A Brief History of Classical Music

Classical music is a beautiful art form, one that is the basis for so much of the music that we listen to today. It is educational and beneficial as well as just enjoyable to listen to. Many students study classical music as it is the foundation of so much of today’s music and is integral to the music industry. To be technical the classical time period was 1750 to 1820, but classical music spans more than that as there was music before that and there was classical music created after that. It is virtually impossible to pin point a specific start date for classical music, as there were no doubt people writing before and there will always be people writing classical music after. The term classical music did not first appear until the early 19th century when there was an attempt to canonise the period of Sebastian Bach to Beethoven, many wanted it to be known as the golden age of music.


Guido d’Arezzo if often credited with coming up with the horizontal lines that musicians could use to record the pitch of notes. He was a Benedictine monk who was a teacher and music theorist. He also developed was is now called the tonic sol fa system. This now put two of the main elements of music into writing, the melody and rhythm and brought the idea of harmony forth. This was when they began to divide singers by their voices and their range. Slowly more and more rules and regulations were drawn up to identify different intervals. From this, composers were able to write music that involved various voices singing at different times have the music weave in and out of itself. These were all such he developments in the structure of music and the beginning of classical songs.

Later on, composers, such as Mozart, Bach and Handel came onto the scene. With natural born ears for music they were leaders in the industry, taking it by storm. With this came the rise in concerts, people wanted to hear the music and see it being played. At this time there were very few ways to listen to music so going to a concert was a highlight! Music schools began to grow in popularity both in Europe and in North America. It was seen as a symbol of your status to be able to attend such a school. Likewise, those who could afford so would have a piano or instruments in their home and it was encouraged that the children learn to play, much like it is in today’s society. Classical music really has such a diverse history, from the creation of sheet music to the popularity of concerts so many aspects of it are still seen in today’s modern music world. Without the handwork of the many men and women that dedicated their lives to the are we would perhaps not have the same songs and sounds that we all enjoy so often today.

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