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Aspects of Classical Music
By Paul Rance

As with all music genres there are certain defining aspects. Classical music is a genre which is easier to define than most. It is one of the oldest music genres, with its earliest forms being around a thousand years old, and, despite fears for its survival, it still remains popular today.

Written Music

Unlike a lot of popular music, which is often played by memory, classical music relies a great deal on music being written down, but not exclusively so. When music is written down, it means that it is easier to pass on to both current and future generations of musicians. The accurate playing of classical compositions is made possible by music being recorded in written form. Classical music has been written down for centuries, which helped spread the popularity of many classical composers. 

Instrumentation

Classical music relies heavily on the variety of instruments in an orchestra. There will also be occasions, when small groupings play a part of a classical piece using the same instruments, an example being a string quartet. Different types of instruments will be used to convey different moods in a piece of classical music. Woodwind will often be used for a light mood, whereas brass and percussion will be more explosive and dramatic. Keyboards and strings will be utilized to convey both drama and pathos.

Connecting with People

Though classical music is sometimes seen as elitist, it wouldn't have survived for centuries if it lacked the power to connect with people. Some classical composers were the pop stars of their day, including Chopin, Liszt, and Paganini. The latter two would travel around Europe playing their compositions. Great orchestras from around the world, to this day, perform at concerts in the world's major cities. Classical music is also, arguably, inexpensive to buy, either on CD or as a download, compared to other music genres.

Complexity

The most famous tunes in classical music are easy to remember, but there is often a complexity to how the music is both arranged and written. The mood in one piece of classical music may change dramatically from light to heavy. There will often be several parts to a piece of music, too. An overture, at the beginning of an orchestral work, may be followed by a wide range of musical contrasts, that ends with a finale.

Copyright © Paul Rance


Beethoven Facts

Full Name

Dates

Nationality

Famous Compositions

Ludwig van Beethoven

1770-1827

German

Eroica
Fidelio
Nine Symphonies
Pastoral

Beethoven CDs from Amazon.co.uk

Beethoven - Complete Piano Sonatas Beethoven - Complete Piano Sonatas
B00006J3LK
Beethoven - Symphonies 1 - 9

Chopin Facts

Full Name

Dates

Nationality

Famous Compositions

Frederic Francois Chopin

1810-1849

Polish

Funeral March
Military Polonaise
Minute Waltz

Chopin CDs from Amazon.co.uk

Chopin - Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Chopin - Piano Concertos 1 & 2
B00000427J Chopin - Favourite Piano Works

Liszt Facts

Full Name

Dates

Nationality

Famous Compositions

Franz Liszt

1811-1886

Hungarian

Hungarian Rhapsody
Liebestraum

Liszt CDs from Amazon.co.uk

Barenboim - The Liszt Recital - From La Scala [2007]
B00005ND3L Liszt - Piano Works

Mozart Facts

Full Name

Dates

Nationality

Famous Compositions

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1756-1791

Austrian

Don Giovanni
Jupiter Symphony
The Magic Flute
The Marriage Of Figaro
Requiem Mass

Mozart CDs from Amazon.co.uk

B0000041CD Mozart for Meditation
Mozart - Piano Concertos Mozart - Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky Facts

Full Name

Dates

Nationality

Famous Compositions

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

1840-1893

Russian

1812 Overture
The Nutcracker
The Sleeping Beauty
Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky CDs from Amazon.co.uk

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake [1996] Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake [1996]
B000001GX7 Tchaikovsky - Ballet Suites

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