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The Classical Period 1750-1820 Characteristics Music should be stripped of non-essentials making it simple and easy to comprehend Logic, order and balance Standard genres, musical forms, and ensembles Music is meant to please and entertain Contrast of mood

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  • Music should be stripped of non-essentials making it simple and easy to comprehend
  • Logic, order and balance
  • Standard genres, musical forms, and ensembles
  • Music is meant to please and entertain
contrast of mood
Contrast of mood
  • Variety and contrast of mood within pieces
  • Changes in mood may be gradual or sudden
  • Composer has firm control over conflict and contrast
  • Flexibility of rhythm
  • Variety of rhythm patterns
  • Unlike continuity and predictability of the Baroque, there may be unexpected pauses, syncopations, and frequent changes from long to short notes
  • Changes may be gradual or sudden
  • Homophony reigns
  • Polyphonic sections may be added for contrast
  • Melodies have a folk or pop like character
  • Tuneful and easy to sing and remember
  • Symmetrical and balanced
melody cont
Melody (cont.)
  • Crescendos and decrescendos are more prominent
  • The basso continuo is no longer the most prominent accompaniment to melody
standard ensembles the classical orchestra
Standard Ensembles: The Classical Orchestra
  • Four families: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion are standard (see pg. 152) which provide for variety in timbres
  • Classical orchestra is larger than the Baroque and may vary in size (27-60)
standard ensembles
Standard Ensembles
  • Chamber music: music to be performed in a more intimate setting than a concert hall. Chamber music is performed by a small group of two to nine musicians
    • String Quartet: 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello
    • Piano trio:violin, cello and piano
    • Violin and piano (sonatas)
musical examples
Musical Examples
  • Symphony #40 in G Minor by Mozart
  • String Quartet in C Minor by Beethoven
  • Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
  • Piano Trio by
standard compositions
Standard Compositions
  • The symphony: Multi movement work for orchestra
  • String quartet: multi movement work for four musicians (a mini symphony)
  • Sonata: composition for solo instrument and piano or for piano solo
  • Serenade: a multi-movement work for strings that in light and entertaining
standard compositions cont
Standard Compositions (cont.)
  • The Classical Concerto: a three movement work for solo and orchestra
  • Mass: five sung prayers for Christian worship
  • Oratorios: multi-movement work for chorus, vocal soloists and orchestra
  • Opera buffa: Italian comic opera
  • Minuet and trio: ABA dance in triple meter
classical composers
Classical Composers
  • Three titans of the Classical Era:
    • Joseph Haydn
    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    • Ludwig Van Beethoven
wolfgang amadeus mozart 1756 1791
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart1756-1791
  • Austrian born child prodigy and genius
  • Trained by father who was a professional musician
  • Touring child superstar (featured with his sister, Nanerl)
  • Only patron was the archbishop of Salzburg His difficult personality led him to a career of free-lancing
mozart s compositions cont
Mozart’s Compositions (cont.)
  • Operas Buffa: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute
  • Numerous symphonies, masses, sonatas, string quartets and concertos for a variety of instruments
symphony 40 in g minor k 550 wolfgang amadeus mozart
Symphony #40 in G Minor, K.550Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Four movements:Molto Allegro, Andante, Menuetto,and Allegro assai
  • First movement is in sonata form: (intro.) -exposition-development-recapitulation-(coda)
piano concerto no 23 in a major wolfgang amadeus mozart
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A MajorWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Classical Concerto: Three movement work for soloist and orchestra
  • Cadenza:Unaccompanied virtuoso displayat the end of the first or last movement of the concerto
  • 1st Movement (Allegro con brio) is in sonata form
eine kleine nachtmusik wolfgang amadeus mozart
Eine kleine NachtmusikWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Multi-movement work for string ensemble
  • Composition is a serenade: light chamber
  • Third Movement: Minuet and Trio
the magic flute wolfgang amadeus mozart
The Magic FluteWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Opera Buffa written the last year of Mozart’s life
  • Theme of the opera is the brotherhood of man
  • The Queen of the Night is a coloratura soprano
joseph haydn 1732 1809
Joseph Haydn1732-1809
  • Austrian born
  • Humble beginnings: began musical training at as a choirboy in Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • At age 29 he became employed by the noble, wealthy, Hungarian, Esterhazy family
  • He worked for them for about 30 years
haydn cont
Haydn (cont.)
  • Duties included conducting and rehearsing the orchestra, coaching singers, instrument manager, music librarian composer and produced two concerts, two operas, and chamber music weekly
  • Numerous works include chamber music, concerti, symphonies oratorios and masses
trumpet concerto in eb major joseph haydn
Trumpet Concerto in Eb MajorJoseph Haydn
  • Written for a friend who had just invented the keyed trumpet which increased the number of tones the instrument could produce
  • Later the keyed trumpet was replaced for a valve trumpet which had a nicer timbre
  • Concerto has 3 movements
  • Listen for the cadenza in the first movement
symphony no 94 in g major surprise joseph haydn
Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise)Joseph Haydn
  • Symphony reflects Haydn’s sense of humor
  • Second movement is in theme and variations form
  • Theme has a folk like quality and is easy to remember
  • Listening guide is on page 163
ludwig van beethoven 1770 1827
Ludwig Van Beethoven1770-1827
  • Born in Bonn, Germany into a family of musicians
  • At age 22: left Germany for Vienna, studies with Haydn and established himself as a concert pianist and composer
  • At age 29: Started to go deaf, contemplated suicide but decided to live for his art
beethoven cont
  • Eccentric, dressed sloppily, lived in 40 different places in his lifetime
  • Couldn’t keep a housekeeper or a cook
  • Musically, he was orderly, methodical, and a perfectionist
  • He was more deliberate in his composing than Mozart
beethoven cont26
Beethoven (cont.)
  • Because he uses standard Classical forms with emotional intensity and power, he bridged the Classical Era with the Romantic
  • He wrote 9 symphonies, 32 piano sonatas16 string quartets, 5 piano concertos, two masses and one opera.
  • First composer to be considered and “artist”
string quartet in c minor op 18 no 4 ludwig van beethoven
String Quartet in C Minor,Op.18, No.4Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Fourth movement is in rondo form: A B A C A B A
  • Listen for gypsy-like rondo theme
symphony no 5 in c minor op 67
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
  • Opening rhythmic motive is fate knocking at the door or possibly Morse code
  • All four movements are unified with this rhythm
  • Listen to Movement I. Allegro Con Brio
    • Listening guide on page 194-195
symphony no 9 ode to joy ludwig van beethoven
Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy)Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • First symphony to use full chorus and vocal soloists
  • Work is auto biographical
  • Last movement unifies all the movements and is theme and variations on Ode to Joy