Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria.
He died on December 5, 1791, in Vienna, Austria.
During Wolfgang's life, Europe was ruled by major
dynasties. These include the Hapsburgs in Austria,
the Bourbons in France, the Hanoverians in England,
and the Romanovs in Russia.
There was no "middle class."
People were either part of the aristocracy which
was the upper class, or the people were servants
and laborers who worked for the aristocracy.
Life of a Musician
Musicians were considered servants. They were
not free to compose musical works independently.
To make a living, musicians
were hired by the royal courts or wealthy patrons
to compose a specific piece of music for a specific
sum of money. If the king wanted a symphony, the
musician would compose a symphony. If the king
wanted the symphony to be on a particular topic
and in a particular language, the musician composed
the symphony on that topic and in that language.
The composition of music followed certain rules
or patterns. For example, music was light and
happy for royal dances, or simple and quiet for
background music at social gatherings. The music
was often predictable.
Age of Enlightenment
In the 1700's, the Age of Enlightenment was a
time when people began to change the way they
looked at the world. They resisted the old traditional
way of life by challenging the oppressive rulers
and powers of the Church.
The Age of Enlightenment
produced many great philosophers, writers, and
scientists who had new and revolutionary ideas.
The following is a list of a few of these great
(1596-1650) believed the world could be understood
through reasoning and stated, "I think, therefore
John Locke (1632-1704) introduced
the concept of Constitutional democracy and opposed
the divine right of kings.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) discovered
the laws of gravity and motion.
Voltaire (1694-1778) supported the
power of the people by challenging the authority
of the monarch and the church.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
developed the concept of majority rules which
influenced the French Revolution and is the cornerstone
Adam Smith (1723-1790) developed
an economic system based on capitalism and "laissez-faire"
which means the government should not interfere
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) wrote Common
Sense in support of the American Revolution and
The Rights of Man in support of the French Revolution.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) were influential
in bringing the Age of Enlightenment to North
America when the United States of America was