Composers, Pieces, and Events of the Baroque to Classical Periods

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Invention

1684

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton invent calculus.

Important Person

1685

King Charles II dies in France.

Composer

June 30, 1685 - December 4, 1732

John Gay was an English poet. He was most famous for the work called The Beggar's Opera from 1728.

Composer

October 26, 1685 - July 23, 1757

Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer. He is classified as a baroque composer chronologically but was influential in the classical style as well. His father Alessandro Scarlatti was also a composer and like Domenico, they both composed in a variety of styles. Domenico Scarlatti is most famous for his keyboard sonatas.

War

1688 - 1697

During the Nine Years War, The Grand Alliance sought to stop France from expanding.

Important Event

1688 - 1689

The Dutch invade England starting the Glorious Revolution. After this, England becomes a constitutional monarchy.

Important Event

1692

Massachusetts has its Salem witch trials.

Important Event

1692 - 1694

France loses 2 million people do to a famine.

Important Event

1694

The Bank of England is established.

Invention

1699

Thomas Savery invents the steam engine.

Composer

March 25, 1699 - December 16, 1783

Johann Adolph Hasse was a German composer. He was a singer and a teacher of music. He frequently set librettos by Pietro Metastasio. Johann Adolph Hasse was a very important figure in the making of opera seria.

War

1700 - 1721

The Great Northern War was fought between Russia and the Swedish Empire. During this time in 1701 the Kingdom of Prussia declared war on King Frederick I.

Composer

1700 - January 15, 1775

Giovanni Battista Sammartini was an Italian composer. He was also an organist, choirmaster, and a teacher. One of his most recognized students is Christoph Willibald Gluck and he was highly regarded by Johann Christian Bach. Sammartini is associated with the formation of the concert symphony. He took thematic development more seriously and in a different light to do this.

Important Event

1701

Mount Fuji erupted in Japan.

Important Event

1702 - 1715

France had a rebellion called the Camisard Rebellion.

Important Event

1705

Handel's first opera premieres. It's name was Almira.

Composer

January 4, 1710 - March 16, 1736

Giovannia Battista Pergolesi was Italian. He was a composer, violinist, and organist. He was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa.

War

1712 - 1713

The War of Spanish Succession was fought and ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Composer

March 8, 1714 - December 14, 1788

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was one of Johann Sebastian Bach's children. He was a German classical musician and composer. He acted as a transitional composer between the baroque style of his father and the classical period that followed.

Composer

July 2, 1714 - November 15, 1787

Christoph Willibald Gluck was an opera composer of the early classical period. He was strongly influenced by French opera and fused it with the Italian opera. He wrote eight operas for the Parisian stages and was extremely popular during his time.

Important Event

1717

The Triple Alliance was formed between Britain, France, and the Netherlands.

Composer

June 18, 1717 - March 27, 1757

Johann Stamitz was a Czech composer and violinist. His music marks a transition from the baroque classical style to the beginning of the classical era.

Important Event

1718

City of New Orleans was founded by France.

Piece of Repertoire

1728

The Beggar's Opera composed in 1728 was by John Gay, an English poet. Our piece is The Beggar's Opera: Excerpt from Scene 13. This piece is classified as a ballad opera.

Important Event

1730 - 1760

The Great Awakening takes place in both Britain and North America.

Piece of Repertoire

1731

Cleofide was composed by Johann Adolph Hasse. Our piece is Cleofide: Act II, Scene 9, Digli ch'io son fedele and was classified as opera seria.

Composer

March 31, 1732 - May 31, 1809

Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer. He is called the father of the symphony and he invented the genre known as the string quartet. He was also a teacher of Beethoven and was a good friend of Mozart.

Piece of Repertoire

1733

La serva padrona: Excerpt composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. This piece was classified as an intermezzo.

Composer

September 5, 1735 - January 1, 1782

Johann Christian Bach was a German classical composer and was a child of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is referred to as the English Bach due to his time spent in Britain. As a composer, he had an influence on the concerto style of Mozart.

Piece of Repertoire

1740

The Symphony in F Major, No. 32: First Movement, Presto, is classified as a symphony and was composed by Giovanni Battista Sammartini. There are four parts in this piece and looks similar to a string quartet with the cello being replaced by a continuo player instead.

Piece of Repertoire

1740

Our piece is Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in D Major, K. 119. This piece is a keyboard sonata and was written some time in the 1740's. In the piece you can hear the imitation of castanets and other various things. His music was quite influential.

Important Event

1740 - 1741

A tenth of the Irish population was taken out by a famine.

Important Event

1742

Cotton mills are first opened in England.

Composer

October 7, 1746 - September 26, 1800

William Billings was an American choral composer. He is now recognized to have his own unique style.

Piece of Repertoire

1750

Sinfonia a 8 in E-flat Major, Op. 11, No. 3: First Movement, Allegro assai, is our study piece and was composed by Johann Stamitz. The piece is classified as a symphony and was written sometime in the mid 1750's. Stamitz had a style similar to Mozart so it is easy to confuse the two.

War

1754 - 1763

The French and Indian War was fought.

Composer

January 27, 1756 - December 5, 1791

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most prolific and famous composers of the classical period. He was a child prodigy and was great friends with Joseph Haydn. With over 600 works, he influenced a lot of composer through a variety of styles such as string quartets, symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and opera. He had a very distinct style in which parts would be fairly calm and then explode into a crazy part. Mozart tried to copy the Mannheim orchestra's crescendo's and rockets and was a saught after teacher by Beethoven.

Piece of Repertoire

1762

Orfeo and Euridice was an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck. Our excerpt is Orfeo and Euridice: Excerpt from Act II, Scene 1. The piece was composed in an effort to reform Italian opera.

Piece of Repertoire

1765

The Sonata in A Major, H. 186, Wq. 55/4: Second Movement, Poco adagio is our study piece composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This piece is classified as a keyboard sonata.

Piece of Repertoire

1770

Our study piece is Concerto for Harpsichord or Piano and Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 7, No. 5: First movement, Allegro di molto composed by Johann Christian Bach. It is a keyboard concerto and can be played with either harpsichord or piano.

Composer

December 17, 1770 - March 26, 1827

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. He was a great composer between the classical and romantic periods of music constantly pushing the limits of what music could be. He would start pieces in ways no one else has done with his string quartets he started with a fugue. He moved the melodies down in symphonies to the lower voices to make the orchestra sound fuller and he pushed the limits of music harmonically. He studied with Joseph Haydn briefly and was going to study with Mozart who died before he could get a chance too. In his time his music was very controversial and now he is considered a music genius. For most of he life he was deaf and had severe love life problems but he was one of the best of the best composers.

Important Event

1776

America takes its first step toward independence and freedom with the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

Piece of Repertoire

1781

String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2 (The Joke), Hob. III: 38: Fourth movement, Presto is a string quartet composed by Joseph Haydn. Haydn was a master at joking with people and what was so great about this particular string quartet is that it has a lot of rests at the end designed to make people think the composition was over and to clap but be cut off by the real ending to the quartet.

Piece of Repertoire

1781 - 1783

Our study piece is Piano Sonata in F Major, K. 332, (3ook): First movement, Allegro was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This piece is a piano sonata.

War

1785 - 1795

The Native Americans and North Americans had a war called the Northwest Indian War.

Piece of Repertoire

1786

The study piece is composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and is his Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488: First movement, Allegro is a piano concerto. In some of Mozart's piano concertos there are double expositions in which the symphony plays first and one could easily mistake it as such but later in the piece, the keyboard comes in and plays the main theme alone making the double exposition happen.

Important Event

1787

The Constitution of The United States was written and sent to the states for ratification.

Piece of Repertoire

1787

Don Giovanni: Act I, Scenes 1-2 is our study piece. This opera (dramma giocoso) was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Lorenzo da Ponte wrote the libretto for this opera as well as The Marriage of Figaro. This piece quickly became one of Mozart's most popular works.

Piece of Repertoire

1789

Symphony No. 92 in G Major (Oxford), Hob. I:92 is a piece composed by Joseph Haydn and is a symphony. It is called the Oxford because is was presented to Oxford University when the institution awarded him an honorary Doctor of Music degree in 1791. The piece was composed two years before however.

Piece of Repertoire

1794

Creation, from The Continental Harmony was a piece composed by William Billings and is our study piece. This piece is classified as a fuging tune.

Piece of Repertoire

1797 - 1798

The study piece is Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, (Pathétique): Third movement, Rondo, Allegro. The title of the sonata means emotionally moving.

Piece of Repertoire

1803

Beethoven's Third Symphony Eroica in E-flat Major, Op.55: First movement, Allegro con brio is a study piece of ours. The symphony starts with two big E-flat chords and proceeds with a thematic introduction of an arpeggio. This symphony was written for Napoleon whom Beethoven thought was going to change everything in the world until he declared himself emperor. After that, on the original Eroica score, there is a whole where Beethoven scratched through Napoleon's name.

Invention

1804

First steam locomotive invented.

Important Event

1804

Napoleon declares himself Emperor of France.

Important Event

1810

The trumpet now has the development of valves for more technical playing.

Important Event

1820

Antarctica is discovered.

Piece of Repertoire

1826

The study piece here is String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131: First and second movement. This piece is by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven thought that it was his greatest work in the medium and dedicated it to Baron Joseph von Stutterheim who was the leader of the army regiment in which his nephew Karl had recently enlisted. The quartet is 7 movements and begins with a fugue which was unheard of. All of the keys represented in the fugue are the basis for the other movements in the quartet.

Important Event

1827

This year was the death of William Blake and Ludwig van Beethoven.