more because it took on the ability to stir emotions. It was the time for free form compositions that were comprised of nocturnes, fantasias as well as preludes. By this period of time, classical music had grown in its notoriety. It created an interest to the point where preservation of the music became important and organisations formed for this purpose as well as for its teachings.
Moving into the modern era raised some opposition to the traditional forms of this music on many different levels. Instruments and tones changed, as did the structure of the music itself. This led into the classical music that is enjoyed today in conjunction with the classics.
No matter which era one enjoys classical music from it has the ability to create lasting impressions. Although each category has a lot in common, they each have their own uniqueness about them. This lends to the excitement of the music based on its versatility.
This is such an important category of music that it is well worth taking the effort to support it. Some excellent online radio stations offer it as part of their programmes.