Many consider Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to be the greatest musical prodigy of all time! (A prodigy is an unusually gifted child). When he was just 3 years old, he wanted to play the piano just like his older sister, Nannerl. At four, he could play many pieces at the piano perfectly and soon began to compose his own musical works. He composed his first symphony (a work for orchestra) at the age of eight.
He was born in Salzburg, Vienna in 1756, and his father was his first teacher. Young Mozart showed so much astonishing musical talent that his father took him and his sister to tour Vienna, London, Paris and many other parts of Europe to perform for royal families.
Mozart was not only one of the greatest composers of Classical Music (about 1750 – 1820), but he is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time. Even though he died at the early age of 35, Mozart composed over 600 works that include operas, string quartets, piano and violin sonatas, and many concertos that featured solo instruments performing in front of symphony orchestras. His music demonstrates clarity, delicacy and good-humor, but it can also have a darker, more dramatic tone.
Many agree that Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Joseph Haydn stand along with Mozart as the finest composers of the Classical Period.
Classical music is characterized by clear melodies (tunes you can sing!), beauty, balance and contrasting moods and themes (musical ideas that repeat). To get to know the style, you have to listen to the great composers!
The term "classical music" has two different meanings. Usually when people say they like classical music, they are talking about art music that is not popular, rock or jazz.