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Classical music refers to a musical art produced and rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, while encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present time. Classical composers moved away from the modal system of harmony which had predominated for over 300 years to towards the organization of their work into major and minor scales, thereby imparting the strong sensation of each piece having a definite tonal center or ‘key’.
The greatest classical composer that ever lived having started playing a diverse range of instruments was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was born in January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. He displayed his music to depict emotional transition of power where the remnants of the Roman empire in the mid-18th century with political division into small semi-self-governing principalities leading to competing rivalries between these municipalities for identity and recognition.
This type of Political leadership of small city-states like Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague was in the hands of the aristocracy and their wealth would commission artists and musicians to amuse, inspire, and entertain. It was however unimaginable that the greatest ever classical artist to ever live would emerge from Salzburg. Hence the main relation of his musical art to the era within which he identified with explained the behavior of the society towards this transition and sought to express the feelings of the people in these societies.
Wolfgang had a strong understanding of the clavinet and violin chords, tonality, and tempo at a tender age having watched and mimicked his elder sister play having been mentored and tutored by their father who was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concert master at the Salzburg court. After their training and perfection, Mozart’s family traveled across Europe in a bid to showcase their talent but at some point Mozart’s sister ended her career due to traditional requests of a lady in the marital age of 17onwrds was not allowed to showcase her talent in public, this clearly states the reason as to why most classical artists of this age were all males, hence it was more of a chauvinistic male dominated era that killed talent in the female budding artist of this age.
Mozart and his father traveled to Italy and performed for 2 years just to display young Wolfgang talents as a composer and performer which later upon his return landed him a job as an assistant concertmaster in one of the church in Schrattenbach considering that this was a catholic oriented religious era.
The major relation of classical music to other art forms within this era is acapella form of music as well as baroque which formed a golden period for choral composition as a seemingly endless flow of acapella (unaccompanied) masses, motets, anthems, psalms and madrigals flowed from the pens of the masters of the age. In addition, instrumental music came into its own for the first time, especially keyboard music in the form of fantasias, variations, and dance movements (galliards, pavanes etc.) All these variations added flavor in the compositions and art forms bringing music alive as opposed to the post medieval era.
I would relate Mozart to one Ludwig Beethoven as an artist round about the same era characterized by the similarity in composition and an almost similar passion in the instruments. The arrangement of the piano chords of Beethoven’s work created some of the most amazing pieces to listen to ever created. These two artists were both composers of the Classical Period, and both worked and died in Vienna. The most radical thing is that they both had pushy musical fathers, who pushed them to the peak of their profession; they also both considered Haydn a friend and mentor. However Mozart may have tutored Beethoven briefly and was hugely impressed with his ability. It’s almost impossible and unimaginable to ever think that such legendaries would have so many similarities and actually come from almost the same location as Beethoven was born in Bonn Germany but the flip side of this story is that he died in Vienna just like Mozart.
The main reason why I chose to write on classical music as a genre is simply because of its calming nature that sooths not only the brain but the soul. Classical music including opera happens to be the most soothing old ballads of all time that an 80,s kid like I actually enjoys. More often than not in my room when I have to work on long assignments under pressure and especially towards semester end, I usually put on a 7hour long classical composition by Beethoven and let the soothing music play on replay while receiving instant motivation wrapping up my work. Music from a personal point of view should be controlled, calm, and slow or mid tempo with an organized format of presentation as opposed to heavy metal sounding nerve wrecking, heart attack formats.
In my experience in Germany, I happened to visit Beethoven’s home in Bonn which was the capital city of Germany during that era. Being in this home where he grew up and actually walking all the way up to his little room where he grew up and seeing his little piano that he practiced on before becoming a pro was too much to fathom. I mean I was literally wallowing in a rich history zone with so many artifacts that spoke volumes of who he really was. The soothing ballad in the whole house and his composed works was just beautiful for lack of words. To date I still thank my friend who by then knew tonnes about Beethoven and was asking as many questions as she possibly could as opposed to me who just tagged along. I kept wondering what the fuss was all about as the guide kept explaining but it was until my research after the tour that I only understood the magnitude of his work and existence.
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