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The history of musical instruments has always been very closely linked to the history of music itself. New musical styles often come about because new instruments become available, or improvements to existing ones are made. Improvements to the design of the piano in the 1770s, for instance, led to its adoption by composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins

The 1860s saw a number of major reorganizations in European politics. Italy became a united country under the king of (former) Piedmont-Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel II, in 1861 and its new national government tried to retain the kingdom’s liberal ideals, such as removing instances of operatic and intellectual censorship. However, Italy’s liberalism was not aspired to by other ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The Modern Age was characterized by rapid and radical change and political turmoil. By 1918 the Russian tsar, the Habsburg emperor and the German kaiser had lost their thrones. The two Russian revolutions of 1917 resulted in a Communist government led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was fragmented to allow self-determination to the newly formed countries of Czechoslovakia ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

(A’-ram Kha-cha-toor’-yan) 1903–78 Armenian composer Khachaturian’s music is conservative, winning popularity with its ample tunefulness, sometimes with local colour derived from Armenian folk music. His ballets Gayane (1942) and Spartacus (1954) were very successful in the Soviet Union, and extracts from them (the ‘Sabre Dance’ from Gayane, the pas-de-deux from Spartacus) became world-famous. His concertos, concerto-rhapsodies ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

(Âr-nö Dokh-nan’-ye) 1877–1960 Hungarian composer Less influenced by folk music than his contemporaries Bartók and Kodály, Dohnányi cultivated a late-Romantic style rooted in Brahms, though not without the sense of humour obvious in his Variations on a Nursery Theme (1914), nor occasional resort to national melodies, as in Ruralia Hungarica (‘Rural Hungary’, 1924). His success as a conductor ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

(Zol’-tan Ko-da’-e) 1882–1967 Hungarian composer Kodály was closely associated with Bartók in folksong collecting and research, but his own music takes less radical paths. Apart from his compositions – notably the colourful Peacock Variations (1939) on a Hungarian folk tune, the Dances of Marosszék (1930) and Dances of Galánta (1933), the impressive choral Psalmus Hungaricus (1923), a fine sonata ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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