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Baroque and Classical Chamber Music
Transcript of Baroque and Classical Chamber Music
By Jason Wong
Chamber music is ensemble music for up to ten players, with one player to a part
The Development of Piano
Baroque Chamber Music
Chamber music was not clearly defined in the Baroque era. Many works can often be played by an orchestra, keyboard instrument (Harpsichord or organ), or a chamber ensemble. For example, Bach's "Art of Fugue" can be played by a keyboard instrument or a string quartet (Two violins, a viola, and cello). The chamber music in this period is very contrapuntal. There was a new system called the patronage system, which led more to chamber music. The Baroque chamber music are mostly dance music. The main movements and forms of these works are allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue. An example of Baroque chamber music is Handel's Water Music.
Early Classical Chamber Music
In the early Classical Era, people's tastes begin to change and composers preferred lighter and simpler pieces to complex counterpoint works. The patrons commissioned composers to write suites for two to six players for dances. These works were called serenades and divertimenti. An example of a serenade is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Late Classical Chamber Music
Haydn and Mozart are famous composers of chamber music. Haydn composed 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, and lots of string trios, duos, and many more chamber music. He established a conversational style of composing in chamber music. A string quartet by Haydn is "Quinten" Op. 76 No. 2 in D minor
While Haydn created the conversational style, Mozart expanded the expression and depth of chamber music. Mozart created numerous chamber masterpieces, including string quartets and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
There are many quartets, quintets, etc.
The piano was created by Bartolomeo Cristofari. It was originally named piano-forte because it can play both piano and forte (soft and loud). The Classical pieces became more for the piano than harpsichord because it can play dynamics. There were more pieces that used the piano. For example, there was more piano concertos, piano chamber music, etc. Some examples of music that use piano are the Trout Quintet and Piano Concerto in G major.