Western Art Music Essay Example
Western art music is a form of music that has been around for centuries. It’s an art form that many people enjoy and appreciate. Western art music embodies a long and rich tradition that has been evolving for centuries. It is not just an auditory experience but also one of sight, as concert halls are filled with visual masterpieces from the great masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt. In this essay, we will explore some of the defining features of western art music in order to provide a better understanding of its purpose and significance.
Essay Sample on Western Art Music
Introduction of Western Art Music Essay
In western culture, music is defined as a tradition that is written and convert in the form of music notations. Such written form is not transmitted by rote nor in any recordings and the culture of such music was originated before the renaissance period in Europe and fully evolved till the romantic period.
It is noteworthy in the western culture that art can be identified by their notation version and It is known that European art music is part of traditional music and got its roots from there only.
Western art music is a form of music that has been around for centuries and is the root of many styles in today’s society. It has evolved over time and encompasses many forms such as symphonies, operas, oratorios, chamber music pieces, sonatas, masses, and cantatas.
Western art music is a genre of music that encompasses both instrumental and vocal works, which are performed by an entire orchestra or ensemble.
Main Body of Western Art Music Essay
Purpose of Western Art Music
As with all types of music genres, there are different reasons why people listen to it; whether it be because they enjoy listening to certain instruments or melodies that make them feel good and help them relax. The reason why western art music exists is that throughout history artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt have painted their most valuable masterpieces on canvas. While they were creating these paintings, someone had to write music that would go along with their art. Without the music being played many of these pieces of art would not have been nearly as impactful or visually stimulating. Therefore it is important for western art music to exist so the artists can convey their message through multiple senses.
Types of Western Art Music
There are many different types of western art music. Here is a list of the most popular:
- Symphonies- This type of music is usually composed for an orchestra and is typically around 30 minutes long, but can be as long as four hours depending on what the composer decides to write. A symphony usually tells a story through instrumental sounds to convey a range of emotions such as joy, sadness, or anger. Many famous composers have written symphonies including Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky.
- Operas- This style of music typically incorporates singing along with instruments in order to tell an expressive dramatic story with characters that act it out on stage with props and costumes. The opera has been around for a long time and has historical roots that go back to the early 1600s. The three big names in opera are Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini.
- Oratorios- An oratorio tells a story just like an opera but without all of the costumes and props used on stage. This type of western art music was started by J.S Bach who wrote one of the most famous pieces titled “Christmas Oratorio.”
- Masses or Cantatas- These types of music either have a Latin text, which is called a mass, or they have German words which is known as a cantata. In order for someone to fully understand this type of they need to know what these words mean as they are not as commonly used as other types of western art music.
- Chamber Music- This type of music is usually composed for a small ensemble such as a trio or quartet and can be instrumental or vocal. The instruments that are typically played in this style of music include violin, cello, and piano to name a few. Composers who have written well-known pieces include Brahms, Haydn, and Mozart.
- Sonatas- This type of western art music is an instrumental piece that was originally designed for the soloist to perform with accompaniment from a bass line. Most sonatas follow either two fast movements back to back, one slow movement followed by two fast ones, or three movements that are played in order of slow, fast, and slow. This type of music is around 20 minutes long but can go on for much longer depending on what the composer decides to do with the piece. Some famous composers who have written sonatas include Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
The significance of Western Art Music
Western art music has made a significant impact on society due to its rich history over hundreds if not thousands of years. This form of music represents an auditory tradition that has grown throughout time through various composers who have contributed their own unique styles and ideas to the western art music genre. It exists as an auditory experience that welcomes both music novices and experts. It is meant to be savored and appreciated by everyone who listens.
Famous Western Art Music Composers
Certain western art composers have been known for their prominent work in the music industry such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Alban Berg.
1. Johann Sebastian Bach
The birth year of Johann is 1685 in Eisenach and is known for their creativity as he was a craftsman and an organist at St. George’s Church. Johan Ambrosius and Maria Elisabetha are his father and mother respectively among which his father enlightened him with the instrument called violin and harpsichord.
Moreover, many of his close relatives were known musicians such as organists in church, composers, producers, payers, etc. This enables him clear everything faster and he learner how to play the organ from his uncle.
Due to his family’s achievements and teachings, he learned several things related to music at such an early age but unfortunately, his parents died when he was only 10 years ago. After the death of his parents, he loved with his brother where he started learning music.
He was so proficient in the field of music that he loves to play and develop different flavors of music. This is the reason the era of Bach is known for developing music on demand of employers.
As an instance, he composes and produces an organ work on the demand of his composed who works for the Prince of Anhalt-Cothen. As the cantor, the longest tenure Bach experienced was in Leipzig in Church of St. Thomas.
At the church, he used to write incredible music and notation. Due to a large number of demands from employers, he produces outstanding music flavors and contributes them to the music industry.
And his remarkable contribution can be extracted from his work that comprises 200 cantatas of the church, 20 cantatas within secular vocal, 4 suites of the orchestra, 6 Brandenburg Concertos, and for 1, 2, 3, and 4 harpsichords.
2. Ludwig Van Beethoven
One of the prominent musicians of the 17th century the gave thousands of melodious and peaceful music notation to the industry is Ludwig Van Beethoven who was born on 17th December 1770.
His birth was in the family of musicians of a German town, as his father and grandfather were great musicians and this is the reason till the age of eleven he taught by his father and then under the mentorship of organisms C. G. Needed.
Till the age of twelve, his first music notes were published under the supervision of Neefe, and then he went to Vienna. From the year 1792, he started earning from the music industry with the help of composing, counterpointing, etc under the guidance of Salieri, Haydn, Albrechtsberger, and Schenk.
Later in 1800, he tried his best to establish himself as a high classical style and achieve the same. Then he works on his work to make it high classical style and till 1823 he started writing piano concerts.
But unfortunately, with time he lost the power of hearing that was a big disadvantage at that time and it turns to be tougher for him to have any public interaction because of which the number of concerts reduces. At the later stages of his life, he encountered poverty and died in the year 1827.
3. Alban Berg
The Alban Berg was born in Vienna in the year 1885 dated 9th February and his father was not from a musician background but a Dame’s executive named Conrad Berg. His father initially lived in Numerberg but later due to certain reasons of earning shifted to Vienna with his mother named Johanna Anna Berg.
He had three siblings and Alban was the third child of his parents who had a close relative with his fourth sibling named Smaragda. Interestingly, Alban was keener towards literature and not music. He started his career in music when he was 15 years old and completed his education in the year 1903.
In the year of 1904, he started learning music from Viennese school Arnold and Anton Webern. He completed his music teachings in the year 1906 and became a Composer the next year.
In conclusion, Western classical music is a prominent aspect of western culture. It has been influential in the past and will continue to be so for years to come. The style of this type of music can vary depending on where it’s being played but there are similarities between all types which make them recognizable as Western art music.