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Each Era Examined

The Renaissance

The Renaissance was, for musicians, an era of discovery where innovations and explorations gave composers greater freedoms. The invention of the printing press help spread written music to more people and disseminate the new musical style called polyphony which unified this whole 200-year period.



The Baroque

The word ‘baroque’ comes from the Portuguese word ‘Barroco’ meaning ‘oddly shaped pearl’. This derogative title was given to this period because of its ornamental and decorative nature. Characteristics include the development of the major and minor harmonic system, the basso continue and especially the dominance of the harpsichord.


1600- 1750

The Classical Period

Unlike the ornate music of the Baroque, the Classical period is all about perceived simplicity of form, melody and style. Musical stalwarts like the concerto, sonata, string quartet and even the orchestra were established with the 3 greats – Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven dominating musical convention.


1730 – 1820

The Romantic Period

In this period composers moved away from the formal constraints of the Classical period. Instrumental music, especially the piano, had a pre-eminent position in the compositional world with composers expressing the full gamut of their emotions in their music. Pieces became longer and harmony became more chromatic and less defined.


1820 – 1914

P1 ~ The 20th Century

The 20th century is the period when music was shattered into a thousand pieces and where there seems to be no unifying features. Music changed markedly from one decade to the next with the world rocked by world wars, depression and diverse political doctrines. Part 1 looks at the importance of tonality and how composers dealt with its demise or continuance. 


1900 – 1939

P2 ~ The 20th Century

Music changed remarkably after World War II with the advancement of tape, then electronic, then computer technology. Many composers broke away from writing music for a large, potentially uneducated audience and instead, wrote for small groups of like-minded musicians. These all had dramatic effects on music in the late 20th century.


1939 – 2000

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

Throughout musical history there have been compositions written that changed the face of music making. These seminal pieces allowed subsequent composers to break new ground and explore different ways of communicating with their audience. 

This series delves into 6 of these pieces and looks at the impact they made on both composers and audiences.

Series 11
6 Episodes
The Ren...
Episode 1
The Bar...
Episode 2
The Rom...
Episode 4
P1 ~ The...
Episode 4

Each Era Examined

Each era in music has certain characteristics which make it unique. These are often due to the social and political nature of the period, advancement in technologies and trends. By understanding these idiosyncrasies, it is easier to connect with the music and have a better appreciation of it.

Learn More

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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