Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period.
Classical music is described in many periods of music history. Early music is considered the time period from the fall of the Roman Empire until the mid-18th century. This time period was classified with subcategories of Medieval music, Renaissance music, and the Baroque era. The Baroque era was when instrumental music became dominant.
Though Bach never wrote an opera, he demonstrated visceral flair for drama in his sacred choral works, as in the crowd scenes in the Passions where people cry out with chilling vehemence for Jesus to be crucified. In keyboard works like the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Bach anticipated the rhapsodic Romantic fervor of Liszt, even Rachmaninoff.
The Classical period in Western music occurred from about 1750 to 1825, despite considerable overlap at both ends with preceding and following periods, as is true for all musical eras. Although the term classical music is used as a blanket term meaning all kinds of music in this tradition, it can also occasionally mean this particular era within that tradition.
Born to a drunkard father and an unhappy mother, the young Beethoven was subjected to a brutal training in music at the hands of his father, who hoped that the boy would prove to be another prodigy like Mozart.
Haydn, Mozart und Beethoven are called “classics” because at least some of their works have been continually played since their premiers up to the present. Such continuity hardly existed for composers before the eighteenth century (with the exception of the “Catholic classic” Palestrina), and even in the eighteenth century for only a few works, particularly Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratorios, Johann Sebastian Bach’s keyboard music (which was admired mainly by musicians) and Christoph Willibald Gluck’s so-called “reformed operas”.
Vienna was, until 1806, the capital of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”. Viennese classicism could thus quite be said to be classicism in Teutschland, as the German-speaking world was then called for the sake of simplicity.
In the vast and wide-ranging world of 'classical' music there is truly something there for everyone - pieces which once discovered represent the start of an exciting and irresistible journey which will provide a lifetime's listening pleasure.
The term 'classical' has two primary meanings: the music of the Classical period (c.1750-1830) as represented by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791),Â Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1809) and Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828.) Secondly, 'classical' can mean music as an 'art.' By this, classical music will be different from jazz, popular or even folk music.
What we today call “classical music” is the art music of the Western world, specifically Europe. Art music falls under the broader category of art, just as painting, sculpture, dance, or literature. All practices of art incorporate two fundamental elements: craft, and expression.