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Cello Lessons: Classical Period: 1750-1820 - Aesthetic & Performance Practice

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The Classical period of music
it's where we get
the term classical music.
And the reason we call this period
classical is cuz after the Baroque
period which became very complex
as you'll learn about later.
Composers and architects and
painters around the time of 1750,
they started really favoring simplicity
and clarity and they got really into
those principles as represented in
ancient Greece or classical Greece.
And so those classical principles,
is where they got the name for
this period of arts in the 18th century.
In order to make music sound
as clear as possible, composers drew
a lot of inspiration from architecture.
And when you think of Ancient Greece, the
Parthenon, everything's very symmetrical,
and very clear geometric shapes.
And classical composers started
to embrace very clear harmony,
as the primary way to create form and
structure in music.
And so the sonata form is a really
important part of classical music
that deals, specifically,
with the way harmonies are expressed
in different themes, and
the concerto is also a form that
developed in the Classical Period.
In the concerto, where you have, maybe,
one soloist in front of an orchestra
also help to develop an emphasis
on virtuosity that wasn't quite
there in the Baroque period.
As we're learning some classical pieces,
the general sound rule,
the general aesthetic in addition to the
compositional principles of clarity and
structure Is we're gonna have,
kind of a clear sound with our instrument.
That's the opening
to Beethoven's Third Cello Sonata.
You can hear how simple this melody is
that he builds a whole piece off of.
Just to contrast it to the Baroque
period that came before.
This is a piece of Bach that we're
gonna learn in this curriculum.
that's Bach.
That was written many years
before this piece by Beethoven.
So when we're confronted
with these sort of simple,
clear melodic phrases, we're gonna
want to play with a very resonant sound.
We're not gonna vibrate too,
too much in pieces written
in the classical period.
The most famous composers from this
time are Haydn and Mozart and Beethoven.
And in fact, the classical period is
often said to end right around 1820,
just towards the end of Beethoven's life.
Beethoven died in 1827, and
it was through the middle and
late Beethoven compositions, and even
late Mozart that they particularly start
pushing us from classical ideals
into the romantic period,
which again we'll talk about in a future,
future lesson.
But I think the first piece we're
gonna learn is the Boccherini Minuet.
And so you can keep all of
the sorta underlying principles and
philosophies from the classical
period in mind as we learn it next.