From The Classical Period And Onwards, Sonata Form Was Substituted By Other Forms As The Basis For Most Instrumental Music?


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Nicole Manion answered
When people use the term, classical music they tend to be thinking of music that is totally opposite to all kinds of modern music. This labelling is both simplistic and incorrect. The Classical period was just one short era in the history of music and falls between the Baroque and Romantic periods.

There is a huge distinction in the music of the Baroque and Classical eras because of the way that Baroque was rejected for new ideas (although there were many composers who continued with the Baroque style), but the distinction between Classical and Romantic is harder to define. The Romantics were keen to expand and push forward but the roots in Classicism are firmly there, so it is not possible to say what forms substituted the Sonata form, because they did not.

Ludwig van Beethoven is the composer who is generally thought of as being the founder of the Romantic style, but his early works are clearly Classical. His Third Symphony is often used as the marker of a definitive Romantic piece, and his later compositions are certainly thought to be the inspiration for other, later Romantic composers.

As Romantic composers continued to push the boundaries, and became more individualistic, following the overall trend of innovation and exploration of the nineteenth century, music was pushed to the limits of what was considered to be acceptable, though it was still clearly within the same tradition of the 18th century. Other composers, such as Franz Schubert, Johannes  Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn and Gioachini Rossini, although composers of their time, created music that had its roots very firmly in the Classical tradition, thus perpetuating the forms typical of that era, including the Sonata.

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