Learn about Classical Music in the Western world from the Middle Ages to the present.
You’ll begin with an introduction to the various elements of music — for example, melody, rhythm, pitch and harmony – to give you the basics and vocabulary to understand and appreciate any type of music. You’ll then explore the History of Classical Music through its various stylistic periods, from medieval chant right up to the current cutting edge. Anyone interested in classical music will benefit from this course.
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Updated regularly (Latest Update: On November 5, 2014)
• the first section is devoted to the elements of music in order to give you a detailed primer in melody, rhythm, pitch, harmony, texture, tempo, dynamics and form. Section 1 includes a short history of Rock and Roll to illustrate the musical elements and musical style.
After that, each section is devoted to one of the broad eras of music:
• The Middle Ages. Learn about early music beginning with monophony and how polyphony developed during the period of the building of the great cathedrals.
• The Renaissance. What was happening in music during the period in which Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel? A return to some Ancient ideals led to a rediscovery of the science of acoustics, providing a basis for the theory of modern harmony. How the course of music changed as a result of Martin Luther’s break from the Church.
• The Baroque. Here we have the origins of opera, as well as a flowering of instrumental music, culminating in the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.
• The Classical. In reaction to the florid complexities of the Baroque, and influenced by the Age of Reason, the Classical period focused on simplicity and elegance, producing such composers as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
• Romanticism. The Age of Reason was too “reasonable” for the the Romanticists. They valued heightened emotion over elegance. The music of Schumann, Chopin, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Puccini were some of its greatest accomplishments.
• The Modern Period. Formerly referred to as the 20th century period, it now needs to reflect its expansion into the 21st century. Some of the greatest composers of this period have been Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg, Britten, Shostakovich, Ives, Copland and Barber.
• We conclude with a retrospective and some final remarks to wrap it all up.