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Classical Era: 1750-1825

            Following the Baroque Era of music came the Classical period. What lasted seventy-five year, from 1750 to 1825, was a very simple and expressive type of music, which placed a greater stress on clarity with regard to melodic expression and instrumental colour. There was a substantial change in the music that was being produced. During the Classical Era many younger musicians were developing and they found the old Baroque style of music to be too rigid and set in its own ways, they wanted something more spontaneous and dramatic, they no longer wanted to take one single emotion and express throughout the entire composition.
             One of the biggest changes that the Classical Era brought along was the fact that the classical style was homophonic. Homophony meant that the music consisted of one melodic line and an accompaniment that was clearly distinct. As well, new genres were discovered that completed the transformation from the Baroque era to the Classical in which one of the most important and developed was the sonata. Although Baroque composers also wrote sonatas, the Classical style of sonata was completely different. The sonata allowed composers to give entirely instrumental pieces a dramatic character. During the Classical Era, many changes in instrumental style took place, as well as the classical sonata. Sonata form was the basic structure in which composers wrote instrumental music. All of the main instrumental forms of the Classical era, the quartet, symphony, and concerto, were based on the dramatic structure of the sonata. .
             While the instrumental works of the Classical Era were grandiose, the vocal works of the time did not make much of an evolution from those of the Baroque era, orchestral literature was performed on a much broader basis. However, there were a few important key changes in concepts that occurred, in the opera and religious music. For example the orchestra gained more colour and flexibility as clarinets, flutes, oboes, and bassoons became permanent members of the orchestra.

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