Classical music is something which Tunde Folawiyo often listens to; like many others, he appreciates its complexity, depth and emotive qualities. This genre spans many centuries, and its origins are believed to lie in Ancient Greek music. It was Pythagoras and Aristoxenus who first developed the concept of individual scales and tones, codified musical notation and created a tuning system.
Whilst the beginnings of Western music date back to ancient times, it is the Medieval period, which occurred between 1150 and 1400, which is considered to be the first era in which classical music was composed. During the 10th and 11th centuries, warfare was commonplace, and urban life was almost non-existent. As the Christian Church gradually took control of Europe, its influence on music became more and more apparent.
Whilst some secular pieces were performed by troubadours during the 12th century, the vast majority of music composed throughout this period was of a religious nature. Plainsong and Gregorian chant were the first forms of classical music to appear during this time; these were characterised by their use of monody (a single line of notes). As time passed, these were replaced with Organum; this involved the use of multiple lines of notes, which created a harmonic sound.
The Renaissance era, which took place between the 1400s and the 1600s, is one which most classical music fans, including Tunde Folawiyo, are familiar with. It was during this period that composers began to focus on expressing specific emotions through their music; Piety being one of the most important. The most influential composers during the early stages of the Renaissance era were Dufay, Despres, Ockeghem and Dunstable. They began to incorporate the use of new instruments into their works; keyboards such as the virginal and the clavichord were developed, and older instruments were refined.
The second half of this era was devoted to abandoning the modal harmony system, which had dominated classical music for over three centuries, in favour of a system which was considerably more sophisticated, in terms of its structure. The use of both minor and major scales allowed for a much wider range of emotions to be expressed within the same piece, and created a far more definite key in which the composers could work. In addition to this, the English madrigal began to flourish, thanks to the compositions of brilliant composers such as Thomas Morey and William Bryd.