Classical musicMusical period
The significance of this structure was such that it served as a basis for all the first movements of emerging musical forms like the symphony and chamber music. The second characteristic resides in the set definition of the symphonic orchestra, (forty to sixty musicians) with:
- Strings: 1st and 2nd violins, violas, ‘cellos and double basses
- Woodwind: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
- Brass: 2 French horns, 2 trumpets
- Percussion: 2 timpani
Bass continuo disappeared except for vocal forms of composition. The stature of the conductor increased, the clavichord then the piano replaced the harpsichord, the clarinet made its appearance, the ‘cellos, and double basses were dissociated within the orchestra. Beethoven is probably the composer who most symbolically marked the turning point between the classical and romantic periods since he remains unarguably one of the first great romantics even though he is categorised as a classical composer.