The classical era lies between the Baroque period and the Romantic period but has come to be an umbrella term for Western art music in general. In the classical era, the existing musical forms, for instance the sonata and concerto, became more clearly defined, with order and clarity easily perceived. The background of the term ‘classical’ refers to classical antiquity, which had a rebirth in the mid-18th century, firstly in architecture. Natural philosophy had already established itself and Newton’s physics which states that structures should be built with the well-ordered proportions as in Classical Greece, began to have an effect on literature, painting and subsequently, music.
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert are the most celebrated composers of the classical era, and other composers, such as Stamitz, Hummel, Weber, Boccherini, Clementi and Salieri also composed impressive works around the same period. This era can also be referred to as Viennese Classicism, since Vienna was a hive of creativity and culture, drawing Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart there where they spent most of their careers.