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National 5 Music Musical Periods: a summary Musical Periods In this course, we study music written from around 1600 up to the present day. This covers four main periods of music: Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern (also known as 20th Century). You will learn how to tell which period a piece of music comes from by listening to it. Vivaldi: “Domini Fili” from Gloria. Baroque 1600-1750 Baroque music, art and architecture had a strong emphasis on ornamentation and decoration. Harpsichord: a keyboard instrument which preceded the piano. Strings were plucked rather than struck with hammers. Composers include Bach, Handel, Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Purcell. Small orchestra – mostly strings and some woodwind. No percussion. Brass instruments existed: horns without valves. Lots of vocal music. Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Classical • Although the term “classical” is often used to describe all music that is not recent, “Classical” refers specifically to the period around 1750-1810. • Composers included Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. • Lots of new instruments: piano, clarinet, more brass, timpani. • Harpsichord no longer used. • Melodies created from scales and broken chords. Berlioz: Symphony Fantastique Romantic 1810-1910 Romanticism occurred in art, literature, music and theatre. Classical styles continued into the Romantic period but the composers began to break some of the rules and become more free in their writing, exploring new harmonies, rhythms and styles. Music is very expressive and can evoke lots of emotions. Rubato – pushing and pulling the tempo to add expression. New instruments were at the high and low ends of pitch range – piccolo, contrabassoon, tuba etc. This wider range of notes allowed more moods to be explored. The piano’s range also increased to the current size. Debussy: Cathedral Englouti Modern Penderecki: Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima Modern music is also called 20th Century music, even though it continues to be written today! Composers in the 20th Century pushed the boundaries of what was musically acceptable. Music became much stranger sounding; new ways of writing and performing were introduced. Music could be atonal – in no key.