Venturing to Classical Music: Interesting Facts You Need to Know
When you hear about Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Haydn, what flickers in your mind? Definitely, classical music. Classical music has been a significant part of the world’s music. No doubt, most of the finest classical musicians and composers today have given much credit to the classical music that had quite awaken a whole new era back in the days.
If you have got a good ear for classical music, you are probably wondering what makes it so soulful and beautiful. Such interest sparks within you and you just want to know what’s all behind it. Hence, what really is classical music?
What is Classical Music?
Just like Beethoven and Mozart’s pieces, classical music depicts a softer and lighter texture which is accompanied, usually, by piano, violin, cello, viola, double bass and other wind instruments such as flute, oboe, basset clarinet, basset horn, classical clarinet, chalumeau, bassoon, clavichord, harpsichord, buccin, ophicleide, French horn, trumpet and trombone. Classical musicians come up with a symphony masterpiece with the coordination of a variety of keys, dynamics, rhythm and melodies. With such music, it has been used in religious events such as masses, recitals or theatrical plays such as operas and orchestra.
You may also have heard about Baroque music of which this genre came first before the classical music. Classical music, however, is less complex, simpler, softer and lighter. Baroque music, on the other hand, were also accompanied by fewer instruments but has more complex musical arrangement.
As these instruments harmonized to make a beautiful classical music, this genre of music has evolved over the years and somehow accompanied by many other instruments. Even after the Classical period, the music had continued its path but to more powerful, richer, and melodious pieces. Sonata, concerto, serenades, string quartet, symphony and divertimentos were music compositions and all forms of classical music.
The Era of Classical Music – The Beginning
Classical music was derived from the era known as the Classical Period. It was between 1730 and 1820 which is actually in the midst of two other periods, the Baroque and Romantic periods. Baroque and Romantic periods had their own beautiful genre of music; both were still remembered and highly appreciated until today but classical music did stand out among these eras.
Domenico Scarlatti, an Italian composer, had contributed to this musical breakthrough from Baroque period to Classical period. Just as what was mentioned, Baroque music has more complicated musical arrangement wherein harmonic fantasies and polyphonic sections were used without greater emphasis on clear musical phrases, but when Domenico Scarlatti intervened between the two periods, the transition had become evident. The style of music, particularly the harmony, had become much simpler, less complicated, softer, and lighter which accents musical phrases.
The Best Classical Music Composers of All Time
There are tons of classical music composers who all took part in the historical period of classical music. We wish we could list all of these amazing composers but we will just mention some of them; names who had outstandingly paved their careers on the peak of success.
1./ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was an Austrian classical music composer and before his career took off at its highest, Mozart was a child prodigy and had shown his incredible skills in music. He had already mastered playing the violin and keyboard only at the age of 5. With such talent at a very young age, he had built quite an entertainment to social elites and wealthy families. He had a lot compositions which are still known until today. He was known with his composition masterpiece such as Piano Sonata No.16, Symphony No.25, Piano Concerto No.21, Piano Sonata No.11 and operas The Magic Flute and The Marriage.
2./ Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven is definitely one of the greatest classical music composers of all time. If you don’t know him then you are not a true classical music enthusiast. He was born in Germany and had started his career in music back in Classical period. Beethoven had inspired a lot musicians today with his dedication and passion in making music even though he became completely deaf later on. He was actually the one who ended the Classical period as he had begun with another style of music called Romantic, thus the birth of Romantic period.
Some of his famous works were Moonlight Sonata, 5th Symphony, 6th Symphony, Fur Elise and Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat major, Op.73.
3./ Franz Joseph Haydn
Haydn was an Austrian composer who was undoubtedly one of the remarkable composers back in the Classical Period. He was called as the Father of the Symphony and Father of the String Quartet. He was well known with his outstanding opera compositions, piano sonatas, and cello concerto. Haydn was Beethoven’s teacher and also Mozart’s mentor.
4./ Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
His music was derived from the late Baroque period to the early classical period. His type of music, his artistic compositions, had contributed enormously to the birth of classical period. Mozart even referred to him as “the father” of the classical period. Bach’s famous pieces were The Israelites in the Wilderness, Harpischord Concertos in G major and D major, Flute concerto in D minor, and some keyboard sonatas. His most famous piece, however, was the Solfeggietto in C minor.
TRIVIA: Did You Know?
These remarkable composers behind the classical music were not always all about successful careers and perfect lives. They have their own stories to tell. The music itself also has historical secrets that are yet to be untold. What are these, then?
Here are some of the interesting facts you may not know.
- Mozart’s full name is Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
- Mozart began composing at the age of 5.
- Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 was actually the very first symphony to include trombones.
- Most people think that Beethoven is the greatest classical composer of all time, but Beethoven himself, didn’t think of it that way. He had great admiration for George Handel and thought of him as “The World’s Greatest Composer”.
- Beethoven became completely deaf later on in his life.
- Joseph Haydn was once Beethoven’s teacher.
- When Joseph Haydn died, his head was stolen. His skull had become part of a personal collection for public display. It was then retrieved and had been passed to many different people over the years. Finally, after 145 years, Joseph Haydn’s head had a proper burial.
- An older version of trombone used in Renaissance music was called sackbut.
- When Bach attempted to quit composing and playing for the duke, he was sent to jail and stayed there for a month. During that time, he was able to compose 46 pieces of music!
The Benefits of Listening to Classical Music
Some people of the present generation find classical music boring and timeworn. It is just so old that they don’t think it would still fit today’s music. They find it no use at all! But don’t you know that listening to classical music benefits to your health? You might be surprised how this could affect you.
1./ It Boosts Your Memory
A research concludes that when you listen to classical music, it allows your brain to function properly which can make you smarter. It also helps you improve your reasoning. Thus, it would be a helpful tool for studying.
2./ It Gives You a Good Sleep
Research shows that listening to classical music can improve your sleep quality. It calms your mind and body as it lulls you to sleep. It would be an effective therapy. It is actually one of the recommended things you should do when you’re experiencing sleep deprivation or insomnia.
3./ Lowers Blood Pressure
Another research was conducted which resulted to a positive response to a person’s blood pressure. So if you need to maintain a good rate of blood pressure, listening to classical music is one good way to go!
4./ Provides Relief for Pain and Stress
A lot of people experience so much stress due to work, school activities and many other reasons. You too must’ve been going through the same thing. If not taken seriously, your health condition could get much worse. But then, a study says that listening to classical music will help soothe your pain and relief the stress.
5./ It Helps You be Productive
There might be times where you feel unproductive or lacking of energy and you sometimes just don’t know what to do. If this happens to you, listening to classical music aids you to keep your energy levels up, maximize alertness and to be productive with all your activities.
6./ It Helps You Relax and Improve Your Mood
Because of its soulful rhythm, classical music has been one of the best ways to alter or improve someone’s mood for the better. It can also help you relax which could bring positive effect to your health.
The Essence of Classical Music Today
For the modern generation, some may have thought that the classical music is long forgotten or insignificant to today’s music. With the evolution of music, the birth of more genres such as RnB, alternative rock or pop music, classical music seems nowhere to fit. But taking it out of the scene is definitely a grave mistake. It is one of the major factors that fortified the foundation of today’s music.
Classical music may not be as popular as the other modern music genres of today but without it, operas, theatrical plays and even movies won’t be as good as they are now. Classical music had made them alive and soulful. Moreover, listening to it can even relax your brain and make it function much better. It sets up a serene and relaxing mood. That’s killing two birds in one stone, isn’t it? You get to enjoy your music and keep your brain and mood healthy at the same time.
Classical music is indeed significant and a true figure of artistic, beautiful and soulful music. It is a masterpiece of excellence, intelligence and creativity where composers like Mozart, Bach, Haydn and Beethoven had clearly proven this about. It may be the music of yesterday, but it is still, no doubt, and will always be part of today’s music.