Eras / Periods of Western Classical Music

If you know even a bit about classical music, chances are that you know that even classical music is classified as those from various periods (eras). And assuming you’re aware of it, do you recollect if Beethoven was a Classical composer, or was he from the Romantic era?

Doesn’t matter if you’re not aware, here’s a easy guide to the various periods in the western classical music and the various popular composers from that era.

Main periods/eras of classical music, and who the main composers were during that time:

  • 20th Century Music: Modern period where classical works is inspired by jazz, folk and native music.
  • Romantic Period: Music from (1820-1910), filled with emotion, intense energy and passion, this era produced some fantastic works.
  • Classical Period: Music from (1750-1820), saw the introduction of a form (sonata form) that has dominated instrumental composition to the present day. the focus was more on balance and structure.
  • Baroque Period / Era: Music from (1600-1750), an era that saw an explosion of styles and forms. Music in that era was known for its intricate ornamentation.
  • Renaissance Period: Music from the 14th to 16th centuries, an era of re-birth and discovery for composers. Characterized by increase of secular music, madrigals, and art song
  • Early Music: Medieval and Pre-Renaissance Music from the 6th to the 15th Century, the era that laid the foundations for the composers that were to come. Characterized by Gregorian chant, mostly religious.

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