The depth of classical music can be compared to that of an ocean and the existence to an iceberg. Though, in my opinion, I guess the depth of classical music would end up being more. The oldest form of music known to mankind. Whenever the term classical music is mentioned, I guess it only engulfs the famous ones like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin & so on.
But for me, hailing from a culturally diverse country, classical music aka carnatic music has been the oldest form of music. In addition, folk music started gaining importance contributing not to one but multiple forms which has added a beautiful dimension to music. This section covers some interesting information around this genre including the evolution, artists and some artefacts from the era.
Evolution of Classical Music
Classical music is one of the oldest form of world music and had different periods with a range of classical composers. The music periods in the classical era includes the Baroque period (1600–1750), the Classical period (1750–1820), the Romantic period (1800–1915) and finally the 20th Century music (1915–2000).
The Baroque period lasts from 1600–1750. Some famous composers from this period were Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. During the renaissance time frame, there were two mainstream methods of making music: 1) One song is played while the backup (the ambient sounds) is extemporized, and 2) Multiple tunes are played at the same time. Performers and arrangers in the elaborate period began to change this.
The Classical period is one of the trend changing period with composers like Mozart, Beethoven & Haydn to name a few. We call the classical period of music history “classical” because of the large influence that Classical Rome and Greece had on the styles of music, art, and literature in general during this period. If you remember from your history classes, the Enlightenment was going on right about now.
Improv became a lot less prominent in the classical period. Every line, every part, every instrument’s voice was delicately written out. Now music wasn’t left so much in the hands of the musician, but the hands of the composer. Music got much more intricate and involved.
The Romantic period is my personal favourite as this era had a lot of musicians with different flavors with scintillating compositions that are simply irreplaceable. The world as a whole was changing too. France and the United States were going through revolutions. Industrialism was taking root in the West. It’s only natural that we see the music shift as a result of all these things going on.
There’s no exhaustive list of fantastic romantic period composers, but some of the biggies include Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Liszt, Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy, Verdi, Puccini, and Tchaikovsky.
Music is the food for lovers
Indian classical music
The essence of carnatic music has been of great influence in my life since a child. One of the arts that I was exposed to sheerly out of compulsion but started embracing the art when I started to learn. The image above shows the three pontiffs of the carnatic music evolution. From the left, Shyama Shastri, Thyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshithar, are considered to be the trinity of carnatic music.
Prolific in arrangement, the Trinity of Carnatic music are known for making another time throughout the entire existence of Carnatic music by achieving a recognizable change in what was the current Carnatic music tradition. Pieces of the Trinity of Carnatic music are perceived as being particular in style, and unique in dealing with ragas. Check more about other prominent carnatic music composers here
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