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Wood Panel

1750 -1810 
Classical Era

Although many people use the term “classical” music to refer to a broad category of instrumental or vocal music that differs from “popular” music, this usage can be confusing as the term is also more specific to classical music.


In the classical period, composers reacted to what they saw as unnatural and exaggerated in the Baroque style. As they sought a balance between expression and form, the formal structures became more refined and became more central to the composition.


The music became increasingly homophonic, and composers reserved the use of counterpoint only for specific situations that required it.


The basso continuo was gradually abandoned during the Classical period. One reason the basso continuo became obsolete was that more and more music was being written for amateurs who could not master the difficult art of improvising a figured bass.


Classical composers also wanted more control; they preferred to provide accompaniment rather than trust the judgment of the improvisers.

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