Following the Baroque period, the Classical period is one of the greatest musical eras in history. The style flowed directly off of its Baroque predecessors, smooth, but differing in the tempo. Many of the greatest composers emanated from the Classical era, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven among them. This time period transformed the course of not just musical history, but that of the entire modern western world.
Johann Sebastian Bach was the Alpha and the Omega of the Baroque period. Classical music, as we refer to it today, is usually thought of as any music that mainly consists of orchestral instruments, but as a matter of fact, it actually was its own period in music history. The classical period arrived out of reaction to the excesses of the Baroque. “Whereas Baroque music had, been florid, extravagant, and emotional, music in the Classical style was sparer, more reserved, and more controlled. It was music with a corset on.” (CMFD, pg. 27) Music in the Classical era mainly consisted of 3 particular forms; sonatas, symphonies, and string quartets. These three forms brought out and made the greatest composers of the Classical period, shine.
The father of the Classical era, was no one else other than Joseph “Papa” Haydn. He occupied the position of royal court musician at Esterhazy’s castle for over 30 years. In that time period, Haydn single-handedly standardized the structure of the symphony and the string quartet. (CMFD, pg. 28) It is for this reason that he is christened the father of the symphony, and why such composers as Beethoven and Mozart referred to him as “Papa” Haydn.
Speaking of the magnificent Mozart, it is inexcusable not to include him in this brief discussion of the classical period. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a child prodigy, is arguably considered the “2nd” greatest...