The Classical Era was a time of great change in both culture and music. Previously, the Baroque Era had been influenced mostly by the Catholic Church and the conservation of aristocracy. Their architecture was very ornate and was meant to impress visitors. Baroque palaces would usually have courts, grand staircases and reception rooms to show how wealthy they were. The Classical Era, on the other hand, was focused on a philosophy called “enlightenment”. The main idea of enlightenment is that by reason, balance, and logic, man could accomplish anything. It focuses on individuality and making your own decisions, whereas the Baroque Era depended on the church to make choices and decide the people’s beliefs. In keeping with the ideals of balance and logic, composers tried to keep the music simple and unemotional. The middle class were gaining more privileges; now they could afford to go to concerts and operas, things that used to be exclusively for the rich. The Classical Era’s architecture was inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman buildings, which were symmetrical and simple. In contrast, the Baroque period buildings were ornate and asymmetrical.
The word “sonata” comes from the Italian word “sonare” which means simply to sound. From the Classical Era onwards, composers have used the sonata form to provide basic framework for their symphonies. The sonata usually consists of three or four independent pieces called movements, each of which follows certain conventions of character and structure. The first movement is the exposition which introduces the main themes of the song. The second movement is called the development, which is where the story heats up; themes appear in fragmentary form, the composer will rapidly cycle through keys so fast it’s impossible to tell which key they’re in. After the development is over, recapitulation takes over which is basically a simple matter of repeating the exposition and some variants to keep it interesting. The coda is the conclusion to the sonata. Beethoven and Mozart wrote many sonatas. A well known sonata is “Piano Sonata No. 11 Rondo Alla Turca” by Mozart.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756. His full name is actually Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Gottlieb Mozart. Born into a musical family, Mozart was encouraged to play many instruments from the age of 3 and was composing music by the age of 5. In total, Mozart composed 600 works of music. His compositions include symphonies, chamber music, piano, choral music and more. Along with his family, he played in front of many kings such as Louis XV and King George the Third. He also worked at the court of Prince Archbishop in his hometown of Salzburg. During this period, he completed his violin concertos, various symphonies and masses along with six piano sonatas. In keeping with the Classical Era’s philosophy, his music is known for being clear with simple melodies. Mozart’s music...