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Composer, Patron, and Public in the Classical Period

Liberty, equality and fraternity are words that members of industrialized countries today often take for granted. However, these words were seen as potentially subversive in the day of Classical period composers and artists. The concepts underlying these words created a foundation that helped "emancipate" the composer from a position of servitude to their patron.

The increased appetite from a growing middle class for the aristocratic luxuries of theater, literature and music meant that composers could become less dependent on the aristocracy for patronage. It also created more demand for music publishing and education. This helped create a shift towards creation of material that was vigorous and rustic, and the integration of folklife motifs into some compositions. To find out more about the influence of these dramatic societal changes on music history, consult the resources below.

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