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Composers, Courts and Classicism

The Rococo Period

From the end of the Baroque and the beginning of the Classical periods there is an artistic bridge called the Rococo. Its music was a reaction against counterpoint and the comparative austere styles of composers like Bach and Handel. Instead this music was lighter, more intimate with extreme elaboration and ornamentation.


The Classical Period

Although music in the Classical Period was formal and structured, it was also lighter with more contrasts in tone colour, dynamics, modulations; and melody was all important. It was a period where the orchestra was fully established and the continuo, so important in the Baroque, died out.


Joseph Haydn

The remarkable Haydn (1732-1809) is the first of the three great composers of the Classical period and known as both the “Father of the Symphony’ and the ‘Father of the String Quartet”. He was extremely prolific spending almost 30 years as a court musician for the Esterhazy family in their remote estate.


Forms and Styles

Formal styles developed in the Classical Period establishing the basis for most compositions; including Sonata and Rondo forms. These helped shaped the movements of larger compositions like the Symphony, Sonata and Concerto whose structures were also formalised in this period.


Sacred Music

Much sacred music was written in this period but although it was more conservative than secular music it has often been criticized for being too beautiful, operatic and not serious enough. It has been described as being more for the theatre rather than the church.



In this period, Opera Seria, the dominant form of opera in the Baroque, became less popular. Other more light and comic opera styles like Opera Buffa and Singspiel started taking over. Often no longer in Italian, but in the language of the composer, this was music for the people as well as music for the aristocrat.



Heres What You Need To Know

Date & Time

All classes are held once a month and last for 1 and a half hours starting with coffee and cake.


Locations are the Eastern suburbs or North Shore. They are easily accessable by public transport.


Classes may be conducted elsewhere and can be customised to fit your specific group.

Classes & Groups

Classes must be taken as a series of 6. A minimum of 5 people is required to join a class.


Address will be supplied upon enrolment.


What It's All About

The Classical period (about 1730- 1820) saw an enormous amount of change; including the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution,  American Independence and for us in Australia both Cook and Phillip coming to our shores.

Musically, composers moved away from the complexity of the Baroque to a clearer, cleaner style based on simplicity. It is the period of the orchestra, the string quartet and three great composers, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven who totally rewrote our musical language.

Series 09
6 Episodes
The Roc...
Episode 1
The Clas...
Episode 2
Forms an...
Episode 4
Sacred M...
Episode 4

Composers, Courts and Classicism

The Classical period (about 1730- 1820) saw an enormous amount of change; including the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution,  American Independence and for us in Australia both Cook and Phillip coming to our shores.

Join Coffee Cake & Culture

Courses do not necessarily follow the term calendar. Organise a group of friends for private classes or join in an existing group.

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