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Major and Minor Mode Works of the Baroque and Classical Era

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Whitney George

on 26 June 2017

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Transcript of Major and Minor Mode Works of the Baroque and Classical Era

Major Mode Works
of the Baroque
& Classical Era

Harmony: the simultaneous sounding of different pitches

Harmonized: when a melody is paired with groupings of simultaneous pitches that work well together

Chords: groupings of notes (3 or more)
Major Chord: Major 3rd + minor 3rd
minor chord: minor 3rd + Major 3rd
Harmony
Consonance
Dissonance
chords that sound "at rest"
chords that sound "tense"
determining whether a chord is consonant or dissonant depends on the intervals that are sounding simultaneously
Minor Mode Consonant Works
Major Mode Consonant Works
Atonal Dissonant Works
Tonality & Mode
Tonal music or music with tonality has a sense of returning to a "home pitch" which we identify as the tonic note. In the case of the example below, "Do" is the home pitch
Sound of Music
"Do a Deer"
There are two main modes in western classical music---major modes and minor modes. Each of these modes has a different pattern of whole steps and half steps, helping us identify a particular mode
This pattern of whole steps and half steps, starting on any note will give us a major scale (and therefore is in the major mode)

Pattern for the Major Scale- 1-1-1/2-1-1-1-1/2
Pattern for the Minor Scale- 1-1/2-1-1-1/2-1-1

sound is produced by vibrations that occur when objects are put into motion.
in order to hear vibrations that are very small, we amplify them by using electronics or a resonating body
frequency- the rate of sound
pitch- the quality of a sound
low pitches- slow vibrations
high pitches- fast vibrations
Pitch
Baroque Music (1600-1750)
from the word barroco meaning ‘misshappen pearl’
heavily ornamented (trills, mordents, grace notes)
generally uses one texture and sticks to it for the duration of the work- POLYPHONY is very popular at this time!
same for meter/time signature- once established, it applies to the whole piece
tonality is restricted to the use of the major and minor mode alone
the largest ensemble is the Baroque orchestra, which has limited winds, few brass, no percussion, and is generally comprised of strings
the keyboard is limited to the organ and harpsichord only (no piano!)
forms are generally shorter (exception, the symphony) and are related to dance forms
Classical Music (1730-1820)
revival of the styles of classical antiquity- roman and greek
ornamentation diminishes (trills, mordents, grace notes are used more sparsely)
generally uses one texture and sticks to it for the duration of the work- POLYPHONY becomes LESS popular and HOMOPHONY becomes the dominant texture
same for meter/time signature- once established, it applies to the whole piece
tonality is restricted to the use of the major and minor mode alone
the largest ensemble is the classical orchestra, which has a slightly larger wind section, few brass, one percussionist, and is generally comprised of strings
the keyboard is limited to the organ and harpsichord, although the piano starts to replace the harpsichord as the primary keyboard instrument
forms are longer than that of the Baroque Era, and forms become more complicated (developmental)---Sonata Allegro Form becomes the first movement of the symphony
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
excerpt from ‘Double Violin Concerto’- Movement No. 1: Vivace (1717-1723)
instrumentation: baroque string ensemble with continuo (harpsichord)
form: multi-movement concerto
1. vivace
2. largo ma non tanto
3. allegro
texture: polyphonic
meter: simple meter, 4/4
dynamics: consistently mid-range (mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte)
tonality: primarily in minor for the first movement
other:
two violinists trade roles as the soloists
repetition of the initial theme plays a large role in the first movement
although it is in a minor mode, ends on a major chord (very stylistic of the time!)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
excerpt from ‘The Four Seasons’-excerpts from ‘Spring’ (1723)
instrumentation: baroque string ensemble with continuo (harpsichord)
form: four ‘concertos’ for string quartet, each made up of three smaller sections
1. Spring
Allergo
Largo
Allegro Pastorale
2. Summer
3. Autumn
4. Winter
texture: polyphonic for duets/homophonic in the beginning (& refrains)
meter: simple meter, 4/4
dynamics: consistently mid-range (mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte)
tonality: primarily in major for the first movement (‘Allegro’), although there are contrasts in minor (‘Largo’ is in minor)
other:
the lead violinist is the soloist, and is featured in every movement
the movements in each of the concerto sets provide internal contrasts in tempi/meter (in addition to tonality/mode and texture)
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
excerpt from ‘The Fairy Queen’ (1692)
instrumentation: baroque chamber ensemble with strings and continuo (harpsichord) (and a chorus of singers)
form: opera (with many smaller parts: arias, ensemble numbers, intermezzos)
texture: generally polyphonic for instrumental moments, and more homophonic for vocal moments
meter: simple meter and simple compound meters on a movement-per-movement basis
dynamics: consistently mid-range (mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte)
tonality: primarily in major for the first movement (‘Allegro’), although there are contrasts in minor (‘Largo’ is in minor)
other:
the harpsichord player often takes the role of conductor in an ensemble this size
this is a ‘period authentic’ performance
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
excerpt from ‘Water Music’ (1717)
instrumentation: large baroque chamber ensemble with strings and continuo (harpsichord) and recorder (suitable for an outdoor performance)
form: three suites (almost a ‘symphony’---just too early and one movement short)
texture: generally polyphonic, although there are moments of homophony
meter: simple meter and simple compound meters on a movement-per-movement basis
dynamics: consistently mid-range (mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte)
tonality: primarily in major for the first movement (‘Allegro’), although there are contrasts in minor (‘Largo’ is in minor)
other:
the harpsichord player often takes the role of conductor in an ensemble this size
wind players get temporary solos (as they don’t blend as well)
excessive use of ornamentation, such as trills
this is a ‘period authentic’ performance
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
excerpt from ‘Symphony No.88- Movement No. 4’
instrumentation: classical orchestra
form: four-movement symphonic form
meter: simple meter, 4/4
texture: generally homophonic, although there are moments of polyphony
dynamics: widening of the dynamic range (piano/forte)
tonality: primarily in major mode
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
excerpt from ‘The Magic Flute- Queen of the Night Aria’ (1791)
instrumentation: classical orchestra with chorus
form: Aria contained within an opera
texture: generally homophonic
meter: simple meter and simple compound meters on a movement-per-movement basis
dynamics: widening of the dynamic range (piano/forte)
tonality: ranges between major and minor
other:
ornamentation only exists in the vocal part, which is also a solo role
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
excerpt from ‘Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, op. 27’ (1801)
instrumentation: solo piano
form: sonata/fantasy on a theme
texture: homophonic (rarely polyphonic)
meter: compound (division of three)
dynamics: widening of the dynamic range (piano/forte)
tonality: minor mode
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