Lecture 13 - (Classical Period)

Transition to the classical era and the age of enlightenment


[Handel:] He is the greatest composer that ever lived.

I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb.

—Ludwig van Beethoven

Transition to the classical style

In this lecture we finish out the baroque with Handel opera and oratorio, then we begin to explore the Age of Enlightenment and the classical period in music.


Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the Classical Style
  • the Enlightenment and the classical period


  • understand the new attitudes of the Enlightenment



  • watch lecture 13 (in multiple parts for quicker download)
  • review previous chapters, as necessary
  • read textbook, Chapter 17
  • As you are reading your textbook, go through the Listening Exercises in textbook sequence, listening to the examples provided. 
  • regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade.


Classical Period Video Timeline

Audio / Video lecture

click lecture segments below in sequence (in multiple parts for quicker streaming)


Lecture 13a Introduction to the Classical Style


Lecture 13.3 

Transition to the Classical Style

Lecture 13.4 
The Age of Enlightenment