RELATIONSHIPOF GALANT STYLE AND THE MIDDLE CLASS OF THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Itis in this period 18thcentury when song composers quickly moved from the old strict way ofmusic presentation to a simpler way,whichhad accompaniments like pianos. The writers at this time preferredperforming for the middle-class section of the society, which wasfond of the message contained in the songs. Some of the messages wereof great importance to this section of the society as it taught themon how to behave and carry themselves around to fit in the uppermiddle class acceptable. The middle-class kept on dividing todistinct levels the more people became established in the society.There are renowned music composers in the galant style like Telemannand Haydn who had done excellent work in the related to the galantmusic style, and their great work in this period has been welldocumented.
Othercomposers also did a tremendous work in the establishment andcontinuity of the galantstyleof music although petite is discussed of them. More particularly,music composed by women during this period was marginalized. Theyalso had great music, but it was only performed to smallercongregations in casual places. The society had not corded femalemusicians much importance especially in an industry that was maledominated. However, in the galant music, some women performed asbackup singers for the music gurus like Telemann. There is asignificant relationship between the galant music style and themiddle-class in the 18thcentury. An example of this association between the galant style ofmusic and the middle class of the 18thcentury period is that most of the composers were originally from themiddle class, hence striving hard like any other middle-class man tobecome wealthy and gain respect from other people.
Relationshipof Galant Style and the Middle Class of the Early Eighteenth Century
Galantstyle refers to an 18thcentury movement in music, literature as well as visual arts. Thegalant music style was fashionable in the mid of the eighteenthcentury. In the music sector, the emphasis was more on simplicity,elegance, appeal as well as immediacy as opposed to the complexity ofthe Baroque style than existed earlier on. The simplicity of themusic, in this case, refers to the decrease in polyphony use,song-like melodies, a proper distinction between the accompanimentand the soloist, as well as a reduction in harmonic vocabularyputting more emphasis on the dominant and tonic. In the early yearsof the 18thcentury, the word galant home was used to describe a person offashion virtuous, elegant and cultured. There is a significantrelationship between the galant style of music and the middle-classthat existed in the early years of the 18thcentury, and the music composed during this period was bestunderstood in intellectual, cultural and social history.
Theword galant is derived from the French, and its use started way backfrom the 16thcentury. The name “Galant Homme” came to be utilized in the earlyof the 18thcentury and described a person of elegance, virtuous, cultured aswell as fashionable. The galant musicstylewas first referred to the music by Johann Mattheson in his 1721 Dasforschende Orchestre.This style was a lighter version modern style of the music we havein the world. During this time, the leading practitioners of thegalant style in the music included Antonio Caldara, GiovanniBononcini, Phillip Telemann, Alessandro Scarlatti as well as FridericHandel1.The new Galant style was more of city music than court music. In mostof the music mentioned above, the composers spent much of their timeand careers out of the city center, where the music was consumedrather than produced. However, not everybody was delighted in the newrevolution in music, as the galant music style composers faced muchrejection in their work.
Thegalant style falls in the classical era which existed between theyears of 1730 to 1820. The classical music had a clearer and lightertexture as compared to its predecessor, Baroque music. The classicalperiod had a stronger melody above the subordinate chordalaccompaniment. Counterpoints could never be forgotten whatsoever, andthe composers also used it in religious pieces like in the churchmasses. Contrary to Baroque music, the classical music had a varietyof keys, dynamics, melodies, and rhythms. Songs became shorter withprecise cadences and clear-cut phrases, with orchestra increasing inrange and size. Woodwind emerged as a self-contained segment, whichconsisted of oboes, flutes, bassoons as well as clarinets. However,during the classical period, the music composed by the women wasmarginal. In fact, only the songs written by male artists werediscussed and widely performed. The attitudes that the society hadconcerning women made them secluded in the music industry.
MiddleClass of the Times of the Early Eighteenth Century
Formany centuries, the aristocracy had been the most influential andpowerful section of people in the British society. However, from thestart of the last quarter of the 18thcentury, the famous part of the British society arose to power andconfidence2.The land had been the only source of wealth earlier on and was onlyoccupied by the dominant aristocracy class. Industrial revolutionthus came to the rescue of the middle-class group as they could nowmake a fortune through the process of manufacturing as well astrading goods. The diverse sorts of new professionals including theadministrative and technical roles necessitated the need for apossession of training and a degree in education. With time, thenumber of people in the middle class began welling, and peoplestarted being defined by their profession rather than theirbackground. The society largely became divided into class andoccupation. The royal family was always at the top of the socialhierarchy, and the broader second hierarchy included mechanics,glaziers, dustmen, tea dealers, investors, weavers, jewelers,booksellers as well as artists in music and craft.
HowMusic of Philipp Telemann Reflect Middle-Class Taste
Telemannstudied music career at the University where he later became musicaldirector of the main churches in the city he lived. In the 18thcentury that the middle class was aggressive and embarked on tradeand development that would turn money into wealth. Although capitallevels were not homogenous, the people in this class share expansioninterests3.The growing confidence in the founding of a national spoken literarylanguage led to the coming to the age of middle class, and the musicwas one of the arts that developed and benefitted from thisestablishment. The growth of literary confidence gave music greatcreative impetus. Thus, with the highly influential personality inmusic, Telemann was able to contribute significantly to thedevelopment of the middle class despite the challenges and theoppositions that he had to undergo.
HowMusic of Frideric Handel Reflect Middle-Class Taste
Sameas Telemann, Handel had his art of music well rooted in the early18thcentury. The most famous collection picks of his music include watermusic, Royal Fireworks music as well as the Messiah musicwhichwas an oratorio from King James Bible. Handel changed his music aftersome time to be addressing the middle-class section of the society.Handel had created himself a new public among the middle class whowere always ready to be edified and enlightened through moral Bibletales that Handel used and in return turn away moral indignation fromthe Italian opera. Similar to Telemann, Handel liked performing forthe upper middle class. Handel’s music wasidentifiedas the reflection of the English state character, and the capacity ofits general mood was well shown in the music for the royal fireworkin the year 17494.Thus, the two musicians, Telemann and Handel, help strengthen theculture of the use of English common amongst the rapidly growingmiddle class and thus giving the class support through their musicart.
Toensure that the aristocracy did not benefit unfairly in the society,the middle class pushed for free trade and electoral reforms. Thehealthy competition provided that all men could succeed no mattertheir background. Those who did not succeed were considered as proud,lazy, and responsible for their poverty as well as at fault and beingextravagant. Working conditions were deliberately made hard to deterpeople off joining the workhouse, making it possible for thedesperate only. As people became more and more established in thesociety, it became necessary to place people in their rightfulposition in the society the social climbers had a hard time tryingto fit in the class of the already established class. They had tolearn how to shake, hands, politely bring a conversation to an end,standing gracefully, manners at dinner parties, a church or picturegallery as well as dealing with foul breath and nails.
Theabove image is music by Wolfgang Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.Mozart applied the ideas of Haydn in his music. He used the ideasboth in virtuoso concerts and in opera. Mozart did not spend his timeand career as a court composer, but like other galant style musiccomposers, he played for the general public mostly the middle class.He only wanted public success in performing from the public lie inthe cities. However, at some point in his career, the music of Mozartcame to a halt when the economic inflations and war trends led to thereduction of theaters and disbanding, hence pressing inward theclassical style.
Themiddle class in the early years of the 18thcentury was characterized by people who strived hard to attain socialstatus as well as immersing great wealth no matter their socialbackground. The aggressiveness to attain the change was so rapid thateverybody strived hard to improve their lives not only resources wisebut also regarding the class. The time is also characterized by rapidshifts in the music style from Baroque to the Classical music wherethe galant style falls in. The galant style of music was more becauseof the revolution that was in the industrial sector, with each manrealizing their potential and advancing in their profession.
LeBar, Ann. Thedomestication of vocal music in enlightenment Hamburg. Journalof Musicological Research 19,no. 2 (2000): 97-134.
Liu,Lu, Jianrong Wei, Huishu Zhang, Jianhong Xin, and Jiping Huang. Astatistical physics view of pitch fluctuations in the classical musicfrom Bach to Chopin: evidence for scaling. PloSone 8,no. 3 (2013): e58710.
Thompson,Edward P. Eighteenth‐centuryEnglish society: Class struggle without class? SocialHistory 3,no. 2 (1978): 133-165.
Weber,William. Thecontemporaneity of eighteenth-century musical taste. TheMusical Quarterly 70,no. 2 (1984): 175-194.
1 Liu, Lu, Jianrong Wei, Huishu Zhang, Jianhong Xin, and Jiping Huang. "A statistical physics view of pitch fluctuations in the classical music from Bach to Chopin: evidence for scaling." PloS one 8, no. 3 (2013): e58710.
2 Weber, William. "The contemporaneity of eighteenth-century musical taste." The musical quarterly 70, no. 2 (1984): 175-194.
3 Le Bar, Ann. "The domestication of vocal music in enlightenment hamburg." Journal of Musicological Research 19, no. 2 (2000): 97-134.
4 Thompson, Edward P. "Eighteenth‐century English society: Class struggle without class?" Social History 3, no. 2 (1978): 133-165.