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What are the features of classical music?


CLASSICAL PERIOD ~1730-1820


The Classical period falls between the Baroque and the Romantic periods. Classical music has a lighter, clearer texture than Baroque music and is less complex.


Main features of classical music are:


  • Graceful and elegant melodic ideas with decoration/trills, mostly using notes from the key-chord, scale or arpeggio

  • Melody and accompaniment texture, usually melody dominated

  • Repetition of musical material

  • Simple and straightforward harmonies with mostly primary chords

  • Dynamic contrast with use of crescendo and diminuendo

  • Light piano sonority with a modest sound range

  • Limited use of sustain pedal

  • Balanced, regular, clear and generally predictable phrase lengths with a cadences at the end.

Some composers to listen to:


Beethoven

Boccherini

Clementi

Dussek

Haydn

Hummel

Mozart

Stamitz


The following stylistic hallmark given for the classical period shouldn’t be

considered as exclusive or comprehensive description.


This stylistic hallmark should be considered in combination with other styles, as clearly many of them can apply to music of any period.

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