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The Classical Period

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Alissa Lacson

on 6 February 2015

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Transcript of The Classical Period

The Classical Period
Characteristics of Classical Music
Patronage System
musicians and composers would "work as servants to powerful noblemen" by writing and performing pieces for their patron
Pros: gave the composers financial stability and security
Cons: isolation and restricted creativity
musicians lived as servants with their patrons and were committed to composing what their boss wanted - and when they wanted it
left little exposure to the musical influences outside of the patron's walls
The Sonata - Allegro Form
refers to the form of a single movement
used in the opening fast movement of a classical symphony, sonata, or string quartet
used in slow movements and in fast concluding movements
3 main sections: 1) exposition, 2) development, 3) recapitulation
Theme and Variations
A form used in classical period either as an independent piece or as one movement of a symphony, sonata, or string quartet
The basic musical idea, the theme, is repeated over and over and is changed each time
May be illustrated as theme (A) - variation 1; (A') - variation 2; (A'') - variation 3; (A''') - variation 4; and so on
each prime mark indicates a variation of the basic musical idea
Each variation may be unique and may differ in the mood of the theme
The change in melody, rhythm, accompaniment, dynamics, or tone color would indicate the identity of the variation
The variations may be connected to each other or may be separated by pauses
The composer may invent his/her original theme or borrow from another composer
Countermelody - the original melody is accompanied by a new one
Minuet and Trio
Contrast of Mood
The Classical Symphony
The Classical Concerto
Classical Chamber Music
set in a home or palace
performed by a small group consisting of 2-9 performers with one person to a part
each member is essential and has an important share of the thematic material
each must coordinate dynamics and phrasing with the other musicians
lighter, more mellow in sound as compared to an orchestra
does not require for a conductor
Popular Forms in Classical Chamber Music
String Quartet
Piano Trio
String Quintet
String Quartet
most important form
written for 2 violins, a viola, and a cello
4 movements:
1. fast
2. slow
3. minuet/scherzo
4. fast
Haydn's String Quartet in E Flat major, Op. 33, No. 2
IV. Finale, presto
Arcangelo Corelli Sonata
No. 1 Op. 6 in D major
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Trio
in G major, Op. 1 No. 2
III. Scherzo Allegro
Schubert's String Quintet
in C major Op. 163, D. 956
Part I.
Symphony No. 94 in G major
(Surprise, 2nd movement) by
Joseph Haydn
(for violin and piano)
(for violin, cello, and piano)
(for 2 violins, 2 violas, and a cello)
where the themes are presented
sets up a strong conflict between the tonic key and new key and between the 1st theme and 2nd theme

1. First Theme: is in the tonic or home key
2. Bridge: the transition that will lead to
the second theme
3. Second Theme: is in the new key
4. Closing Section

the most dramatic section of the movement
themes are developed and treated in new ways; they can be combined with new ideas or change in texture
themes are broken into fragments or movements which are short musical ideas developed within a composition
the harmonic and thematic searching build tension that demands resolution
its beginning brings resolution

1. First Theme
2. Bridge
3. Second Theme
4. Closing Section

they are presented more or less as they were in the exposition but in tonic key
rounds of a movement by repeating themes or developing them further
always ends in the tonic key
Stability and resolution of conflict
a musical composition built on the alteration of a principal recurring theme and contrasting episodes
a piece of music where the musical material stated at the beginning of the piece keeps returning
refers to music that is fast and vivacious - normally
The Parts of a Rondo Form
first main melody or musical material that occurs in the piece
establishes the tonal center of the piece, and the theme will most often be played in the same key
usually identified by having a change in melody, a change in musical character, or change in tonal center from the theme
Typical tonal structure of classical seven-part Rondo in the late 18th and 19th century:
Symphony is the great contribution of classical period to orchestral music
an extended composition typically lasting 20 and 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded range of tone color and dynamics of the classical orchestra
usually consists of 4 movements which evoke a wide range of emotions through contrasts of tempo and mood
Haydn: wrote at least 104 symphonies
composed for his employers who required a steady flow of works for their palace concerts
Mozart: over 40 symphonies
Beethoven: 9 symphonies
wrote a symphony only when inspired
his symphonies are longer than Haydn's or Mozart's and were conceived for performance in large concert halls
Typical Sequence:
1. vigorous, dramatic,
fast movement
Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
2. a lyrical slow movement
Haydn's Symphony No. 1o1, The Clock
3. a dancelike movement
Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
Haydn's Symphony No. 1o1, The Clock
4. a brilliant or heroic movement
3-movement work for an instrumental soloist and orchestra
can last from 20 to 45 minutes
combines the soloist's virtuosity and interpretive abilities with the orchestra's wide range of tone color and dynamics; emerging from this encounter is a contrast of ideas and sound that is dramatic and satisfying
the soloist is the star, and all of his/her musical talents are needed
classical love of balance can be seen in the concerto for soloist and orchestra are equally important
Mozart and Beethoven
the greatest masters of classical concerto
often wrote concertos for themselves to play as piano soloists
Three Movements:
1. fast
2. slow
3. fast
* A concerto has no minuet or scherzo.
The first and last movement sometimes have a special unaccompanied showpiece for the soloist, the
. Near the end of the movement, the orchestra suspends forward motion by briefly sustaining a dissonant chord. This is indicated in the score by a
, a sign meaning pause, which is placed over the chord.
A classical concerto begins with a movement in sonata form of a special kind, containing two expositions.
The first is played by the orchestra, which presents several themes in the home key.
Opening section: sets the mood for the movement and leads us to expect the soloist's entrance
Second exposition: begins with the soloist's first notes

often used as the third movement of classical symphonies, string quartets, and other works
originated as a dance that first appeared at a court of Louise XIV of France around 1650
simplest movement of symphony or string quartet with its A B A for and many repeated parts

Rhythm of Minuet
triple meter (3/4)
moderated tempo
Form of Minuet
ternary form (ABA)
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A Little Night Music
A serenade that is usually light in mood and meant for evening entertainment.
Third Movement: Minuet Allegretto
Section A: stately loud and staccato with a clearly marked beat
Section B: intimate, soft, and legato
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
one of the most important characters during the Classical Period involved in the patronage system
worked under Joseph II in Vienna
composed 3 operas while serving Joseph:
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)
Don Giovanni (Don Juan)
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
(First Movement)
(Second Movement)
(Third Movement)
(Fourth Movement)
Mozart's Final
Piano Concerto
No. 27 in B flat
(Slow Movement)
Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495 III
(Third Movement)
Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat, K. 495 III
(First Movement)
The Classical Period (1750-1820)
after Baroque, before Romantic
synonym for Western art music, which describes a variety of Western musical styles from the 9th century to the present
stress on balance and clarity of structure is a main trait
Meanings of Classical
may refer to Greek or Roman antiquity
may be used for any supreme accomplishment of lasting appeals
anything that is not rock, jazz, folk, or popular music
Best Known Composers
Joseph Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig van Beethoven
Franz Schubert
Antonio Salieri

Basso Continuo
the Basso Continuo was gradually made extinct
more music during this period was being written for amateurs who found it hard and could not improvise from a figured double base
Classical composers wanted more control over their music
Contrast of Mood
fluctuates in moods
may change suddenly or gradually and will express the theme and ideas of the piece
expresses the conflicting surges of joy and depression
the conflict and contrast however were under strict control of the Classic composers
classical music have a great deal of rhythm in them
includes unanticipated pauses, syncopation, and frequent changes in the length of the note
the change from a pattern of note lengths to a different pattern of note lengths could either be sudden or gradual
essentially homophonic
just as flexible as the rhythm is
may change suddenly or smoothly from one texture to another
may begin homophonically with a melody and simple accompaniment but may change to become a more complex polyphonic texture
has 2 synchronized melodies that are imitated among the various instruments used throughout the piece
easy to remember
possibly the most tuneful of melodies
may have a folk or popular feel
sometimes a composer may have borrowed a popular tune from the time, but most of the time they wrote an original theme with a popular character
often balanced and symmetrical
frequently made up of 2 different phrases of the same length
the second phrase often ends more decisively and is easier to sing
aimed to express different emotions, there was a widespread use of dynamic change
included the use of
(soft to loud) and
(loud to soft)
composers did not restrict themselves and their music to the attached dynamic characteristics
the harpsichord was replaced by the piano
a pianist can more easily play loudly or softly by varying the pressure of the fingers of the keys
began to replace the harpsichord around 1775
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