Dictionary and Journal

Classicism Dictionary Definitions

According to DigoPaul, classicism is called the style of art that develops according to the precepts and values ​​of classical antiquity: that is, the heyday of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

It can be said that classicism is a movement that followed the principles of the model developed during the aforementioned ancient period, which lasted between the 5th century BC and the 2nd century AD Among its main characteristics is the search for physical and aesthetic perfection and intellectual of the human being.

Predominant in the 18th and 19th centuries, classicism can be seen in multiple artistic manifestations, such as painting, music, literature and architecture. In addition to the ideas of classical antiquity, it also takes concepts from the Renaissance, humanism and other currents.

Harmony as the axis, the balance between form and substance, the search for formal proportions and rationality are some of the issues that govern the works of classicism.

Among the most transcendent manifestations of classicism appears classicist painting, which arose as an opposition to baroque painting. Art experts mention the construction of space through successive planes, the absence of marked contrasts, sharp forms and the preponderance of drawing over color as its most notable properties.

On a literary level, the so-called Weimar classicism stands out, promoted by figures such as Friedrich von Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.

The cultured music of the European continent that developed between the middle of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century falls under the style called classicism. Some of the composers of this period were Marianna Martínez and Joseph Haydn. Regarding the moment that the other arts were going through, such as literature and architecture, we can say that they were in what is currently called neoclassicism.

Musical classicism spread mainly in Vienna, in addition to Mannheim, Paris and Berlin. We can say that among its most outstanding characteristics are the very clear textures, symmetrical phrases, full tonality and musical forms such as the quartet, the sonata and the symphony.

Unlike the other arts, music did not have enough models from antiquity to draw inspiration from and continue to build. For this reason, it is often said that the classical style is very different from everything that came before it. In fact, when the romantics spoke of ” classical music ” they only referred to the works of classicism.

As in the illustration, the music of classicism also stood out for a special focus on balance and clarity, contempt for artifice and the excesses of the baroque, the approach to nature through the simplicity of the structures and the symmetry of the sentences, and the verisimilitude of the arguments in the opera to get closer to the viewer.

Precisely, cultured music broke the absurd barriers that kept it exclusively in the aristocracy to finally reach the bourgeoisie, and many composers began to adapt their styles to popular trends. Throughout classicism the importance of music grew, and its greater diffusion resulted in composers traveling throughout the European continent to present their works in the most important capitals.

Classical music is characterized by giving the main melodies to the highest voice, making the others accompany it, and all this was reflected in writing in an explicit way, unlike previous practices that gave rise to countless scores that if were written today would be considered incomplete.

Classicism