Classical Period Art Concept


The classical period is the era of simplification and avoidance of complexity. With these features, it is easily distinguished from the previous periods. To understand this period, we must first look at the history and the conditions of that period. For example, the French Revolution. At that time, societies were divided into classes as the royal family, the clergy, the bourgeois class and the lower class. This classification was reflected in the understanding of music and art of that period, and revealed an understanding and order suitable for its own period. This period in the history of music, which started from the second half of the 18th century (beginning with the death of Bach and ending with the death of Beethoven) until 1827, is called the Classical Age. The most important factor in the start of this period is the invention of the piano. This period, which has a clear texture, has written its name on the indelible pages of history with its simplicity and compositions that have survived to the present day.

Classical Period and Vienna

The First Viennese School is a name that refers to three composers of the Classical period in Western art music in Vienna in the late 18th century: Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. (Franz Schubert is occasionally added to the list)

In German-speaking countries, the term Wiener Klassik is used. The term is applied more broadly to the Classical period in music as a whole, as a way of distinguishing it from other periods classically called Baroque and Romantic music. The term "Vienna School" was first used by Austrian musicologist Raphael Georg Kiesewetter in 1834, but only counted Haydn and Mozart as members of the school. Other writers followed, and eventually Beethoven was added to the list. The name "first" was added today to avoid confusion with the Second Viennese School.

Bernardo Bellotto, il Canaletto – View of Vienna from the Belvedere

With the exception of Schubert, these composers certainly knew each other, and Haydn and Mozart even occasionally became chamber music partners. Still, they did not form a school in the sense of deliberate collaboration with 20th-century schools such as the Second Vienna School or Les Six. There is also no evidence that one composer was "schooled" by another in the way that Berg and Webern were taught by Schoenberg, but it is true that Beethoven took lessons from Haydn for some time. Attempts to expand the First Viennese School to include later figures such as Anton Bruckner, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler are journalistic only and have never been encountered in academic musicology.

At that time, good music began to be made all over Europe, and even families positioned in the lowest class gave importance to music. Based on this, although the schools in Europe were good at that time, families have a desire to send their children to Vienna in their hearts. Vienna has been an important art center of this period and we can say that it is the capital of art for this period.

Classical Period and Music

In this period, there is balance and harmony of form in music. The most important form of instrumental music in this period is the sonata. The most important innovation is the symphony, which is different from the "symphony" of the past years. Symphonic structures begin to sprout and the sound of the piano is heard for the first time in this period. It is an important and an incentive for the next generations in this period, in which great artistic compositions find their owners.

Classical Age; Haydn is known for the new breath that Mozart and Beethoven offered to music. They are teachers, we are students. When we listen to their teachings and indescribable compositions by revealing our souls, we will see that we find something from ourselves and how much they actually want to tell something from life. Music is so different from baroque and Renaissance that each composition is revolutionary in its own world. If we need to prove this officially, we can show that most of the compositions are internationally accepted.

The artists, composers and craftsmen of this period found the baroque period too complex and stated that the main purpose of music was forgotten. In addition, the fact that instruments were tied to certain measures with the awareness of the responsibility they bear in society, according to their sound and rhythm centers, led to the extraordinary development of virtuosity in the classical period. (Thessaloniki, 1996, p.130)

Classical Period and Painting

The subject is usually people. The human structure is shaped according to the observation of nature. Anatomy is based on accurate and optical observation. In the paintings, single and triple figures draw attention. Pyramidal composition becomes an important view of order in the formatting of table paintings. Profan subjects push religious subjects into the background. The painting order, which we call closed composition, where all the figures are included in the painting, is carefully applied. In the paintings, the universal light that illuminates all sides of the painting becomes important, not the light coming from a single point. In other words, light and shadow do not shape the space with their bodies. Light-shadow emerges gradually in the mature classical period of painting. Body and space are volumized not by color perspective, but by line perspective. The logical and superficial body form of the archaic painting completely disappears.

After the classical style period, another form of formatting is seen in works of art. In this period called “Baroque style”, kingdoms grew and became empires. The palace developed with all its majesty. Cities have grown. This time, the artist started to paint the life of the common people as well as the subjects of the emperor's palace. In this respect, it is seen that the natural beauty peculiar to individuals was discovered, as the painter or sculptor began to depict the insignificant people among the people, while on the one hand, he was dealing with the members of the palace. Renaissance influences are present. The basic elements used in the picture; harmony, openness, limitation, universality, idealism, balance, moderation, beauty. Drawings were made according to the rules. The most important works were given in this period. For example, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting was made during this period. The most important representatives are; Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raphael.


Voice in the Courtyard (1st ed.)

Göksu A. Journal of Rast Music p(1020-1030)

Music of the Enlightenment – ​​Classical Period and Its Masters (Topos publications)


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