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The development of the classical music in the world is surely affected by the development of Western music. The development of Western music itself is identical with the development of instruments used.

Starting from the medieval times until today, music has undergone huge changes. Changes in the music will continue to run over time where the previous work affects the work in the next era. At least, the development of music can be classified into eight periods.

Music in the middle ages (450-1450)

The history of Western music development began from the religious or liturgical music. The development of music in this time belonged to the ancient time. This music has been around since the Greeks and Hebrews.

Actually, this music was liturgical prayers that were released, so this music was strongly influenced by the activities of the church. The popular music in this time was Gregorian. In this time, the instrument has not been found yet.

Music at the beginning of this century was monophonic. It was dominated by a single voice. Composition was sung without the pressure and relied on improvisation. In the XI century, the existence of counterpoint technique was known, namely the use of harmonization with the movement of the opposite tunes with original melodies (inversion).

The popular composers in this century were Hildegard von Bingen, Moniot d'Arras, and Guillaume de Machaut.

Music in XV & XVI century (1450-1600)

Music in this century was classified into the Renaissance. It was still influenced by the church, but had to use instruments like the organ, flute, and harpsichord. The movement of the melody used kontrapung techniques, namely the movement of several melodic lines at once.

The existence of Madrigal (secular music that was sung without accompaniment), motet, Missa, fantasia, toccatta, and Fugue was also known. This century was called as a renaissance since it emerged as the development of knowledge and art.

Some characteristics of music in this century were polyphonic. In this era, people began to recognize the existence of four-voice choir that was divided into 3 types of composition. Those types were sacred (church), secular (non-ecclesiastical), and instrumental. The division of the melodic phrases was already balanced, while the vocal form was attached to the structure of the text or lyrics.

The composers in this era were Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovanni Perluigi, Orlando Lassus, Guillaume, and Du Fay.

Music in XVII century

Music in this century was influenced by opera and Oratorio. Opera was a musical drama which partly or wholly sung with orchestral accompaniment or instrumental music, while Oratorio referred to the musical drama without a script.

In Oratorio, there was usually a sacred element. Opera was originally pioneered in the Florentine Academy, Italy. Furthermore, the opera was known in France, Germany, and England. The popular composers in this time were Jocopo Peri and Claudio Monteverdi.

Source by Stewart B Johnston

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