#1
Hey guys. I have my GCSE music listening exam tomorrow, and one of the things we have to be able to do is to tell the difference between baroque, classical and romantic music. As you have probably guessed by now, I am not able to tell the difference between baroque, classical and romantic music.

So, all you able musicians out there - what are the differences between the 3, and what should I listen out for to get clues?

Thanks
#2
What you should listen for is the difference between baroque, classical, and romantic music. Protip: If you've heard all three, even once, you'll have a good idea.
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#3
Romantic- full of strong emotion, also the starting time of Virtuoso style such as Paganini for Violin, can contain huge orchestra, ocasionally used different styles of harmony

Classical- simple harmonies contantly question answer style stuff, nothing random

Baroque- umm may have very churchy vocals, simple intruments and, i think(not sure) that they only harmonised in unison perfect 4ths and 5ths but that may be Reinosconce (?)
#4
Quote by Crazybudget
Romantic- full of strong emotion, also the starting time of Virtuoso style such as Paganini for Violin, can contain huge orchestra, ocasionally used different styles of harmony

Classical- simple harmonies contantly question answer style stuff, nothing random

Baroque- umm may have very churchy vocals, simple intruments and, i think(not sure) that they only harmonised in unison perfect 4ths and 5ths but that may be Reinosconce (?)
Most of this is wrong... but subtly so.

Baroque music isn't necessarily sacred, and the instrumentation isn't necessarily simple. They had most of the orchestral instruments we have today (minus some brass), but rarely used it that way. Harpsichord is an immediate indicator of baroque music though... the other instrumental indicator would be organ (they both fell out of favor to piano). While much of it was sacred, that continued well into the romantic period, and even past the enlightenment; so that's not a great indicator. It's pretty easy to tell baroque music apart from classical or romantic music though, by exclusion.

For classical music, it's very light and airy. It's very precise. Not usually bass heavy... listen for piano that never gets very heavy, strings by themselves. Classical music simply doesn't sound like either of the other styles... quick, seriously, listen to Eine Kliene Nachtmusik and anything by Haydn. It's just unmistakable. It's not necessarily simple (Mozart wrote some fairly esoteric things also), but with a few rare exceptions, it's never heavy.

In romantic music, you'll hear very thick textures, orchestral effects, more modulation... and just generally more complex music than in previous styles. It will sound a lot thicker, and heavier, than the others, and will generally paint some kind of picture musically.

Virtuosity is present in all of them... baroque music is some of the hardest stuff to perform that's ever been written.

Seriously, just listen to samples from all three periods, you will not have a problem hearing the difference if you've ever heard the three contrasted.
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#5
Adding to what Corwinoid said, Basso Continuo is very common in baroque music so you might want to have a listen and find out about that.
#7
^ That's pretty much why I blew him off in my first reply... but at the same time, I don't want him ****ing up because somebody online gave him wrong information either. There's a difference between not being constructive, and specifically hindering.
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#8
Quote by Corwinoid
In romantic music, you'll hear very thick textures, orchestral effects, more modulation... and just generally more complex music than in previous styles. It will sound a lot thicker, and heavier, than the others, and will generally paint some kind of picture musically.

Now, I don't know much about all of this but see The Four Seasons by Vivaldi for a really fecking good example of this.
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#9
Quote by Corwinoid
^ That's pretty much why I blew him off in my first reply... but at the same time, I don't want him ****ing up because somebody online gave him wrong information either. There's a difference between not being constructive, and specifically hindering.


True, true. I've been posting here for oh, about 3 weeks now, but I'm getting to the point where I think I should just save 6 or seven of my posts, and just constantly repost them, since there is an immense amount of repeat questions going on here (like 'how to learn major scales,' 'what's this jazz thing?' etc etc.). Just getting a bit frustrated.
#10
^That's not romantic era though; Vivaldi is a shining example of a baroque composer.

All music can paint pictures, it's a poor way to define a style. But listen to some good romantic-era music and you'll see what he means.
#11
Flowing counter point is almost always a good indicator of Baroque music.
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#12
The dead giveaway for baroque music is harpsichord and lots of counterpoint, IMO.

Classical is very airy and a lot of times (though of course not all) the bass plays chords over a melody played by an instrument like the violin (listen to Haydn and Mozart)

Romantic is normally very passionate sounding. Giant orchestras, lots of vibrato, long, emotional notes, etc. etc.

Of course there are exceptions to these rules. Hopefully these vague replies can give you a general idea of what to look for.


P.S. If you're in a music class you should already know these things.
#15
ERC, I feel like the classical piece that you listed as an example is a little bit romantic sounding. Of course, Mozart was so much ahead of his time. It just reminds me a bit of Chopin or even more of Beethoven.

Here's my interpretation of the three...

Baroque: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ9qWpa2rIg
Classical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmh4OMqlAic
Romantic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-GbesR5AEM

And as far as chamber music goes...

Baroque: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGfykyQ0_So
Classical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfhTC_vWnHo
Romantic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6QjtpCTRvw

Those are some of my favorites from each era...and I think they do a good job at representing the general musical styles of each.
#16
I didn't check those links until you said something. The fantasias are very non-classically styled... those were the exceptions I mentioned in my second post.
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#17
^But that Mozart fantasia still remains distinctly classical. The textures and the accompaniment, despite the sweeping nature of the emotional range, remain as dead give aways, but my true reason for choosing the piece (beyond convenience, as I already had it open) was that I think it is important that one realizes the relationship between those 3 common practice periods; that relationship being classicism as a rejection and romanticism as an extension and it so happens that the D minor Fantasia illustrates that well.
#18
Quote by Guitar_Theory
I think you should have just paid attention in your class and learned something useful.

You know...that could have helped, and made you a better musician. But what do I know?

Thank you for your contribution, your highness. Your humbleness is very much appreciated.


Anyways, I did my exam today and I think it went very well. Thank you guys so much for helping me out, some of the things you pointed out were on the paper and I probably couldn't have done as well as I did without your help.

Also, it's not as if I'm an inattentive student or anything; music is by far my favorite and most enjoyable subject. I could tell apart the different periods, but I always struggled at giving valid justifications as to why I thought music A belonged to such and such period. But again, thanks UG for being so helpful!