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Music styles

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The genres of music that are studied as part of the GCSE syllabus are as follows.


  • Baroque
  • Classical
  • Romantic
  • Disco
  • Waltz
  • Salsa + Bhangra
  • Minimalism
  • Pavane + Galliard
  • And a lot of 20th century styles (such as minimalism, listed above)


Baroque Music and Characteristics Edit

  • Dated approximately 1600 - 1750
  • Continuo bass played usually on a harpsichord.
  • Orchestration is usually strings, oboes, bassoon and harpsichord.
  • Trumpets (Cornets) and other instruments were less advanced - no valves on trumpets etc.
  • Trumpets (Cornets) are used to play high notes
  • There is a lot of ornamentation - trills(/turns/mordants) on notes.
  • Listed below are examples of famous Baroque composers:
    • Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Henry Purcell
    • George Frideric Handel
    • Antonio Vivaldi


Classical Music and Characteristics Edit

  • Began 1750-1820
  • Orchestration varies throughout the era but the standard from about 1800 onwards was:
    • 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 timpani, strings
  • The creation of the String Quartet consisting of 2 violins, a viola and a cello.
  • The pianoforte (Piano) was created.
  • Listed below are examples of famous Classical composers:
    • Franz Joseph Haydn
    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    • Ludwig Van Beethoven


Romantic Music and Characteristics Edit

  • 1820-1900
  • Music expresses more emotion compared to that of the Classical Era
  • Much larger orchestra (70 - 100) and wider variety of instruments:
  • Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, (cor anglais), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, (contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 *trombones (alto, tenor, bass), tuba, 4 timpani, strings.
  • Listed below are examples of famous Romantic composers
    • Franz Schubert
    • Edvard Grieg
    • Richard Wagner
    • Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
    • Camille Saint-Saёns
    • Guiseppe Verdi

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