Properties of classical music

By | April 6, 2021


Classical music was composed to please the listener instead of making him think. As time progressed, more balance and control was used. The grace and beauty of melody and design became more important. The overall structure of classical music was homophonic, which is when several voices or instruments harmonize and play or sing the same melody.


Classical composers wrote about strings and wind instruments. Kembacet became almost obsolete during the classical period. Strings became the main focus of the orchestra. Winds also grew in importance. First, strings were accompanied by two horns or two flutes or two oboes. Over time, composers began to add one or two basses, two trumpets or two kettle drums. Mozart began adding clarinets.


The piano was invented in 1698. It began to replace the harpsichord because it was much more flexible and pleasing to the ear. Pianos can capture expression with their ability to increase and decrease the volume and produce legato (smooth) and staccato (choppy) melodies.


Symphony is a sonata for orchestra. Sonata is a work created in several movements for one or two instruments. Symphony began with three sections, but later composers added a fourth. Stamitz was the first known composer of symphony, but Haydn and Mozart perfected it. Each part of the symphony is called a movement. The symphony’s first movement is generally fast and in sonata form. The second movement slows down and is more song-like. It can be in sonata form, but with some variation. The third movement is a transition to the fourth. The fourth movement is fast and bright. It can be in rondo or sonata form.

Sonata form

There are three sections of sonata form. The first, the exhibition, is when the composer reveals his musical ideas. These ideas are called topics. The first substance is the tonic, usually in a smaller key, which modulates (changes key) near the end to transmit the passage leading to the second substance. The second topic is new and is usually related to the first. The second topic is often in a large key. The second part or development is where the ideas develop. This is where the composer creates tension or conflict. The third part is the recapitulation where the beginning is repeated, but the second subject becomes the tonic. The music may end with a coda to round it off.


The concert uses a solo instrument together with an orchestra. Three movements include the concert. The movements are arranged as such: slow, fast, slow. The first movement offers double exhibitions. It starts with the orchestra, then followed by the soloist. The second movement is in a related key. During the second movement, development and recapitulation takes place for the orchestra and soloist. When the word ends, the orchestra pauses and the soloist plays the candeza, a short passage based on previously played themes. The soloist ends with a trill, signals to the orchestra to end the piece.


Classical composers wrote for both voice and instruments, especially in opera. In opera, the voice carries over the orchestra. The orchestra is used to create the dramatic atmosphere. The term ‘classical music’ is often misused in a common culture. It is used incorrectly to refer to any old music that is not considered pop music. The correct term for this music is art music. In reality, the term ‘classical’ refers to a selected group of composers during the period 1750-1810. Classical music developed in Europe, mostly in Germany and Austria, after the Baroque period. The most famous composers of classical music were Stamitz, Gluck, CPE Bach, JC Bach, Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart.