One indicates by the name of classical music the whole of the music Occident erudite ale (in opposition to popular music), since the Renaissance until our days. More specifically, the expression also indicates the music of the traditional current, that is to say the written music roughly speaking between the death of Bach (1750) and the advent of the romanticism, in the years 1820
(one will refer to the article Musique of the traditional period to avoid any confusion).
Classical music, popular music
The border which delimits the music known as traditional of the music known as popular is sometimes extremely thin. First of all, it is interesting to note that the music of the Rebirth (known as traditional) car its sources so much of the Gregorian chant than of the music profanes Troubadour S and medieval trouveres. Conversely, the music of variety of the 20th century bases as a large majority on the tonal Système, introduced by the Baroque music at the dawn of the 17th century. Connections between the two big families of the European music are thus numerous, which makes all the more vague the term of classical music . Moreover, the term classical music (music which deserves to be imitated) implies the concept of repertory which, before the 19th century is quite simply anachronistic.
Type-setters and interpreters
It is probably the concept of repertory which differentiates most surely the classical music from the popular music, and this, since the beginning of the rebirth. The erudite musical tradition differentiates the interpreter from the type-setter, who writes his works not only for him, but possibly also (or exclusively sometimes) for other musicians. The popular music would be thus anchored in its time, but would not survive it, while the classical music is conceived to resist the time proof through generations of interpreters. The classical music would thus have what Nicholas Cook called a " capital esthétique" , i.e. a repertory, from the distinction between interpreter and type-setter, while the popular music would be written for and/or by a musician or a group of musicians for him even This synthesis is unfortunately somewhat simplistic, and this for several reasons.
An anachronism: Beethoven and birth of the repertory
Always according to Nicholas Cook, the design of the music of which our time inherited date the 19th century, and is due mainly to the character of Ludwig van Beethoven. The concept of repertory, of “musical museum” whose Liszt will claim the foundation 1835 as an institution, did not exist absolutely before the romantic era. Thus, of the type-setters such as Branch, Bach or Haydn, their works for a precise occasion wrote (the mass of Sunday or the dinner of prince Eszterházy, for example), and all gives to believe that none of them expected to see its works passing to the posterity. One of the famous examples is Passion according to Saint Matthieu, of which the execution in 1829 by Felix Mendelssohn was the first since the creation of work, cent-deux years earlier! In the same way, one knows with enough certainty which a large fraction of their work is unknown for us (only 126 of the 200 cantatas that Bach wrote in Leipzig us are known).
It will be also noticed that these type-setters often re-used the material of a work for the writing of another according to the process of the parody (see: List of re-uses of works of classical music) - thus the entirety of the first Brandenburger concerto of Bach is found it in cantatas BWV 52 and BWV 207 and the Sinfonia BWV 1071; its 8 concertos for harpsichord are arrangements of older works; its Messe in so minor is it made up essentially of pages drawn from various former works.
What underlines moreover Nicholas Cook, it is that the term of classical music was created to precisely indicate works of this imaginary musical museum, museum which did not exist before the 19th century. The notion of classical music thus would have been formed a posteriori of half of the music which it is supposed to indicate and would be thus more than prone to guarantee.
The advent of this musical museum was contemporary opening of the Musée S of visual arts or natural science.
The popular influence on the classical music
Baroque music uses and reinvents popular dances such as the chaconne, the gigue, the gavotte, the minuet, elements incorporated following dances, drawing up close connections with the popular music. In France, the organists adopt the traditional melodies of the Christmas carols to make a very appreciated kind of it: the Christmas varied. It is also the vogue of the tambourines, rigadoons, haversacks which one finds so much in the instrumental music than in the lyric tragedy or the pastoral ones, for example at Rameau. The music for harpsichord of Scarlatti incorporates a whole Iberian popular musical tradition, and Telemann, musician fertile and eclectic, undergoes in the same way the charm of the airs of Poland recently joined together in Saxony. Even Bach in its continuations, is unaware of neither faggot, nor Polish. Later during the 18th century, from the traditional type-setters as Joseph Haydn benefit from the music and country topics.
When at the 19th century nationalism wakes up, the European musical panorama is some upset. The music becomes a means of expressing an national identity, oppressed or triumphing. One could not relativize the importance that could have type-setters like Grieg or Dvorak, which, using the folk topics of the Czech campaigns or Norwegian, largely contributed to forge a national conscience in their respective fatherlands. The Hungarian Dances of Brahms, Polish of Chopin are among the most famous examples, but all the music of type-setters like Janáček, Liszt, Wieniawski or Sergueï Rachmaninov is deeply marked by their national folklore, contributing to create a clean and easily recognizable style with each nation, with each people.
20th centuryOf course, it does not act whereas to take as a starting point folk topics and melodies and to use them in an eminently romantic context. Later, a Béla Bartok or a Georges Enesco will push much further the experiment, building their original language on the music of the Hungarian and Rumanian villages.
Moreover, the contribution of musics such as the Jazz or the Blues enormously marked type-setters like Maurice Ravel or George Gershwin, to only quote most famous of them. Of near or by far, almost all the erudite music of the 20th century is influenced by the various popular styles.
The traditional influence on the popular music
For as much, the contribution of the classical music to the popular music is not less important. The tonal language, which use the vast majority of the musicians of variety was elaborate at the beginning of the period baroque. Moreover, the various popular musics are generally dependant of near or by far with a side of the traditional repertory, even if these influences are very seldom asserted Pourtant, the use of a tonal system one cannot conventional any more by pop groups such as Oasis, with sequences of agreements and harmonic steps worthy of the purest traditional tradition , or the influences of type-setters baroques (Vivaldi and Bach, in fact) on guitarists of Hard rock such as Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads are obviousnesses for an informed ear.
Classical music through the ages
The concept of classical music being, as one saw extremely vague, it is difficult to define when the kind appears. This section thus wants to be an overflight of the great periods of the European erudite music beginning arbitrarily with the rebirth.
Music of the Rebirth (16th century)
Baroque music (1600 - 1750)
One locates the period baroque in music between the appearance of the opera, in 1600, and the death of Jean-Sebastien Bach, in 1750. As it was mentioned higher, this temporal definition is prone to guarantee and discussed by the musicologists.
Birth of the operaMajor innovation of the 17th century, the opera is born in Florence around the years 1600 thanks to the humanistic ones from the Camerata Bardi . Wishing ressusciter the ancient tragedy, these hellenists, scientists, musicians or men of letters, imagine the dramma per musica , a form in which the entirety of the dramatic text is sung. Orfeo (1607) of Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643) is regarded as being the first opera, a kind which will be exported initially with the whole of Italy then in France with the tragedy in music and soon in all Europe. Based on the intelligibility of the text and its prevalence on the music, inspired of the theories pythagoricians, the opera marks, in theory at least, a total rupture with the music of the previous centuries. The opera modifies the musical language radically, by replacing the dominant polyphony by a stripped monodie, and contributing thus directly to the birth of low continuous.
The language baroque: tonality and low continuousOne of the principal innovations of the Baroque music compared to the music of the rebirth relates to the appearance of low continues, which remains the “trademark” of the Baroque music, so much so that one speaks also " from era of low the continue". The low one continues is a “quantified” base line, providing a harmonic support for the played part. Establishing a polarity between the voices of the top and basic, the low one continues marking down the Baroque music of the polyphonic music of the rebirth, where all the voices are theoretically of the same importance. Moreover, the modal music of the rebirth succeeds a tonal music, founded on the opposition of the harmonic degrees tonic and dominant. The tonal language will be treated differently according to the times, but will not be called in question before the end of the 19th century.
Instrumental music baroque
The period baroque also sees being detached the instrumental music from the song, on the one hand, but also of the dance. What the Anglo-Saxons call absolute music , the purely instrumental music is initially made up of dances who are not inevitably any more intended to be danced, in particular in the form of continuations (or partitas ). An abundant literature for keyboard (organ especially but also harpsichord) develops in Italy, which also sees being born the sonata , the concerto and the concerto grosso . In France on the other hand, the expression of individual passions encourages the development of sonorities plus intimists, and it is consequently the lute, the viola da gamba and the harpsichord which dominate the 17th century, in type-setters like Holy-Dove, Marin Marais or Louis Couperin.
Classical music (1750 - 1820)(to refer to the article corresponding to the traditional period while clicking on the title above)
romantic Music (1820 - 1900)(to refer to the article corresponding to the romantic period while clicking on the title above)
modern Music (1900 - 1970)(to refer to the article corresponding to the modern period while clicking on the title above)
Modern music (1950)(to refer to the article corresponding to the contemporary period while clicking on the title above)
Simple: Classical music Zh-min-nan: -iûⁿ kó͘-tián im-ga̍k
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