MUSC-313: Styles and Literature II

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The English Enlightenment was an all encompassing ideology, affecting many different fields such as science, religion, and the arts. Focus on supernatural stories and divine miracles gave way to rational thought, furthering science and promoting stories about the triumphs of humanity. Music was likewise affected by this new movement, catering itself to the interests of society; instead of depicting humanity as sinful and ignorant, compositions centered on the glory of creation and the strength and intellect of humanity. Haydn’s Creation Oratorio is a prime example of Enlightenment values, depicting the creation story as a triumph of both God and man together. However, because Haydn’s career was at the end of the Enlightenment era, his compositions often reflect elements of Romanticism. The Creation, while primarily an Enlightened work, has notions of Romantic era compositional techniques, reflecting its place in time and compositional ingenuity.

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