Essay on Western Music

1330 Words Nov 26th, 2012 6 Pages
Western Music dates back from 1200 BC. We can divide each major element of Western Music into periods. Some of the major periods of Western Music consist of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Music. Each period contributed key elements that have influenced the formation of music. These key periods helped form the musical geniuses;Bach, Beethoven,Mozart,Verdi, and Copland.

The Baroque period lasted from 1600-1750. The two best known Baroque composers are Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel. The music of the period is thick and complex polyphonic texture prevails in many composers works. The music gives a sense of drama and urgency is incorporated into in vocal forms such as the cantata, mass, opera, oratorio and
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In addition, during this period, diatonic harmony was more common then chromatic. Composers mainly used chords in triadic form and occasionally used seventh chords in their compositions. The four major composers of the Classical era were Haydn, Mozart, Gluck, and Beethoven. These composers wrote extensively for vocal and instrumental mediums.

The Romantic Era

(1850 - 1920 C.E.)

The Romantic era was a period of great change and emancipation. While the Classical era had strict laws of balance and restraint, the Romantic era moved away from that by allowing artistic freedom, experimentation, and creativity. The music of this time period was very expressive, and melody became the dominant feature. Composers even used this expressive means to display nationalism nationalism. This became a driving force in the late Romantic period, as composers used elements of folk music to express their cultural identity. As in any time of change, new musical techniques came about to fit in with the current trends. Composers began to experiment with length of compositions, new harmonies, and tonal relationships. Additionally, there was the increased use of dissonance dissonance and extended use of chromaticism chromaticism. Another important feature of Romantic music was the use of color. While new instruments were constantly being added to the orchestra, composers also tried to get new or different sounds out of the instruments already in

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