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The Classical Era

Music Theory project on the classical music era.

Alyssa Esplana

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of The Classical Era

Classical Era (1750-1820)
~ Important Goals of Classical Music ~
~ Key Instruments ~
~ Famous Composers ~
Beethoven (1770-1827)
He was born in Bonn and was taught by his father at a young age. In 1779 Beethoven began his most important studies, to be able to compose. Near the end of his life Beethoven lost his hearing but still managed to compose songs like a true artist. A famous piece Beethoven composed was Symphony Ninth or Ecosaisse
Mozart (1756-1791)
Mozart as a child was very talented and could compose at the age of five. At the age of 17 he composed for royalty. Near the end of his life he chose to live in Vienna and composed the best songs of his life. A famous piece made by Mozart is Turkish March
By: Alyssa Esplana AR200
~ Introduction ~
The word “classical” can be confusing. Keep in mind that classical may refer to ancient Greece or Rome or anything of lasting appeal (such as “classic cars”, etc.). When most people discuss “classical music”, they are referring to music from any of the style periods, but when we use the word “Classical”, we will be referring to music only from the Classical Style Period.
Balance of Structure
Musical Style/Form
~ Simplicity ~
Baroque music was too complex and complicated for most people. Classical music tried to appeal to a broader, “middle class” audience. It favored clearer divisions between parts, brighter contrasts and colors.
~ Balance of Structure ~
The prevailing thought was that “art imitates nature”. Balance/symmetry in nature –for example, the human body has 2 ears, 1nose, 2 eyes (2 of every thing on the side and one of everything in the middle) It is structured by a homophonic melody, chordal accompaniment, counterpoints and split into simple parts/movements.
~ Musical Style/Form ~
Melodies –
Clear forms –
such as “sonata form”  sonata form, also called first-movement form is a musical structure that is most strongly associated with the first movement of various Western instrumental genres, notably: sonatas, symphonies, and string quartets.
tunes are easier to sing and easier to remember than Baroque melodies. They were also more “balanced” because most melodies were usually either 4 or 8 measures long. 
the goal was to be more expressive and “natural” 
In general, the tempo must be steady and usually does not change very much during a piece or movement.
Harmony often involved only tonic or dominant chords
Use of dissonant chords or harsh combination notes was limited.
Cadences finality or pause were clear
No faster than 1 chord per measure (moved slowly)
~ Texture ~
Texture –
more homophonic (baroque was more polyphonic) – in general: simplicity

Homophonic texture –
there was one main melody (that was easy to hear) and accompaniment.
Ornamentation –
trills and other ornaments (fast notes around a central note.) were used much less than during the Baroque.
~ Moods ~
Mood –
contrasting moods within a single piece
or movement. Many were light and happy.

are now being used
Music was influenced by feeling and representation of any object or living thing. (Human emotions)
Double bass
Buccin (Serpent Trombone)
French Horn
Basset clarinet (Soprano C)
Basset horn (Alto C)
Clarinette d'amour (Soprano C)
Classical Clarinet
Chalumeau (low octave reed)
~ Fortepiano ~
Forte piano –
the early piano was much smaller than today’s 88-keyed piano, therefore classical music has a much more limited range than Romantic and Modern music.
• Many pianos did not have pedals – those that did were typically operated by the knee (which was more difficult to use). Therefore most classical music use very little pedal.
• The “action” on these instruments was also much lighter than on today’s instruments so a lighter touch can help achieve a more appropriate sound.
~ Periodic Phrasing ~
Periodic Phrasing is the organisation of musical phrasing. It is divided into pairs of an equal number of measures, and the phrase of music is divided into an open-ended phrase that requires a second phrase as a response. Each phrase is 4 measures long. Combine two 4 measure phrases = a period.

~ Musical Examples ~
~ Beethoven
Symphony 9
Turkish March
~ Mozart
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