Music Education

Music Education for Eighth
Grade Students
Famous Styles and Composers
Baroque Music
• 1600-1750
• Characteristics of Baroque Music include
steady rhythm, several complex and
overlapping melodies, and usually
polyphonic in texture (two or more
melodies) within a single piece
• Famous composers include Johann
Sebastian Bach and George Handel
Johann Sebastian Bach
• 1685-1750
• Known as the “Father of Baroque Music”
• Famous organist in his lifetime, but not famous
for his music until long after his death
• Composed many concertos, masses including
St. Matthew’s Passion, and over a hundred
George Handel
• 1685-1759
• Although born in Germany, lived his
adulthood in England composing for
royalty and nobility
• Famous for his oratorios (compositions
that told stories from the Bible)
• Most famous oratorio was The Messiah,
other works include Elijah and Water
Classical Music
• Lasted from 1750-1820
• Characteristics of Classical Music include
greater dynamics or relative loudness, often
homophonic with just one main melody with
• This period introduced and perfected the sonata,
symphony, and concerto
• Famous composers include Joseph Haydn,
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Franz Joseph Haydn
• 1732-1809
• Born in Austria
• Wrote 104 symphonies, best remembered
for his 12 London symphonies written for
his tour in England in the 1890’s
• Considered the “Father of the Symphony”
and string quartet during the Classical
• 1756-1791
• Known as the “Child Prodigy,” spent his
childhood touring Europe, performing on several
• Was said to compose with no editing at all, his
first copy was his final
• Composed over 30 symphonies and several
operas including The Marriage of Figaro
Romantic Music
• 1820-1900
• Characteristics of Romantic Music: melodies
became more irregular with more skips and
contrasts. Melody was still largely homophonic,
but included a more varied orchestra
• Nationalism was a key element in the mood of
compositions. Composers meant to express
more feeling into their music
• Famous composers include Ludwig Van
Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, and Peter
Ludwig Van Beethoven
• 1770-1827
• Born in Bonn, Germany
• Deaf by the age of thirty, continued to write what
is considered his greatest work
• Wrote 9 symphonies, his Ode to Joy one of his
more memorable works
• Also wrote famous piano pieces such as Fur
Elise and Moonlight Sonata
• Is considered the “bridge” between Classical
and Romantic Music
Frederic Chopin
• 1810-1849
• Born in Poland, national hero for his
contribution to Romantic Music
• Considered to be the best pianist in
history, his works extremely difficult to
• Wrote mostly piano nocturnes (night
music) and piano concertos with orchestra
Peter Tchaikovsky
• 1840-1893
• Born in Russia, studied music at the St. Peter’s
• Famous for his ballet suites including The Nutcracker,
Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo and Juliet
• Other works include several operas and orchestral works
such as the Overture of 1812
• Although his Swan Lake ballet suite is considered one of
his finest today, it was a flop when first performed