The History of Classical Music {includes 4 FREE Printables}

One of the first curricula I purchased when we began our homeschool journey was Themes To Remember. It is designed to help anyone (particularly children) to recognize 40 classical music themes, to know the name of the composer of each theme, and to be knowledgeable about and love classical music.

These past two weeks I have been donning a new hat as I substitute for an elementary music teacher. I will see each class four times and thus this book is perfect – one lesson each for the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, & Modern periods of music. All of the classes – kinder to fifth have really enjoyed it!! 

The History of Classical Music @EvaVarga.net

“Don’t only practice your art,
but force your way into its secrets,
for it and knowledge can
raise men to the divine.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Over the weekend I was inspired to create a foldable for each of the musical eras we have covered: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. I am delighted to now share these FREEBIES with YOU!! Read on to get the download links.

I have also created an outline to summarize some of the material I covered in each lesson.  I only had time to cover three-four composers from each era, Themes To Remember covers much more. I highly recommend the book if you desire to integrate classical music into your curriculum.

The History of Classical Music: The Baroque Era @EvaVarga.netThe Baroque Era

1600-1750 – Composers wrote predominantly for church and royal family

The music was very ornate with lots of trills and grace notes.

Antonio Vivaldi

  1. Born in 1678 in Italy
  2. Initially a priest and then teacher at all-girls orphanage
  3. Developed concerto form of music (composition for orchestra featuring a solo, often violin)
  4. Spring from The Four Seasons
  5. The Piano Guys – Winter from The Four Seasons + Let it Go from Frozen

Johann Sebastian Bach

  1. Born in 1685 in Germany
  2. 20 children, all accomplished musicians
  3. Organ was his predominant instrument and thus composed for church
  4. Toccata en Fugue in D minor (two segments)

George Frideric Handel

  1. Born in 1685 in Germany
  2. Initially studied to be lawyer before turning to music
  3. Traveled to Italy  to study  with Vivaldi where he learned opera style
  4. Traveled to England
    1. Queen Ann hired him to write Italian Operas, which she loved
    2. King George I employed him to write Water Music
    3. King George II employed him to write Royal Fireworks Music

Download the free Baroque Era printable.

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The History of Classical Music: The Classical Era @EvaVarga.netThe Classical Era

1750-1820 – Composers wrote mostly for the rich upper classes, the aristocracy

The music stressed control of form and emotions

Franz Joseph Haydn

  1. Born in 1732 in Austria
  2. “Father of the Symphony”
  3. Poor as a child
  4. Symphony No 94 – movement 2

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  1. Born in 1756 in Austria
  2. Greatest composer ever
  3. Symphony No. 40 – movement 1
  4. The Piano Guys – Michael Meets Mozart

Ludwig van Beethoven

  1. Born in 1770 in Germany
  2. Moody & hot tempered, made his own rules
  3. Deaf at 31
  4. Sonata 14 (Moonlight)
  5. The Piano Guys – Beethoven’s Five Secrets

Download the free Classical Era printable.

~ ~ ~

The History of Classical Music: The Romantic Era @EvaVarga.netThe Romantic Era

1820-1900 – Composers wrote for the rising middle class, much of the music was composed to accompany fairy tales

he music stressed the dignity and freedom of man, nature, the hero-warrior, and emotion

Gioachino Antonio Rossini

  1. Born in 1792 in Italy
  2. William Tell Overture

Frédéric François Chopin

  1. Born in 1810 in Poland
  2. Left Russian-occupied Poland at twenty, making France his home
  3. Used sounds of many Polish national dances in his music
  4. Grande valse brillante

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  1. Born in 1840 in Russia
  2. His ballets especially captivating for children – Sleeping Beauty & Nutcracker Suite
  3. Swan Lake

Edvard Hagerup Grieg

  1. Born in 1843 in Norway
  2. Short in stature
  3. Like other composers of his time, proud of his country
  4. Peer Gynt Suite
    1. Solveig’s Song
    2. Hall of the Mountain King

The Piano Guys – One Direction: What Makes You Beautiful

Download the free Romantic Era printable.

~ ~ ~

The History of Classical Music: The Modern Era @EvaVarga.netThe Modern Era

1900-present – Composers began to experiment with new forms, harmonies, and rhythms more than ever before.

New styles of music were developed including jazz, electronic, pop, and reggae.

Claude-Achille Debussy

  1. Born in 1862 in France
  2. Said to have begun the Modern Period with his impressionist style
  3. Wrote much of his music for piano
  4. Created new chords and new scales – much to the irritation of his teachers
  5. Clair de lune (Moonlight) 

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff

  1. Born in 1873 in Russia
  2. Left Russia with his wife and two daughters during the Russian Revolution of 1917, never to return
  3. Virtuoso pianist and specialized in the music of Chopin as well as his own
  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 Mvt 3

John Philip Sousa

  1. Born in 1854 in the United States
  2. America’s best remembered and favorite bandmaster
  3. Wrote more than 100 marches and is thus known as the “March King”
  4. Toured Europe four times with his concert band and there introduced Europeans to America’s ragtime music
  5. Upon return, on tour in the states, he introduced America to the music of Tchaikovsky, Rossini, and others
  6. Semper Fidelis
  7. The Stars and Stripes Forever

Download the free Modern Era printable.

~ ~ ~

I have had a fabulous time teaching this mini-unit. It is so fun to share with kids the joys of classical music. Several kiddos have come up to me at recess to share that they googled The Piano Guys when they got home. Others have given me high fives and hugs in the hallway. A mother (and teacher in the building) told me her child (in kinder) came home and exclaimed, “Did you know Vivaldi and Bach were composers?” So very cool.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

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