The general characteristics Essay
The general characteristics
In the times of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, the creation of music regardless of genre, style or origin has a particular meaning. The public, either dilettante, or professional, was a very critic and highly selective consumer of art, whose appraisals have had sometimes a decisive importance.
Composed of nobles, bourgeois, craftsmen and townsmen, the public is supposed to propose a more accessible message, accompanied by composition techniques that were easier to understand. Among the European centers that have had an important contribution to the evolution of music in Classicism are Paris, Prague, Berlin, Weimar, Salzburg, Dresden, and Manheim. Book Critique-Traves
Integral part of the historical evolution of Europe in the early Middle Ages, the culture has evolved in close connection with the transformations occurred in the West in V-XI centuries, which created conditions for an appropriate culture of the spiritual needs of a new society. In the first centuries of the Middle Ages, the main features of cultural life consist in the decline of ancient culture, the spread of cultural elements of Germanic peoples established in the former Roman Empire and the genesis of early medieval culture.
Thus, as a result of the interaction of socio-economic factors, political and cultural-religious, the culture in Western Europe during the early Middle Ages is a summary of the Roman cultural heritage and cultural contribution of migratory, especially of the Germans, carried out in the genesis of the feudal society and the generalization of Christianity in the Roman Church, conditions that have given it a distinctive character.
Pagan traditions are difficult to assess, because the basic elements, which circulated throw an oral culture and people who were evolving continuously, miss from most of our knowledge, but it is clear that the weakening of the ancient cultural heritage allows, starting with the V and VI centuries, the revival of indigenous cultures – especially of Celtic culture – close to those of the new entrants.
As a result of the interaction of cultures and the impact of invasion, in various folk traditions, appear the heroes and themes of the future major epic cycles of the Middle Ages, of the Arthurian cycle, Dante’s Divine Comedy (1307) and Scandinavian narrative epics (saga). As in culture, the art made possible the coexistence of elements of classical Roman heritage, held especially in architecture and stone mosaic technique, in the Germanic world, which were present especially in architecture in wood and objects made of wood: ornaments and miniatures.
Sculpture and painting were usually auxiliaries of architecture, but there have been made also separate objects, especially in decorative arts. The medieval concept of beauty was represented by Christian philosophy, based on ideas and solutions from antiquity, whose meaning was changed. Regarding the musical vision, in this period two important conceptual styles were important, each representing the two Roman Empires, the East and West. The Eastern Roman Empire The New Rome, as Byzantium was called, preserved the tradition of the Greek art.
Regarding music, concepts have remained largely the same, keeping the diatonic modes, chromatic and enharmonic, used in antiquity, as well as concepts about numbers and proportions. The motivation to preserve the Greek traditions is easier to understand if we specify a small detail: the official language of the Roman Empire of the East was Greek. Byzantine music is the first Christian music, consisting in Hebrew types of reciting, responsorial songs, (two groups that play alternative) and gradual (with short exclamations). The Roman Empire of West
The great schism from 1054 divided the Christians in Orthodox and Catholics, the two religions standing on the formation of the second Roman Empire. As a result, there evolved two main musical styles: Byzantine and Gregorian. The Gregorian music represented the Roman-Christian music and is easily recognizable because of the song monody (a single voice), the intonation of voice in anthems and psalms, which formed the “cantus planus” style. The Gregorian song is the expression of Christian ideology power, in the Middle Ages when the church was feared not only by many believers, but also by kings.
Life can be fenced, but it can not be stopped to manifest according to its natural needs. Another form of music popular in the Middle Ages was the secular music, played by troubadours and minstrels, being focused on love and code of behavior. The secular songs were monophonically and generally improvised. The improvised instrumental music evolved throw soft instruments, loud instruments, organs and performance practice. “The remedy of fortune”, an important work of those times, written by the composer Machaut, attests the use of all these types of instruments, providing a detailed description pf the musical performance.
The Renaissance was an era of cultural glory, marked by exploration, scientific inquiry and secularization. This time it is also known as the Golden Age of a “cappella” singing. As in art and literature, the renaissance in music is a revival of old values. The music not only tried to offer pleasure, but it also tried to move the listener both morally and spiritually. It was an important period, during which art, science and architecture have undergone dramatic changes. Then there was a rebirth which has initiated the change from the medieval world to a modern one.
The nobles were hiring musicians to teach their children to play. The Renaissance led to a change in human values – an upsurge of energy and confidence in human potential – which had many consequences. Among the most spectacular consequences may be included the flowering of arts and new vision on the role of arts and artists in society. Popular instruments The XVI century known in particular the development of many new instruments and the most popular were those that could be used by amateur musicians without much skill.
The most favorite instruments were the viola, the whistle, flute, organ and horn. New instruments, improving methods of printing and a greater access to music has contributed to the development of another kind of music called chamber music. As the name itself suggests, chamber music has been created to be presented in front of a small audience. Music was presented by several musicians with special tone of voice, as the art of vocal singing started to be preferred instead of instrumental music.
Humanities teachers also believed that the best way to move the audience was to put together the art of music and poetry; thus have been developed two new types of music to satisfy this requirement: French song and Italian madrigal. Towards the end of the XVI century, the composers considered that the madrigal leads to that lack of intensity required by the old Greeks and Romans from artists; so they tried the revival of the ancient Greek music. The contrasting changes, violent state and emotions have been illustrated by the alternation of fast and slow songs.
This has led to a ‘portraiture in words’ in which the images were replaced by forms of music. The circumstances that favor the transition to Baroque belong to three different categories: historical, psychological and aesthetic. In the first half of the XVI century took place the Reform, which has had huge consequences in all spiritual matters. One of the reasons that caused it was the people’s lack of faith, accompanied by a relaxation of morals. The enemies of Catholicism were promoting the sensuality and corporal pleasure. The existence of the Roman church was in great distress.
The popes, the cardinals and the great dignitaries have been forced to act throw the Council from Trento (1545-1563), designed to establish healthy and moral rules of Catholicism. In art, it is met often the deep and excruciating need to imagine the life of martyrs, a predilection for austere forms of self punishment. The “Jesuit Style” will be one of the current forms of baroque art. Colorful and dramatic, Baroque art was created mainly to serve religion. It should delight but above all to involve spectators in miracles and moments of triumph in Christianity.
If the classical element in Renaissance art tends to be balanced and cold, maintaining emotional distance between audience and art, the Baroque era was restless, tending to contentment and involvement of the viewer. In Annibale Carraci (1560-1609) paintings can be felt a revival of the classicism. His frescoes that decorated the Farnese Gallery in Rome, have had their sources of inspiration in the Sixtine Chapel Frescoes, created by Michelangelo, though there are far from creating an atmosphere of sober.
The Baroque was a time of intensely dramatic, reaching often brilliant effects, combining painting, sculpture, architecture and music in one spectacle. This type of “theater” is present in the vast St. Peter Church in Rome and it is not an accident the fact that the Baroque era gave birth to a new type of spectacle, the opera. The notion of Baroque includes a musical style that has emerged a little later than the period considered for Baroque paintings, sculpture and architecture. Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Friedrich Handel are the most notable composers of the Baroque musical style.
One of the specific elements of Baroque music is the rich ornamentation, sometimes superfluous. The Baroque music allows improvisations, as the intensity was changing unexpectedly. As a means of expression, the Baroque has a predilection for instrumental music, and the rhythm-melodic ornaments are elements of technical virtuosity, but also with a rhythmic role. Besides opera, the oratorio, cantata, mesa and requiem have a great vocal and choral-orchestral impact, expressing the greatness and exposing arias, recitatives and choirs of great technical virtuosity.
The specific instrumental genres were the sonata a tre, the suite, ricercar, passacaglia, Toccata, fugue, concerto grosso. The audio material is organized in temperate systems that are based on a range of minor and major, and the rhythm becomes measured, taking as references the quarter and its binary divisions. There is a theory that specifies three distinct phases in musical Baroque. The first of these begins in Renaissance and it is distinguished by the emphasis of a single melody line, which makes possible the appearance of the opera and vocal-symphonic genres.
The main representatives of this period are Heinrich Scultz, Georg Philipp Teleman and Georg Friederich Handel. In the second phase takes place the development of the opera, the opera-ballet and instrumental music. The most important composers are Jean-Baptiste Lully, Francois Couprin, Jean Philipe Rameau, Henry Purcell, Johann Kuhnau, Antonio Vivaldi, Domenico Scarlatti and Arcangelo Corelli. However, the musical forms don’t have a certain number of parts and the names of the musical genres are sometimes confused.
The third phase is a synthesis, being represented by Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach. Rameau’s Treaties (Treaty of harmony – 1722) and J. J. Fux (Grandus ad Parnas-sum), but also the works of practical demonstration that belong to J. S. Bach (the well tempered harpsichord), set the concept of tonality throw the polyphony based on harmonic functionality and the emergence of more clear in organization and designation forms and genres of music. The classicism determined works of art with a harmonious and balanced symmetry, as a result of a process of synthesis of regional particularities.
The classicism promoted moral and rational principles on fantasies and passion, the patriotism, religion and family honor as being more than personal feelings. The hero was an ideal one, as his behavior, bad-thinking; principles and feelings can be found in any man. Unlike the Baroque, the XVIII century is not feudal or absolutist, as it promoted mainly concepts on general interest, which is above the personal interest. Regarding music, the classics love the construction, the clear form, symmetry and rehearsal.
It can be said that the sonata forms dominate in other genres: symphony, concerto, quartet and even lied and Overture. In the times of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, the creation of music regardless of genre, style or origin has a particular meaning. The public, either dilettante, or professional, was a very critic and highly selective consumer of art, whose appraisals have had sometimes a decisive importance. Composed of nobles, bourgeois, craftsmen and townsmen, the public is supposed to propose a more accessible message, accompanied by composition techniques that were easier to understand.
Among the European centers that have had an important contribution to the evolution of music in Classicism are Paris, Prague, Berlin, Weimar, Salzburg, Dresden, and Manheim. Ludwig van Beethoven is considered the last great classic and the first great romantic. This is due to the fact that although his compositions have a typical classical construction, the ideas and expressions offer the first allusions to the new era, which was just beginning and whose conceptions have dominated the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Romanticism promoted the expression of feelings. The musical representation was directed more towards the word and visual image, which means the beginning of a glorious era of the music, specific to the instrumental and symphonic genres. The musical art was following a dramatic line, taking various forms. The most important point was reached in the creation of Richard Wagner, who proposed a syncretism of arts in musical drama, breaking the balance of classical forms and vigor in favor of freedom and fantasy.
The general characteristics were the emotional intensity of music, the combination of music with literature, and a very rapid transition from one tone to another, characterized by a continuous modulation. The nineteenth century represented the period of prosperity and propagation of symphonies, both inside and outside Austro- German countries. Personalities as Johannes Brahms (1853-1897) created a new synthesis, putting in balance the ideals of classicism and romance through the use of larger orchestras, long, romantic themes.
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was contemporary with Brahms, and along with Hector Berlioz (1803-1896), he founded the scheduled symphonies, where the music is accompanied by an extra-musical story, such as Fantastic Symphony. Other important personalities of the nineteenth century are: Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and Robert Schumann (1810-1856) who, along with Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), began to combine separate parts in a single paper, without breaks. In Sweden, Franz Berwald (1796-1868) created various Nordic symphonies, based on the model imposed by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) and Mendelssohn.
A very interesting composer is Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), whose later works are in many ways, closer to the contemporary works of Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Regarding music, the Romanticism can be divided into two stages. The first one begins after the death of Ludvig van Beethoven, and has as representatives Giacomo Rossini (1792 – 1868), Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848), Vicenzo Bellini (1801 – 1835), Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856), Hector Berlioz (1809 – 1869) and Frederich Chopin (1810 – 1849). The second stage debuts by year 1848 and is closely related to the emancipation of the national schools.
In the artistic European climate at the end of the XIX century and early twentieth century, Italy offered the impressive spectacle of the continuity and evolution of one of the most traditional and conventional genres of music: the opera. The appearance of French impressionism in music is closely related to the symbolism in literature. Clarity and elegance, qualities specific to French music since the time of Couperin and Rameau, are updated and restored in musical expression. References Traves (the paper sent)