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Classical Music

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Eilidh MacLeod

on 3 October 2017

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Transcript of Classical Music

Historical Events
The Battle of Culloden
Classical Architecture
Historical Context
The Classical Orchestra
The orchestra, which had begun to take shape in the Baroque Period began to grow.
Learning Intentions
In this unit we are learning about the Classical Period in musical history:

You will learn about different styles of music composed, the composers and concepts within these styles.
You will be able to listen to excepts of music and identify musical concepts
You will learn about the social and cultural influences of music during this time

Classical Music

Napoleon crowned emperor of France 1804
Typhus epidemic in London killed thousands of people - 1750

Highland Clearances
Glasgow Classical Period
The architecture of the classical period was sophisticated and classy
Famous Scots
Bonnie Prince Charlie

Neil Gow
and musician

Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832

One of the most famous Scots of all,
Robert Burns

Composers of the time



: 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses
: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
: 2 French horns, ocasionally 2 trumpets and later trombones
: 2 timpani

The strings were the most important section, with the first violins taking the melody most of the time and the lower strings providing an accompaniment.

The woodwinds added contrasting tone colours and were often given melodic solos

Horns and trumpets brought power to loud passages and filled out the harmony, tough they do not usually play the main melody.

Timpani were used for rhythmic bite and emphasis.

Instrumental Music
A large work for orchestra usually in four movements.

In the Classical period the movements were normally fast, slow, ¾ time, fast.

Haydn was one of the earliest composers to write SYMPHONIES

Haydn was one of the earliest composers to write SYMPHONIES

Basic Plan of a classical symphony
Movement One
At a fairly fast tempo in
Movement Two
At a slower tempo, and more song like: often in TERNARY FORM, or THEME & VARIATIONS.
Movement Three
Normally in ¾ time.
Movement Four (Finale)
At a fast tempo, often light hearted in mood in RONDO FORM or sometimes THEME &VARIATIONS
Symphony No. 40 - Mozart

A symphony is a piece of music written for the whole orchestra together. Different instruments might get to play the melody from time to time, but no single instrument is featured throughout.

This symphony is built on a series of

A sequence is when a short tune is repeated immediately, at higher or lower pitch.

Listen to/Watch Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and try to identify which colour matches each instrument.
: A piece of music written for a SOLO Instrument
accompanied by the Orchestra 

Basic plan for a Concerto
A concerto is usually made up of 3 movements
Movement One
at a fairly fast tempo
Movement Two

at a slow tempo
Movement Three

at a fast tempo
Towards the end of the 1st movement of the CONCERTO the orchestra pauses and the soloist will play a CADENZA.

The CADENZA allows the soloist to display their technical ability which ends with a TRILL, a signal for the orchestra to re-enter and play the CODA (the tail i.e. the end).

Moving quickly and repeatedly between two notes which are a step apart. A trill is played when the symbol tr is written above a note.

This example shows a trill played between the notes C and D.

This picture shows how the music would look if the trill is written out in full.

A coda is a passage that brings a piece or movement to an end.
Instead of simply having a perfect cadence the piece is expanded.
A coda can last a few bars or it can be a more complex, longer section.

Alberti Bass
A keyboard instrument which produces sounds by hammers hitting strings.
The piano began to be used extensively in the Classical period and was favoured by composers such as Mozart and Beethoven.
Many piano compositions in the classical period featured alberti bass.

Pianoforte (Piano)
Alberti bass
Broken chords played by the left hand outlining harmonies whilst the right hand plays the melody.

The piano was invented in the classical period.
You will not hear it in earlier works!
There are 3 main forms in classical music that you need to know about:
Binary Form
Ternary Form
Rondo Form

Binary Form
What do these 3 pictures all have in common?
Binary form is a form in which the music is made up of two different sections labelled A and B. Each section may be repeated.

Just like cheese on toast!

Toast - A
Cheese - B
Ternary Form
A B A – 3 part form: an A section followed by a B section, which is a different melody, than a return to the A section.

The cheese toastie!
Toast - A
Cheese - B
Toast - A
Twinkle Twinkle is an example of a piece of music in ternary form.
Rondo Form
A B A C A….. A form where the first section (A) keeps returning, in between different sections – B, C etc.

Just like a sandwich!
Bread - A
Filling - B
Bread - A
Filling C
Bread A
Watch this really cheesy video of how to make up a rondo form piece.
Theme and Variation
If these were the theme what would be the variation?
Theme and Variation in Music
The structure of a piece where the melody is heard (this is the theme), then returns several times with variations.

A theme is usually a melody upon which part or all of a work is based. To develop the theme, variations can be used.

The actual number of ways in which the composer may vary his theme is countless – limited only by the extent of his musical imagination.

Variation can simply be achieved by changing the style or genre of the music.
Listen to this example.

Here are some of the ways variation was used in the classical period.
Decorating the tune, so that it may be hidden among trills, ornaments and passing notes.
A change of harmony
A change of rhythm
A change of time signature
A change of tempo
A change of key i.e.. Major to minor
Theme moved to the bass or an inner part
Presenting the theme in a cannon (Frere Jacques) or using imitation.
If the music is for orchestra a marked change in instrumentation

We are going to listen to a piece in Theme and Variation by Mozart. This is how he uses variation:
Variation 1:
Uses semiquavers in the melody, while the left hand part stays mostly the same as the theme.
Variation 2:
The semiquavers pass down to the left hand while the theme is clearly heard in the right.
Variation 3:
Uses a triplet rhythm in the right hand and the left hand is similar to the one used in the theme. The melody is decorated with trills.
Variation 4:
See the triplets move to the left hand while the right hand is very similar to that used in variation 2.
Variation 5:
Has question and answer between the right and left hands.
Variation 6:
Sees the melody in chords in the right hand while the left hand plays semiquavers. There is an octave leap in bar 151.


You are going to work in pairs to create a class composition.

Theme and Variation on Merrily we roll along.

Vocal Music
Highest female voice
Mezzo Soprano
Middle female voice
Lowest female voice
Highest male voice
Middle male voice
Lowest male voice
A drama set to music, acted and sung by
and accompanied by an

- group of singers
- two singers
- A song from an opera
How strings are played
- played with the bow
- plucked.
Col legno
- played with the wood of the bow
How woodwind is played
Flutter tonging - tounge makes 'r' sound whilst blowing instrument.
How Brass is played
- Brass can fluttertongue in he same way as woodwind.

Con Sordino
- Played with a mute.
Full transcript