En De Ru Pt

Classical Music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western music, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a similar term is also used to refer to the period from 1750-1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from roughly the 11th century to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods.[1] The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period. The major time divisions of classical music are as follows: the early music period, which includes the Medieval (500–1400) and the Renaissance (1400–1600) eras; the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque (1600–1750), Classical (1750–1820), and Romantic eras (1804–1910); and the 20th century (1901–2000) which includes the modern (1890–1930) that overlaps from the late 19th-century, the high modern (mid 20th-century), and contemporary or postmodern (1975–present) eras.

The key characteristic of classical music that distinguishes it from popular music and folk music is that the repertoire tends to be written down in musical notation, creating a musical part or score. This score typically determines details of rhythm, pitch, and, where two or more musicians (whether singers or instrumentalists) are involved, how the various parts are coordinated. The written quality of the music has enabled a high level of complexity within them: J.S. Bach's fugues, for instance, achieve a remarkable marriage of boldly distinctive melodic lines weaving in counterpoint yet creating a coherent harmonic logic that would be impossible in the heat of live improvisation.[7] The use of written notation also preserves a record of the works and enables Classical musicians to perform music from many centuries ago. Musical notation enables 2000s-era performers to sing a choral work from the 1300s Renaissance era or a 1700s Baroque concerto with many of the features of the music (the melodies, lyrics, forms, and rhythms) being reproduced.

That said, the score does not provide complete and exact instructions on how to perform a historical work. Even if the tempo is written with an Italian instruction (e.g., Allegro), we do not know exactly how fast the piece should be played. As well, in the Baroque era, many works that were designed for basso continuo accompaniment do not specify which instruments should play the accompaniment or exactly how the chordal instrument (harpsichord, lute, etc.) should play the chords, which are not notated in the part (only a figured bass symbol beneath the bass part is used to guide the chord-playing performer). The performer and/or the conductor have a range of options for musical expression and interpretation of a scored piece, including the phrasing of melodies, the time taken during fermatas (held notes) or pauses, and the use (or choice not to use) of effects such as vibrato or glissando (these effects are possible on various stringed, brass and woodwind instruments and with the human voice).

Although Classical music in the 2000s has lost most of its tradition for musical improvisation, from the Baroque era to the Romantic era, there are examples of performers who could improvise in the style of their era. In the Baroque era, organ performers would improvise preludes, keyboard performers playing harpsichord would improvise chords from the figured bass symbols beneath the bass notes of the basso continuo part and both vocal and instrumental performers would improvise musical ornaments.[12] J.S. Bach was particularly noted for his complex improvisations.[13] During the Classical era, the composer-performer Mozart was noted for his ability to improvise melodies in different styles.[14] During the Classical era, some virtuoso soloists would improvise the cadenza sections of a concerto. During the Romantic era, Beethoven would improvise at the piano.[15] For more information, see Improvisation.


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