Classical Music Is Medicine

                           Historical Perspective


What do these three names have in common –  Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and more recently Mohammed Ali?

Most boxing fans know that these were three of the most famous boxers who ever lived.  In fact, it was the latter whose dubbed himself “the greatest,” and predicted the round in which his opponent would be knocked out.

 His poetic gloating went something like this, “I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, and I will knock him out in round number 3.”  More often than not, he was correct.
But this post is not about boxing. Rather it is about three of the most celebrated classical composers of all time. More specifically, it is about their influence during the classical music era and beyond.
Franz J. HaydnWolfgang A. Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven championed the composition and development of classical music.

The Classical Era

This era lasted from 1775 – 1825 (approx.)  Sometimes referred to as “the Viennese Classical,” this period in music history was centered in Vienna.

Although none were native Viennese, Beethoven, Hayden and Mozart all worked in Vienna for significant periods during their careers.

Whenever reference is made to the Classical era, we know that this refers specifically to the period when composers like Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were active.


Age Of Enlightenment

This new musical style corresponded with the Age Of Enlightenment – a time which saw radical changes in human rights, freedom of expression and religion.  This also brought a keen interest in the artistic and literary heritage of Greece and Rome. Hence the term classical was applied.


Classical music can be defined as music that is distinct from pop, jazz, or folk music.


There was much overlapping of classical and orchestral forms during this period, and it was not uncommon for symphony movements to also be used in classical masses. Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia and Ninth Symphony are good examples.


This period saw great changes in orchestral set-up, and, rather than organ or harpsichord, wind instruments joined the strings to create a new, distinctive sound.

This led to perhaps the era’s most important type of music – the symphony.  The symphony developed rapidly from a standard format to become an extensive four-movement vehicle of orchestral expression.


Also introduced during this period was the piano. Sonatas, composed most notably for the piano, became the most important solo pieces of the classical era.

Beethoven, whose writing style was inherited from Mozart and Hayden, eventually outgrew it. Consequently, the Classical style was fragmented, giving rise to the dawn of the Romantic era in music during the latter years of the 18th century.


Hope this post has helped you in some way.

Your questions, comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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