During the Enlightenment period there were many new, great and exciting ideas and items that became popular. While art changed from Baroque to Rococo, music changed from traditional and church music to an elegant type called classical. Many composers became popular because ballets and operas, which used to be only for the wealthy, were opened up to the middle classes and that allowed them to experience great music. Some of the greatest composers, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, and Handel were all from the Enlightenment period and were famous for their composing.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756.At a very early age, he was known as a child prodigy. When he was around six, he could learn a piece of music within the hour. Also, at the same age, he began composing. At the age of eight, he was even writing his own symphonies. Mozart’s father, who was a violinist, named Leopold Mozart took Wolfgang with him whenever he went on tour. This is where Mozart absorbed many different styles of music from cultures all around Europe. His passions were opera and instruments. Between the ages of seven and fifteen, young Mozart had spent most of his time on tour and had seen most of Europe.
After Mozart’s mother died in 1778, he went back to Salzburg were he became the concertmaster to the Archbishop. The Archbishop gave Mozart a freelance career without benefit from anyone and therefore did not have to rely on pay from others. Mozart then moved to Vienna and lived with the Weiber family for a while. While he was living in Vienna, he made a friendship with another great composer, Franz Joseph Hadyn. He married, Contanze, the daughter of the Weiber family. Just a few years after their marr...
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...er became the full court musician for the same prince. When the prince died in 1791, Haydn moved to England where he made the acquaintance of Handel. Four years after, Haydn went back to Austria where he would write the nations’ future national anthem.
Haydn’s heath started to deteriorate when he was in his 60’s. During a performance in 1808, he had to leave in the intermission because of exhaustion. That was his last public appearance. He died one year later on May 31, 1809. He was shot by a stray bullet during Napoleon’s attack on Vienna, as he was trying to reassure his servants. Haydn is known as the father of string quartet because he wrote over one hundred string quartet pieces in his lifetime.
Mozart, Bach, Haydn, and Handel are all great composers. Their musical influence greatly affected music for all time. Many of their great pieces are enjoyed today.
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